Day 3 has been absolutely jam packed, but great all the same. We began this morning taking the tube to Westminster Abbey, toured both it and the surrounding areas and learned a great deal about British history. Today was also significant because the Scotland was supposed to decide if they were declaring their independence. As of midnight, GMT time, it’s too close to call. Anyhow, it’s a pretty interesting time to be in the UK, politically speaking!
At Westminster I saw where literary author Lewis Carroll was buried, among dozens of kings and queens, as well as other poets and scholars (ie. Sir Issac Newton, who was apparently hated by all btw)s. It was incredible to walk the same areas as Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I want to go to the fashion exhibit at one of the local museums with their wedding dresses and royal gowns on display tomorrow.
From that point we walked leisurely through some royal parks and to Buckingham Palace, just in time for the changing of the guards. It was like a mini parade of guys in red jackets and puffy hats. I learned something interesting though, apparently the guards are actually trained military men, ready to defend the queen.. except their guns have blanks in them. It’s actually the more disguised police in the crowd (jk, the police are only slightly less apparent than the iconic soldiers at the doors) who have the right to shoot.
I was shocked how close the general public can get to Buckingham Palace, in contrast with the sprawling lawn we have separating us from the White House in America. In you squint really closely in the right hand corner I’m sure you can see Kate Middleton waving and balancing baby George on her hip. Squint really hard. She’s so hard to see, it’s like she wasn’t there ;).
From Buckingham Palace we grabbed lunch of Covert Gardens. I had a chicken coriander sandwich, it was pretty good. We then went to the British Museum and I was really tired.. so I may or may not have skipped out on most to snag some Starbucks and shop a bit.
After that we departed for the London Eye (giant ferris wheel type thing) again. This time we rode it instead of simply admiring it. I liked it, but it wasn’t worth the steep price tag in my personal opinion.
At this point I was fairly certain my feet were going to fall off, but wait! There’s more.
We walked to the tube and went back to the Covent Gardens area for dinner (I don’t recommend Chinese food in London, I’m 0-2 so far). Right near by was the theatre, where my orientation group and I enjoyed Wicked. I’ve seen the musical numerous times, but I tried not to sing too loudly.
Overall, great day. It’s after midnight now and I’m very ready to crash. I think my body is converting to GMT time, although the mornings are still really rough because waking up at 7:30 is really 2:30.
Tomorrow we are headed to Stratford Upon Avon, the home of William Shakespeare. The lovely man who I will be learning oodles about this upcoming semester. I find a lot of his work dry, but I’m hoping for the best. I would rather take these classes with the history right in my backyard than back at UB anyways.
Still on the hunt for caprese salad and guacamole… I’ll keep you posted.
Until tomorrow, xo.