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Summer Postcards 2011

Glory Daze on the Thames

By Danielle L Lussi, Crimson Staff Writer

HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England—When my upcoming trip to Europe came up in conversation in the days before my departure, I was asked the same question over and over again. For the record, the answer is yes. I have seen the movie “Taken.” I’ve watched and learned. Note to self: don’t get into taxis with strangers in Paris.

Dublin, Brussels, Ghent, Versailles, Paris, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Köln, London and Henley on Thames. 10 cities. 15 days. This is Western Europe, the abridged version.

Hours after landing at Gatwick, we arrive at our hostel, set to explore London.

Just kidding, change of plans. It’s off to Henley. London and our bags will be there when we return, we hope.

Out of the station and straight to the river we go. Casual saunter along the racecourse before the Harvard Freshman eight’s race and we immediately run into our first acquaintance of many. Customarily confused looks anticipate the realization, “Wait, I know you…”

Ten minutes later, an encounter with acquaintance number two. This run-in is intentional. The exchange leads to a just-kidding-but-seriously warning about knee-length dresses and intoxicated composure in the Stewards’ Enclosure.

The freshman boat edges out the Yale varsity lightweight eight; we celebrate by edging toward the Pimm’s kiosk. I elbow my friend, indicating a conspicuously misplaced figure wandering out of the crowd. “Is that…oh, god, it is. What on earth happened to him?” Grass-stained pants, unidentifiable substance spilling down his button-down, wrinkled blazer with a crumpled piece of fabric—a tie, supposedly—awkwardly poking out of a pocket. Acquaintance number three looked like he had been to hell and back. Only this is Henley-on-Thames—after a quick chat, we learn the next stop on his journey: a family brunch with the grandparents.

Soon, day rolls into night as a quiet town of roughly 10,000 people morphs into a haven for drunken debauchery. Pimm’s is downed by the pitcher, and those who aren’t living the glory days, are reliving those that once were.

Danielle L. Lussi ’14 is a Crimson photographer in Adams House.

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Summer Postcards 2011