I'm not sure many people outside of the UK know about Reading. It is a big town, thirty minutes away from London by train. It has no particular cultural landmark, except for Reading Gaol, the prison (now closed) where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for being homosexual - which, to be honest, is not a cool thing to boast about! Reading is a great economic centre though, a lot of companies have settled there and apparently, the town has been developing a lot during the recent years.
This is not a city I'd tell you to visit, because there's just not that much to see, but I really wanted to dedicate a blog post to it, it has been my home for a year and I was so excited to come back. The first photos of the post are photos of the Forbury Gardens, which are quite beautiful. The lion reminds me of Aslan, if any of you have seen the Chronicles of Narnia films! ;) Another thing that I like there are the Abbey ruins. The building dates to the 12th century; I love ruins and old buildings, so seeing these old stones full of History makes me happy. I wish the Abbey was in a better state though, it must have looked so grand back in the day!
The place where I spent most of my time last year was the university. And if I had to choose one word to describe Reading uni, it would be nature. The campus is huge, much bigger than a lot of other English campuses I reckon. There is nature everywhere. Above are photos of the view from my window, as I lived in a hall that directly faced the Whiteknights lake. The last four photos were taken on my holidays in the Harris Gardens, which are a peaceful, vast area where you can find many different species of flowers and plants, and this year we got to see the blooming cherry blossoms. People hardly ever go to these gardens, which makes it even better because on sunny days, it is far quieter than the centre of campus, where everybody goes to find a spot in the sun during revision time.
It felt so good to be back in Reading, go to all these spots again and see some of our friends. I'll always feel at home there, and I hope I made you discover a little this rather unfamiliar town!
Had you actually heard about Reading before? What is the city that makes you feel like home?