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"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." --Antoine de St-Exupery

Thursday, April 21, 2011


To start, one thing I cannot wait for about coming home is not having to think of the exchange rate. Everything is going to seem so inexpensive, especially after being in London where one pound was about $1.65, so everything seemed very very expensive.

My friend Vanessa and I flew out on Thursday night after class and, after waiting in line for customs for over an hour an a half, made our way to my friend's place to stay the night at around 2:30am (thanks again Grace!!). After sleeping on nice leather couches (so much better than airport seats), we spent the morning walking around Hyde Park. The flowers were in bloom and it was so pretty. We saw the Peter Pan statue, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, among other things. It was a very relaxing morning, which was what we needed.

Vanessa, Peter Pan, and I

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

After that we got on the tube to find our hostel. Unfortunately, it took us over an hour to get there due to construction, a fire alarm, and not understanding streets. We finally made it, dropped off our things, and headed to the National Gallery. It holds western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th century and was free so that made it all the more enjoyable. Trafalgar Square is right in front of the Gallery, so we grabbed a sandwich and hung out there for a bit. In the Square they also have the countdown clock to the 2012 Olympics.

The National Gallery

Trafalgar Square (setting up for a concert we thought)
That night we met up with my friend again at a pub near her apartment and it was really nice to just sit, have a drink, and talk. It was more of a laid back environment, which you don't find in Sevilla that much. When people go out here, they go all out as in you are dressed up, makeup perfect, etc. and so it was really nice to just hang out and speak English for a night.

The next day we started off by going to the British Museum, which was very close to our hostel and so cool. We saw so many interesting things including one of the first images of Buddha ever, mummies, and the Rosetta Stone. We spent a few hours there before making the trek to the London Tower (which was a really pretty walk by the river). The London Tower was very interesting as well. We saw the Crown Jewels, scratchings made by prisoners who were held in the towers, the site where people such as Queen Anne Boleyn were beheaded, and many ravens. The view we got of the Tower Bridge was really pretty too. The London Bridge was not as impressive as we were thinking it would be due to the fact that it has a song named after it, but I suppose since it was originally the only way to cross the river however many years ago that it has history on its side.
The British Museum

The Rosetta Stone

From the Parthanon

London Bridge

Tower Bridge

Scaffold Site

After that we stopped to see St. Paul's Cathedral, which was beautiful outside. We only saw a little bit of the inside, but that was gorgeous as well. That night we went out to eat at this nice Indian restaurant and had some amazing food. It was the one time we really splurged on money, but we figured that since we were going to Les Miserables later on that we should make a night out of it. The show was amazing! I've had the music stuck in my head ever since which suits me just fine.

Les Mis!!

St. Paul's Cathedral

 For Palm Sunday we started off by going to church at Westminster Abbey. Yet another gorgeous gorgeous place. And it's located right by Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament so we were able get some very good pictures around that area. The London Marathon was also going on and ended at Buckingham Palace so we were able to follow that on our way there. It was a little crowded, but races are always exciting. We took a break on the grass by Buckingham Palace before deciding our next move, which was to head to a different part of town and see Harrods, one of the first department stores. That evening we walked around the area we were staying. There were so many little squares full of blooming flowers all over the place. We went to bed semi early that night since we wanted to fit some things in the next morning.

Westminster Abbey

Big Ben and they Eye

Buckingham Palace

After packing up and storing our bags in the luggage room at our hostel, we went to King's Cross Station, where they have a sign for Platform 9¾ (Harry Potter), but unfortunately that area was under construction! That was a bummer, but on our walk there we ran past a bookshop were every book was two pounds and in English! I got two books for about $6.65 which even in dollars is inexpensive! Before leaving, we went to the British Library since we had time. I am sooo glad we did. In the Sir John Ritblat Gallery, we saw original work by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, an original manuscript of the book Crash, original scores by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Hayden, Ravel, and Mendelssohn, the original Beatles' lyrics (one on the back of a birthday card) to Yesterday, Help, Hard Day's Night, and Ticket to Ride, letters by Leonardo da Vinci, Darwin, and Freud, and also saw the Magna Carta. There was so much more along with all this, but these were my highlights (kind of long I guess).

We made it back on that night (Monday) ready to see what Semana Santa was all about in Sevilla! Unfortunately, it rained pretty much all of Tuesday and is raining again today. Yesterday I was able to go out and see what goes on in the city. Hopefully I can do that some more before the week is up (although I do have a lot of homework to do) so I will tell you all about the processions next time!

1 comment:

  1. katman and i watched part of the royal wedding last night, it was in westminster abbey too, that's crazy that you did palm sunday there!!