On my free day, I spent a good portion of my day at the natural history museum. I’d visited it for my museum visit Tuesday but didn’t get to visit all of the exhibits, so I decided to come back to do that. It was absolutely amazing. While the dinosaur exhibit was far too busy Saturday, I’d already done that Tuesday. There was also a wing called the Darwin center in which you can look at many of the specimens the scientists at the museum have collected all over the world and some information on how they are collected, categorized, and studied. There is also an earth science wing with a history of earth and information on rocks and weathering. Even if you aren’t interested in that, their exhibit on gems and other pretty rocks is definitely worth seeing. Best of all, it’s free (unless you are like me and spend too much in the gift shop). If you go back, make sure to visit!
I want to remark how nice tea at the national gallery was. Afternoon tea is such an iconic British cultural norm and something that, even if you were to come to London several times, as a tourist you are probably unlikely to take part in. Despite a few mix ups (few people making it on time, a misunderstanding with staff, etc.), it was definitely a lovely time sitting down as a group and taking time to slow things down for a bit. With such a hectic schedule all week, this was a much needed break. I know it helped introduce me to a few new flavors of tea and was just genuinely fun.
Thank you, Todd, for arranging this picture. I know it’s a few days old, but I think it exemplifies the dynamic of the group. I was worried coming on this trip that people would be really clicky, or at the very least there would be one or two people who just ended up by themselves every night. Being a bit shy, this is always one of my personal fears when going on a trip with people I don’t know (though I do realize the oddness of my remarking on this when that wasn’t a worry for me since I came with one of my best friends). This has not been the case at all. People take day trips with people they didn’t hang out with earlier that day and I feel confident that, no matter who I end up in a group with at any given place, nobody will be left out of the conversation. I think it’s a great group, and I am so happy to have spent my first time abroad with you guys. Thank you!
Today we went to the British Museum. I was interested in the juxtaposition of my viewpoint of the artifacts to the viewpoint of others in our group. As architecture majors, you are all trained to look at the design and form and such (I’m getting better at my architecture terms, but I have a long way to go, forgive me). I tend to look at them more in the historical perspective. I think about the classics courses I’ve taken when looking at the Elgin marbles, about the stories of Athens and of the Parthenon. I imagine many others studying the textures and materials and methods, etc. Correct me if I’m wrong, but many of you guys are more drawn to the”interesting” objects than to the historically significant objects (though, in the context of the British Museum, this is all relative as everything is historically significant). It was an amazing trip, but I imagine I got very different things out of it.