Tuesday, 2 July 2013

LondonAlive: pt. 2!

Royal Baby Watch Update:  still no baby.

The tour that I chose for Sunday was called Death, Mayhem, & Westminster.  It was a 4+ hour walk all over the city. On this tour we got to hear some of the not-so-pretty parts of London's history. Very fun and got to see a lot of cool things. My favorite story was probably of Admiral Lord Nelson who died while leading the Battle of Trafalgar.  They wanted to bring his body back to land, so they put him in a barrel of brandy until they got back. Legend has it that they still drank the brandy! We heard lots of great little stories along the way. That night, I went to dinner at a little Italian place around the corner from the dorm, across from Waterloo station. It was so good! I will probably go back at some point. Also, I am picking up some great British words and phrases! Someday I will post about the things I think of during the day but then forget by the time I get home. (Photo captions will come tomorrow because I am tired :) )

Parade route all set up for the little baby!!
Parade route- looking down at Buckingham

In the guard box
Nelson monument at Trafalgar Square


Saturday and Sunday (Days 2 and 3) we had our LondonAlive walking tours around the city. I signed up for the Pub Walk with Dr. Welsh on Saturday. I am writing this post now, since I was gone from my dorm for almost 14 hours that day! Dr. Welsh took us along the Thames and then across Blackfriars Bridge. We stopped to talk about the history some of the different pubs, learned a lot of cool facts, and saw some other great sites along the way. 

After the tour, a group of us went back to try out some of the pubs we had seen.  We went to Ye Olde Cock Tavern, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, and The Black Friar. Cheese was by far my favorite place we have been to so far! We had fun talking to some pretty hilarious gents from a stag (bachelor) party.  From the Black Friar, we ventured over to Trafalgar Square for the London Pride Party which was amazing and so fun. In an attempt to find a bathroom, we ended up at the Sherlock Holmes pub.  There I met a girl from Chicago and her boyfriend from St. Louis! (You can always spot the American counting out their foreign change)... But I tried the Sherlock Holmes beer and got my first official fish & chips of the trip! The walk home was unbelievably gorgeous. It was perfect outside, the Eye was lit up rainbow colors for Pride, and we walked along the Jubilee Bridge and took pictures. 

 These guys make sand art when the tide is low.

 The Black Friar.
 St. Brides Tavern- St. Brides Church by Wren was the inspiration for the first tiered wedding cake.

 The view down Fleet Street.
 My fave pub so far, and Dickens was a regular here. He mentions it in A Tale of Two Cities. 

 The Old Bank of England Pub- this pub is between the site of Sweeney Todd's barber shop and Mrs. Lovett's Pie Shop.  The tunnels and vaults below the building are where Todd's victims were butchered before being cooked into Mrs. Lovett's pies. They are still famous for their pies :)
 The Royal Courts of Justice.
 Yum! Tea! We are going to the main one later on.

 Me @ Pride!
 The guy on the left in the white tee was signing all the words of the performers for the crowd. Very cool.
 Sorry, I'm not sorry about all of these pics. It was too pretty.

 Love Jubilee Bridge.

My fave pic.

Monday, 1 July 2013

British Studies Program: London Baby!

London Baby (From Friends)

Let's see... the first few days here in London have been crazy, and have gone by so fast! I will try to remember some of the highlights so far.

I arrived at Heathrow on Friday (28 June) morning with the group from Chicago after a few little delays, but they were nothing compared to the nightmares some of the other students encountered.  Not much sleep, but really not a bad flight.  A couple of us took the tube from the airport to Waterloo, and then walked to our dorm to check in.  This was the longest route, but also the cheapest :)  That evening, we met in the courtyard of the dorms to take a walk around are neighborhood. We walked along the south bank of the Thames and ended up getting pizza a little restaurant on the river.  There are 17 girls in the library science program and our professor, Dr. Welsh.  They are all awesome so it has been a lot of fun getting to know everyone.

Our flight path- WE MADE IT!
 View from the front door of our dorm- looking at the imax
 South Bank of the Thames

 The National Theatre is down the block from us.
 Then we walked to Trafalgar Square. This is the National Gallery.
 Rainy Trafalgar Square being set up for London Pride.

 I love every view from Trafalgar. 
 Another view.
Walked past Big Ben on the way home. I decided to take pictures when it wasn't so rainy out.