March 9th, 2019:
I was so excited to finally get off the plane and be in London. I had always wanted to go since my last name is England and the country side was absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed being able to see the town that Darwin had spent most of his life with his family. I also was able to try fish and ships for the first time. The highlight of my day was getting to walk through Down House and learn more about Darwin before his theory of evolution through natural selection and which events helped him solidify his theory. I also found it interesting to see how the family operated and to the grave of his daughter that had shaped his life.
March 10th, 2019:
I really enjoyed being able to go to the British Museum and seeing how much culture, even though it was stolen, was living in the rooms. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Rosetta Stone and the other Egyptian pieces that were on exhibit. I also enjoyed getting to see the different Roman sculpture that were on display. I thought they were absolutely gorgeous. Lastly, I enjoyed being able to walk through the Chinese exhibits and learn about Eastern culture that I do not get a chance to focus on while in school. I then headed to Camden Market for lunch with some classmates.
Camden Market was interesting to compare to other markets that I had been to in the US. I also enjoyed getting to see the different performers and shops that were open. We had seen someone dressed up as the mad hatter and also got to experience serial cafe, which has a bunch of different types of cereal. After getting some lunch, I headed off to the London Zoo and spark my interest for the paradigm shift I had selected. I was a little shocked at how upfront some of the exhibits were about how human actions were ruining some species. For instance, one of the exhibits was just an alligator handbag with a sign that explained how it was hunting and retail that had driven the specific species to extinction. After visiting the zoo, we headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to Bread Street Kitchen, a Gordon Ramsey restaurant.
I was the most excited to go to the Gordon Ramsey restaurant. I had just finished watching this past season of Hell’s Kitchen with my boyfriend and needed some serious bragging rights. The food was absolutely delicious and came out within five minutes. We had talked to the floor manager about how we were visiting from the US and had ordered some desserts. Unfortunately, our desserts had taken twice as long as they were suppose to so they had given us them for free and even sent out additional ones so we could try some sticky pudding. It was probably the best thing I had eaten while in London.
March 11th, 2019:
I started off the day with a trip to Borough Market and got some lunch. I decided to try the meat pie with mash. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it had actually tasted. It was a little difficult to eat but was very delicious. We then took a trip over to London bridge and walked towards downtown. We were able to see the skyline of London, including the shard and the London eye. We even went and walked across Tower Bridge to see the Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum was my favorite museum that I had seen while abroad. I was in awe when I first walked into the museum and saw the giant skeleton of a blue whale in this great bug hall. I was impressed at how many complete skeletons they had on display and the condition of the specimens. Even more surprising was how informational the biology exhibits were compared to some of the other museums I have seen here in the US. However, I was most in awe of the Vault, a collection of precious gems. One of the exhibits housed every single color of diamond possible. We ended the day with a trip to Harrods to see how poor we actually were.
March 12th, 2019:
Westminster Abbey was extremely beautiful. Although we were not allowed to take pictures inside of the building, I wish I could post some in here. I was extremely surprised at how many different nooks where in the cathedral. I was also surprised at how much history was crammed into the cathedral. The guide was extremely helpful and informative. I really enjoyed being able to go up into the London Eye as well. Even though it was very gloomy all day, I was excited to be able to see the entire city at once.
The Royal Society tour after lunch was very interesting. I really liked the guide and felt like she was very involved in the proceedings of the Society and had a passion for its mission. I was excited to see the archives that they had out on display for us and the various rooms that were obtained by the Society. The building was just as beautiful as some of the archives they had. It was also interesting to learn about the different members of the Society and its history. Finally, we finished the time in London with a group dinner to a very delicious restaurant.