Tour of Muggles and Dreamgirls

Yesterday my class took a field trip to do a walking tour called the “Tour of Muggles.” For non-Harry Potter fans, a muggle is an average human, with no magical abilities. The tour consisted of us walking around London to see the different filming and inspiration sites for the Harry Potter movie series. We walked by the Leaky Calderon, the Ministry of Magic, and many other sites that inspired J.K. Rowling for the look of the filming locations. Our tour guide was very lovely and excited about Harry Potter which made it very enjoyable for the HP fans in our class. Harry Potter is one of my favorite movie series of all time so this field trip was a dream come true! On the tour I met a woman who encouraged me to read the books as well, which I hope I find time to do in the upcoming fall semester.

Later that night,  we saw Dreamgirls, the musical. It was by far one of my favorite musicals I’ve ever seen. Sadly, Mercedes from Glee was meant to play Effie, but we think an understudy filled in because it didn’t look like her. My friend Sarah and I may have had too much to drink because we ended up getting binoculars and messing around with them during intermission. The costumes, voices, and the whole performance was one I will never forget! I plan on watching the film once I am home in Georgia because I heard that its really good too!

Tower of London and Jack the Ripper Tour

This past week my classmates and I went on two of my most anticipated field trips of the whole trip. On Monday we visited the Tower of London, which used to be where the royal families lived. They also beheaded and tortured prisoners at the Tower and it was crazy to visit the same spots all that happened. Our tour guide was impeccable, he had me laughing the whole time with his accent and wit. After the guided tour, my friends and I walked through the various towers of the castle and read information on peasant revolts and the armor worn by kings and princes. The most interesting thing I found was the crowned jewels that are kept in the tower. They were beyond my imagination and the use of jewels was priceless. We weren’t even allowed to take pictures of them. The Tower also has ravens that stay in the yard and there is a legend that if they ever leave the tower that the city of London will collapse.

On Tuesday, my class went on a field trip with most of the program called the Jack the Ripper tour. Again our tour guide was amazing, as he moved us from location to location to explain the mysterious events of the Jack the Ripper murders. We learned about the clues and names of the prostitutes that were murdered and left us with the time-old question of “Who was Jack the Ripper?” We may never know the real answer but stuff like that really interests me because today we have so many methods and technology to solve murder mysteries. All in all, these two field trips did not disappoint!!

Science and V&A Museum

July 11, 2017

Yesterday my class and I spent time at the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. To start off my day I accidentally left my Oyster card for the tube at home!! I had to go all the way back and navigate the tube system by myself which honestly made me all the wiser, (please note Kennington and South Kensington are two entirely different places). After entering the Science Museum I was instantly awed by the large and interesting displays. I quickly located my classmates and my group project members briefed me on the topic we were assigned for a class presentation. I wandered around the museum to see all the interesting sculptures and art and some were massive to the point where I couldn’t fit them all in one picture! After breaking for lunch in the museum cafe we went across the street to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Sarah and I walked through amazing marble and stone sculptures before we went on the group guided tour. We saw hundreds of jewels and crowns on our way to the theater, which my mom would have loved since she’s a fan of all things shiny!! Our tour guide was adorable as he showed us the costumes from all different shows in theater. Some classmates and I tried on some of the costumes that were available and took a group picture, which was hilarious, since they were bulky and heavy. Overall, my experience at both museums was great and I will never forget all the things I experienced!

Week 1

Sunday, July 2nd

Hampton Court Palace

On Sunday, our program went to Hampton Court Palace for the day. As soon as we got there I was instantly encaptured by the amazing architecture and vastness of the palace. As I walked through the halls I couldn’t help but think of the history the walls had seen. It amazes me how talented and useful people were even in the 1600s. Sometimes it can be hard to imagine a time without electronics, technology, or even light bulbs. I laughed with my friends joking that they had nothing better to do than painting, and that’s why they were so good, but it can’t be far from the truth. The outside of the palace was quite expansive with gardens, fountains, and flowers. I felt nostalgic walking the same paths King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymore walked. My friends and I visited the cafe and tried their food, but it wasn’t that great. I think my favorite part had to be the ceilings upstairs. The paintings done on them were absolutely incredible. I also liked the indoor tennis court because it’s interesting to me that they played the same sport as we do. The palace had some great Instagram-worthy shots such as The Great Fountain Garden and walls of flowers near The Knot Garden. For a while, my friends and I rested under the shade of a yew tree in the garden. The only place we didn’t visit was the maze, but that’s because we couldn’t figure out how to get there! I genuinely enjoyed the field trip and am so glad I got to experience Hampton Court.

 

Monday, July 3rd

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral was the highlight of my Catholic upbringing. It was cool to me that I knew a lot about what went on during Mass inside the walls. Sadly, we were not allowed to photograph the inside of the Cathedral or the dome, but I got some beautiful, discreet shots with my Go Pro. We climbed what seemed like 500 stairs to get to the Whispering Gallery inside the dome. The Whispering Gallery is said to be able to transfer whispers from one side to the other, clearly, but my friend Haley and I were not able to figure it out! After that, we climbed even MORE steps that seemed almost never-ending. They literally had resting spots in the middle of the spiral staircase for you to catch your breath! The view at the top was well worth it though, I was able to see the London Eye, Tower Bridge, The Shard, Shakespear’s Globe, and many others from way up above. Near the end, we went to the Crypt which I thought was really creepy honestly, its weird to think that there are remains in there. Finally we went to the gift store and I got a poster for my room, plus an ornament and key chain for my mom with the serenity prayer on it because thats her favorite prayer. We finished with lunch at Shakespear’s Tavern which was really good! I got sausage and mash which is outside my comfort zone but it was actually delicious! I loved seeing part of my religion that is so important in history and had a great time on the field trip!!

 

Monday, July 3rd

National Gallery

The same day we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral we also went to the National Gallery. Not only was the square in front of the gallery cool, but I saw some works of art from my favorite artists. When entering the gallery, there are street performers, sculptures, fountains, and crowds of people. Once inside we planned on a tour guide to show us around but he was absolutely terrible. He wasn’t enunciating and his explanations were too long and boring, so we decided to venture off alone. I saw my favorite painting, Van Gogh’s Crabs, which I was super excited about. I saw a lot of Monet’s pieces too which was interesting since I learned so much about him in my art classes in high school.  I learned about Leonardo Da Vinci at the museum and I never knew he was also an engineer, or also that he took his own life. I got some really awesome pictures and souvenirs, including postcards to hang on my wall, a key chain, and a tshirt with A Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder. Overall, all the art was amazing and almost overwhelming, the only art museum I have ever been to was the High Museum in Atlanta. I loved getting to see some of my favorite artists!