Friday, February 23, 2007

A week in London/Londres...

Day 1: Starting out around noon, I took the train from Nantes to London. I cannot describe how much I anticipated the Chunnel! Everyone says that it is a disappointment, but they are so wrong. For an entire 20 minutes you are flying underground in a dark tunnel that just keeps going and going. After that excitement, my old college roommate, Amber, met me at Waterloo Station. Then we took the metro (while I insisted on humming Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks) to Amber 's dorm in Barking, a bit east of London.

Day 2: When we woke up and saw the sun shinning brightly, we knew we had to take advantage of this rare situation (meaning no rain). After we emerged from the Tube station we followed St. James Park towards Buckingham Place. Actually, we had perfect timing (we think). There were hundreds of people looking and soldiers marching rhythm in ridiculous ensembles. Changing of the guard? Then on to Piccadilly where we stopped for tea and Amber showed me the most spectacular bookstore with old oak shelves and squeaky floors. On to Piccadilly Circus... the square itself was great, but I believe I was more excited about the Virgin Mega Store where you can find any CD you want. It was particularly exiting because I listen to random British bands whose CDs are not available anywhere in the States. Think kid in a candy shop (though that could be used to describe me during this entire week). On to Harrods, Covent Garden, and China town for dinner. There is just a great vibe in this city. There is a "what you see is what you get" attitude here. All of the unique districts that blend into one another - plus not a hill in sight so you could just keep walking all day!

Day 3: Museums, museums, museums. I have to give it to the people who decided that the massive London museums should be free. It is a good way to bring art and history to the masses, but also the poor student. We started our day at the Victoria and Albert Museum... we went from the Mongols to the chair in which Queen Victoria may have sat in the course of two hours. My favorite part was the Egyptian section where I came to an important decision. A friend and I had a conversation about hobbies a while back... we came to the conclusion that hobbies are those things you do after you graduate to fill the time homework and a social life occupied in college. Wandering through the artifacts I decided that my future hobby would be "arm-chair Egyptologist." Amber laughed. After my first pub lunch of beer and fish and chips, we headed to the British museum where my Egyptology dreams were cemented. After waiting for the picture-taking tour-groups to clear from in front of the Rosetta Stone, I pushed my way through. Even though I was standing there, they kept taking pictures - of the back of my head. Also, mummies are so cool... sorry, but after hours of intellectual activity and thousands of artifacts, that is the most enlightening thought I could muster.

Day 4: I love art museums! Love, love, love. Day 4 was reserved for Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. The latter is such an interesting concept. Just as the name suggests it is reserved for portraits and is displayed in a manner that puts forward the subject more than the artist. It was fun reading about the lives of the smiling faces and trying to imagine what it had been like to be them.

1 comment:

Emily said...

now you're making me anxious for London, sweet sweet London. I'll be there in September. I can't wait for the museums!!!!!