This week, I got the opportunity to really explore the town of Exeter itself. A goal I have since I came abroad is to really get to know the place I am living in. I want to observe and notice things that might be normal to locals but not to an American like myself. For instance, I was walking through the main shopping center, Guildhall, and tucked away behind some of those cars that kids put a coin in to pretend to drive was a wooden art piece. It looked like it was the Exeter skyline, I attached a picture of it at the bottom of this post. At the very top, you can see what is supposed to be the top of Exeter Cathedral. This piece prompted me to further explore the city. Some friends and I decided to head to the Quay ( pronounced “key”), a harbor type area near the end of the river Exe, and I noticed an old building with the words “Custom House.” Inside were exhibits about the history of Exeter. Originally, Exeter was huge in the wool fabric trade, but as factories began to flourish up north, wool makers in Exeter suffered. Exeter became a fairly desolate place until a few rich and successful ship captains felt that its weather and proximity to the ocean made Exeter an ideal place to retire. Along with these rich retirees, came shopkeepers, doctors, lawyers, and every other business required to make a town flourish. The custom house that now holds these exhibits used to be the place where all of the various ships that came into port would be cataloged and checked for contraband. Now Exeter is a bustling city with both local and big-name shops. It houses both Exeter college and the University of Exeter. It has several historic buildings and artifacts which I hope to touch on in further posts. I’ve only been here a few weeks and have learned so much. I can only guess what other treasures I shall find here!