I went back into the heart of London yesterday with a group of Marquette and Rutgers students to do some big monument sightseeing. (Quick side tangent. It has been cold and rainy every single day I have been here, just as advertised. So when I woke up yesterday to sun shining through my bedroom window, I was pumped. I only put one long sleeve shirt on, instead of the two layers I usually wear under my coat. Alas, the sun was simply a tease and hid itself about 20 minutes into our journey. But at least I saw it. I took one very out of focus picture to commemorate the occasion, see below)
Back to the story. We took the train to Covent Garden station, a pretty market with cobblestone streets and such. I am no shopper but that does not mean I did not have a good time. Covent Garden is also known for its street performers that put on shows in the sidewalks. We got to see one such show and it was hilarious. Disgusting, but hilarious. (You will see what I mean in the little video I shot below. It’s in HD too, if you can handle it…)
After trying, and failing, to get the green speedo out of my mind (it will forever be burned into my retinas), we decided to walk towards Piccadilly Circus and from there to Big Ben. It was so so cold even though the temperature read in the 30’s. Nevertheless we trudged on. And guess what we found? Buckingham Palace, home to the one and only Queen of England. The Queen was so excited to see me, she even sent out a little band to welcome us in. (I’m not quite sure why there was a band so just go with me and say it was my reception) As for the picture on the right, that was taken at the gates of Buckingham. I was reppin the best school in the world 🙂 It was funny to hear the British people wonder aloud what exactly my scarf meant, as they had never heard of Marquette, or as they pronounced it Mar-Coup-Et. One other little note, I was very disappointed to find out that not only can you not get super close to the guards and make funny faces at them, they don’t even wear their awesome red coats in the winter. They wear grey. Boooo! What a let down. Nevertheless, it was still quite a marvel to see. From there we made our way to the one and only, Big Ben.
The above picture in front of Big Ben with all of the Study Abroad students from Marquette this semester, at least I think that’s all of them. We entered this picture for the National Marquette Day contest, in which the coolest Marquette related picture wins stuff. Here are last year’s winning pics and here is our competition this year. You think we got a chance?
Anyways, we only took a few pics before eating lunch at a restaurant nearby. It was not the best of meals because I feel we got overcharged, so when I did the math I found out we did in fact get overcharged. I brought it up to the waiter who made something up on the spot. To save any further complications, we just payed the extra 3 pounds and that was that.
We finished the day off with a quick tour of the Museum of London, probably the greatest museum I have ever been too. Sure, I love me some Field Museum and the Science and Industry one is ginormous, but the reason this one beat them out was… it was free. Absolutely free! They even had free tours. While we only spent an hour or so in the museum, I was simply giving it a quick once over. It is a 10 minute walk from my apartment so it is one I most definitely will have to visit multiple times. It has so much history and so many galleries. I love it.