The classic struggle and balancing act between being a tourer and tourist, and the obligation of being a student in a stuffy classroom and wanting to explore a new city. This is where I stand right now and it is exhausting. London has so much to see and I have so little time to see most of them, especially with a three-hour class five days a week and walking around London, which is tiring. But I will persevere… Did I mention that there is SO much to do in London.
Not much to say about it, but it does reinforce the fact that London is a very stony city. We went into two towers, the White Tower and the Bloody tower, before we were bored and decided to leave. I guess the history of the place as a tower for torturing and killing prisoners as well as the seat of power for the monarchy did not quite connect with us. However the Thames River walk did and I actually wrote my first piece for class on a staircase at the beginning of the walk along the Thames that led directly into the river. It may become a full piece of work by the end of this study abroad trip.
The museum is huge! I went last week, but our professor wanted us to go again and it is still immense the second time around. Actually walking around with a journal in the museum, I noticed how many of the visitors were taking pictures of the artifacts and artwork in the exhibitions instead of actually looking at them and enjoying the experience. After a while, I was slightly annoyed by them and tried to get away from every person who was taking a picture…oh no, I am becoming more deep! haha.
Charles Dickens lived in a nice house. I stood next to the seat and desk where he wrote his last words, looked at the funny sketches on the walls, and saw his dingy looking washroom and wine cellar. Then we went to his favorite pub, The Lamb, for a few minutes but I didn’t get a drink (paper due next day, ugh!).
To the land where modern Time was invented! Wondering why London is five hours ahead of New York, blame this place! We traveled on the City Cruises’ River Red Rover ferry ride on which we heard stories of pirates, pubs and prolific novelists (Dickens again). Then we took a walk up the large hill to the observatory and maritime museum, but instead of going in, I decided to go around the park and take notes in my journal. I recorded a lot about animals that day; I may have notes for a new Animal Farm, hehe.
Saturday: Camden Market
I think I may have fond the perfect flea market for me! This market has so many things: food, clothes, bags, records, posters, shoes, CDs, DVDs, accessories, etc. I was so tempted to buy everything. But as you have heard yesterday, my day was dampened by the death of Amy Winehouse, who lived in Camden. So, we were basically in the same area as her when she passed. RIP.
Sunday: Thames Walk
This may have been the longest walk of my life! I started by going back to the staircase at the beginning of the Thames Walk and the waters had receded to the point that you could see the whole staircase and there was a small sandy beach. Then I went to the London Bridge, which looks like a pieces of cardboard in comparison to the Tower Bridge. Why is there a song about it! I walked across it where I saw an immense view of the Tower Bridge, Tower of London and ships. After, I walked back and went to the Monument of the Great Fire of London. Stupidly, I decided to climb all 311 narrow steps to the top and almost passed out at the top. When I got out, I gasped for breath looking for an open store to buy a drink and also to look for the London Stone, which was embedded in a building and I almost missed it (not worth the trouble to find). Then I went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and sat in the garden. The next stop was the Museum of London, where I went through the history of London compacted into several exhibitions. I liked the Changing London exhibition best because that was the only one I could relate to (Yay, Brixton!) Finally, I went on a long walkway to the Barbican Center, where my journey ended near the fountains by it. Now I am back in my room feeling dead with sores on my feet. So time for a nice warm shower, a book to read and bed. Bye.