Guest post by Kelsey Diemand.
Today was a long, yet fruitful day, as we left York early this morning and traveled south, where many of us got our first taste of London. This was certainly the easiest travel day yet, as we had a direct route to King’s Cross Station in London. Once we arrived at King’s Cross (and when I was through pretending I was coming home from Hogwarts), we hopped on the London Underground (the “Tube”) towards Paddington Station, just a few blocks from our hotel. After marveling at the charm our hotel (which was previously a collection of row-houses), we set off to a local Italian café for a group lunch.
After lunch, we all dispersed and set off to discover London. Rebecca, Rosie, and Margot ventured to the British Museum where they explored the wealth of cultural treasures from around the world held by the museum. Wendy, meanwhile, travelled to Notting Hill where she visited a few bookstores, one of which was famously featured in the Julia Roberts movie, Notting Hill. Wendy also found the Portobello Road market which was teeming with clothing vendors and various local merchants. If there is one thing this Maryland group loves, it’s a good outdoor market.
Meaghan, Tracy, and I made our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral because we simply can’t get enough of these British Cathedrals! St. Paul’s, while we didn’t go inside, was certainly an interesting and breathtaking site to see. Unlike the Gothic Cathedrals we have been touring as a class, this Cathedral, built in the 17th century, follows the Baroque rules of architecture. Afterwards, we found the Millennium Bridge, crossed the Thames, and arrived at Shakespeare’s Globe. The highlight of our day was definitely when we found the coolest ice cream, served in bubble waffle cones – yum! We happily ate our ice cream as we made our way to the London Eye and snapped some awesome aerial photos of the city.
Last but not least, Suzy got to check an item off her bucket list today when she visited the Courtauld Gallery. A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, a late 19th century painting by Édouard Manet, is her “favorite painting ever,” she told us tonight over a (late) dinner of Greek food.
Overall, today was an exciting day in London and I look forward to Westminster Abbey tomorrow! Stay tuned, folks.