London, England: Days 1, 2, & 3

Hello and happy Monday!

Last weekend, I FINALLY went and explored London!

For my British Studies course, all Harlaxton students had to go to London for another mandatory field trip. Since the field trip would occur on a Friday, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see the capital of England.

After I finished my last class of the day on Thursday, I boarded the 3:10 pm shuttle and headed to London via train. I checked into my hostel and hung out there for the duration of the evening.

On Friday, I woke up bright and early and took the tube into the city. From there, I hopped off at stop and decided to walk to Tate Modern (the modern art museum). As it was 9:00 am, nothing in London was open so I took my time traversing the streets and alleyways and taking in the calm of the city in the morning.

By the time I finished my exploring, the time was almost 10:00 am, so I headed into Tate Modern to look at the modern pieces on display. The most intriguing pieces for me were those that dealt with human rights and immigration.

Around 11:00 am, I met up with other Harlaxton students at the National Gallery. There, we looked at some paintings our British Studies classes had studied during our seminars. Then, my group popped over to the National Portrait Gallery where we once again saw some paintings our class had discussed.

After the art museums, my group made our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral. There, we broke into groups with different professors who took us inside and explained the history of the church. St. Paul’s is meant to rival St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The church is similarly structured with a large dome, paintings within the dome, and gold decorations. Pictures, unfortunately, were not permitted, but I managed to sneak a few.

Once the tour ended, I headed back over to Tate Modern to look at a different exhibit I previously did not have time for earlier in the day. My friend, Maria, met up with me and eventually we made our way to Borough Market where we grabbed some Ethiopian food for dinner! The food reminded me a lot of the Eritrean food I ate in Switzerland with Estelle.

Ethiopian food from Borough Market

After dinner, Maria and I parted ways: she to our hostel and myself to a show! A Harlaxton staff member sold a theater ticket last minute. I impulsively purchased the ticket and went and saw “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.” The show is based on a true story about a gay, high schooler named Jamie from Sheffield, England. Jamie aspires to be a drag queen, but finds himself battling against bullies at school and parental relationships at home. The show was fantastic!

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Once the show wrapped up, I took the tube back to my hostel.

On Saturday, Maria and I grabbed breakfast, made some sandwiches, and headed into London to explore and visit some museums! We stopped outside Big Ben (hiding under scaffolding), the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Cenotaph, and Trafalgar Square before heading to the British Museum.

Upon arrival at the British Museum, Maria and I had to pass through security. The gentleman checking my backpack asked me where I was from. I responded with the United States. To my surprise, he told me I looked Italian. I replied with I had been told my face looked French this semester by someone else. To him, French and Italian are very similar. “I would have never guessed you were from the United States. You do not look anything like your president.” Thank you sir for that compliment and laugh!

At the British Museum, Maria and I went into a few different exhibits. This particular museum primarily focuses on ancient history such as Egypt and Greece, which does not coincide with my interests. However, I enjoyed seeing the Rosetta Stone in person!

After the British Museum, Maria and I hopped on the tube to head to the Portobello Market. This particular market had an array of antiques and food. When we had peered at all of the stalls, Maria and I got back on the tube to head to Paddington to walk to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Of course, little Paddington bears could be found throughout the area. I hope to go back to Paddington to explore a bit more!

Finally, Maria and I arrived to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. There, we took a brief break on a bench and enjoyed the sunshine.

After our pit stop, Maria and I went in search of ice cream for our dinner. We popped into the famous department store, Harrod’s, and admired the expensive goods. Then, we made our way to a local ice cream shop in SoHo called Udderdelicious.

After our healthy dinner of ice cream, Maria and I both got back on the tube to head back to our hostel.

A wonderful weekend exploring London! I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks!

Leave a positive impression,

Sydney xo

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