Day 9: Saturday 11 June
I woke up just in time to go to the Portobello Road Market with Mary and other students. Then I had to hurry over to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen and Kate. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in London. It is so neat that their Royal family is allowed to be out in an open carriage waving to the people.
Check out my Portobello Road and Trooping of the Colour blogs to read more about my morning.
After seeing the Queen again, some of us went to Piccadilly Square to check out tickets for Wicked. Unfortunately, the tickets were all forty plus pounds, which was not in my budget. Although, I would’ve loved to see Wicked for the first time in London, I couldn’t justify the money. It was time to find some food after the ticket ordeal. Sydney Rail found this incredible little Italian place. I ordered a Pizza, which I had as leftovers for days.
I took a nice long nap after lunch. I felt guilty sleeping away a perfect day in London, but I wasn’t going to do anyone any good in my state. I’ve learned from experience that it is important to get some sleep when abroad because the long days and late nights add up and can equal a real fit of sickness. I only have just over a month here in England; I do not have time to be sick. So, all in all, one afternoon spent sleeping isn’t a horrible choice.
After my nap, Winston, Joe, Sunny, Alex and I hit up our corner pub, The Eagle. This pub has a great feel. It is on the corner by our flats. There are lots of windows, which bring in a lot of light and allows for great people watching. The kids in my program are great. They always have something interesting to say and are easy to talk to. I think I got really lucky. We all seem to be like-minded and like to have a good time. Our group really liked to have flat parties. We’d play drinking games and share some really great laughs. This Saturday night was no different. We had a laid-back get-together, where we learned a new ABC’s drinking game. Winston had the funniest things to say, as always. I left the party early to do some journal writings and get a good night’s sleep. I went to bed smiling knowing that I had seen the Queen and Kate all in the same day.
Seeing Queen Elizabeth II was a highlight of my trip. Photo by Jeremy Fiest.
Day 10: Sunday 12 June
I woke up at a decent hour after a really good night’s sleep. At around ten, I headed out of the flat alone to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum. After some hardcore navigating, I made it the museum. I didn’t love the V&A because the pieces were so spread out. Although they were set up by category, everything seems random. The coolest exhibits cost extra, which I was not about to pay. I was on a mission. I needed to find a painting to write about for my art history paper. I found this really neat picture of Cinderella and wrote most of the paper while sitting in this big room full of art. It was a great way to spend the morning.
Check out my analysis of V&A museum entry.
Unfortunately, it took as hour to get home because of an event going on in London. I ate some delicious left-over pizza for lunch from an Italian piazza. Alex, Sunny and I made our way to the Accent center in the rain, so that I could get online. My internet still does not work in my flat – that’s my luck.
I spent all afternoon uploading these blog entries. It is so fun looking back at what I’ve been doing over the past week. I can’t believe I’ve been in London for a week. There is not enough time in a day to do and see all that I want to. Also, our program is so incredibly jam-packed. We have a really intensive itinerary; however, the schedule is filled with such amazing things that there is nothing to complain about (except how much your feet hurt).
Before we knew it, it was five o’clock and time to get ready for a peer-planned group dinner. My dear friend, Alex Anderson, whom I met in Spain, lives here in London and met us for dinner at Wahaca, a Mexican restaurant in China town. Alex and I met in July 2009 in Pamplona, where we both went running with the bulls. Afterward, we went on an impromptu road trip. I got to know Alex really well and was so pleased to see him again two years later here in London.
We had so much to catch up on and to reminisce about. Talking with Alex reminded me how lucky I am for all my travels and all the friendships my travels have brought. After dinner, a few of us stopped by a pub in Inslington, which is the neighborhood we live in. I love the conversations that happen at the pub. I was speaking with a friend of mine that I wish American culture had more of a pub culture. I’d love to meet my friends after a day of work for a beer, or preferably English cider, and good conversation. We were at the pub to talk and enjoy a drink; we weren’t there to get our buzz on or at least, I wasn’t.
I am kicking myself for not snapping at least one picture of Alex Anderson and I. When I come back to London, I plan on catching up with him and will be sure to take a few pictures. It isn’t everyday that you have a reunion in London with an Australian, whom you met in Spain.