Day 5 | Brenden Alkire

Day 5 started off with a trip to Westminster Abbey, which I thought was a great time in general. I really loved our tour guide, as he seemed like such a happy-go-lucky person that was overly content with his job, as well as being very knowledgeable. It was great to stand above all of the people we have been “worshiping” in class this year, as it kind of felt like everything came in a full circle. Even with all of the famous British scientists in the vicinity, I thought the most intriguing part of the tour were the couple of the American references that our tour guide pointed out. They had a statue commemorating FDR (I think?), as well as another document on a pillar near the center of the room. I was wondering why they included these, but then realized it could have been due to something related to WWII. The most influential area of Westminster Abbey was the knights room, where I finally decided what my future career will entail.

From Westminster Abbey, we continued to another popular tourist destination in London: the London Eye. Unfortunately, it was raining, so it was hard to get any good pictures. However, it was still well worth the experience, and if I ever do visit London again I would love to go back up on a sunny day.

After the large group separated for lunch, we rejoined to visit the Royal Society, which I found to be much more fun than I imagined. I honestly had almost no idea what to expect, but what I experienced was much different. The guide we had was so enjoyable, and the information he was presenting was exciting as well, making for a great experience overall. My favorite part was the death mask of Isaac Newton that he showed us. It was super interesting because not many people get to see it, and Isaac Newton is obviously one of the biggest and most important figures of all time. I also have had a weird interest in death masks in the past (thanks to Dan Brown novels), so it was just a great end to a tour that I would highly suggest to anybody.

A group of us continued to the not far away Buckingham Palace where we spent a short amount of time. The most interesting part of this entire area were the, what I thought, obvious comparisons to the White House. Of course, the main leader of each country resides in each place, which is the most glaring similarity. But the size of the buildings, along with the beautiful landscaping and fencing around them are strikingly similar to me. Buckingham Palace gives a more outdated vibe, but honestly not as much of a difference as I was expecting.

Although this day was incredibly tiring, I thought it was a great way to spend the last day in London, and it definitely allowed me to leave the city on a great note.

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