Monday, April 26, 2010

Last week (ish) of London Study Abroad!

Ok. Well I am officially 6 days into my fabulous European backpacking adventure (which i will write about afterwards...) but first I need to blog about my last week of study abroad and the extra days I got in London due to the crazy Iceland volcano eruption crisis! Which left me stranded there for an extra 4 days... :) I won't be able to post pictures til I get home in May because I don't have my laptop with all my pictures, but I wrote all this a week or two ago...

My last week of London Study Abroad

Wednesday 4/7
We took a field trip to see Parliament, the Cabinet War Rooms, and the Churchill Museum. Parliament was huge and amazing; some of it looked like a cathedral and some looked like a royal palace. Haha then our tour guide told us that Parliament has been a cathedral and it was a royal palace until the 1500s. Everything was so impressive! We walked through the Chambers for the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and the Queen’s royal throne in the House of Lords Chamber. I loved Parliament.
Afterward we walked around and we were all a little hyper. We took some fun pictures. :) We headed to Trafalgar Square for lunch (Pret) and then we walked to Whitehall to the Cabinet War Rooms, which is in the underground bunker used during the blitz bombing of WWII. The rooms were preserved as they were in the 1940s, and there was a lot of cool information about the rooms and people who worked there. It was connected with the Winston Churchill Museum, which was awesome. I love that man... he was a witty genius/hero. The museum detailed his life and it was amazing to learn so much about him (and kind of exhausting. He was a busy man). My favorite quote of his that I found: “We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm.”
Afterwards… back home, napped (finally), dinner, blogged (it’s taken me so long to catch up!), and discovered a huge leak into our shower, from the boy’s shower right above us. I really hope that one of them doesn’t crash on top of us haha.

Thursday 4/8
Today was the last day of school for 4 of my 5 classes! It was a long day and I am stressed about being behind in every class, with a mass of papers due and finals next week. Oh boy.
I took a nice walk alone down Queensway… I ran errands and mailed postcards and wandered through some souvenir shops. I finally finished souvenir shopping. Oh! And today was beautiful – a warm sunny day (t-shirt weather)! I loved it. People seemed extra friendly today and I loved it. Sun was shining! Flowers were blooming! I took pictures of it all. Tourist time. :)
After dinner Ali and I went to see Billy Elliot! It was AMAZING. I expected a great show because I love the movie and I’ve heard so much about the show... I’ve been wanting to see it since January! It really was fantastic. Great music and dancing and story… ok I also may have almost cried (twice). It was just so good! It was one of the best shows I’ve seen here… right up there with Les Mis. Billy Elliot was definitely the best new show I’ve seen in London. AH so good. I can’t wait for my mom to see it! She introduced Billy Elliot to me. :)

Friday 4/9
Our last field trip – we took a boat tour down the river Thames, from Big Ben to Greenwich, and then we explored Greenwich awhile. The tour was fantastic! Touristy but a great ending (ahh I didn’t say that) to our sightseeing in London. We sailed past Big Ben, the Eye, Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and the business district’s skyline. I loved it all. Beautiful day too… so sunny it was blinding! Haha I don’t think my eyes are used to sunlight yet.
At Greenwich we walked through the park up to the Royal Observatory, where the Greenwich Prime Meridian line is, separating the hemispheres. I stood in two hemispheres at once! Sweet. On the way back through town I got my first Magnum brand ice cream bar! It was amazing. I was so tired on the tube ride home that I fell asleep on it… in public! Every time I have ever fallen asleep in public has been on the tube in London. :)
Tonight – got Whitely’s waffles :)

Saturday 4/10
Slept in, went to Portobello Road Market, for the last time! So sad. It was warm and sunny again! I love spring. I notice (and appreciate) it so much more when I’ve suffered through a long cold gray winter (in utah and england). I wore sunglasses for the first time all year! It was exciting. I got a chocolate crepe and an apple tart.. couldn’t find much else. I will miss that place dearly.
Dinner at Khan’s with some great people – Laura, Ali, Cam, Calvin, Alyssa, and Mary.
Wasted time, no homework today.. whoops.

Sunday 4/11
Time is moving by way too fast!! I blogged, emailed, skyped, had our last centre dinner, we had a program fireside-testimony, and I blogged.

Monday 4/12
Last day of class! (Mythology). Spent the whole rest of the day doing assignments I should have done all semester. Ugh. Only left the centre for Tesco – lunch, and diet coke and candy. :)

Tuesday 4/13
Same as yesterday... studied ALL day and went out once for a Tesco run. Coke and candy. The centre is full of pale zombies and dozens of bottles of Coke haha.

Wednesday 4/14
Finals 8 am to 9 pm (6 hrs of tests) ew. More Tesco runs... candy overload... for the sugar energy and because I'll miss British candy! I'm getting all my favorite candies this week... sentimental reasons. :) I tried a Tesco brand red bull too but it was nasty. I'm so tired. Went to bed at 5 am last night.
Everyone was up all tonight (someone even slept in the library!) Dead zombies all. Went to bed at 5 again.
This is like a social experiment – coop everyone up in centre (no escape) and make them study their brains out and chug diet cokes and energy drinks while depriving the of sleep haha. Ohh college. Even on study broad it's not much easier. I feel a dead hermit... a zombie. One more day of finals!
PS oh! and mice have infested our room. Lovely.

Thursday 4/15
I took my last 2 finals! And wrote like 7 mini-papers. DONE. No more school!
I had my last mcdonalds sweet chili chicken sandwich :)
Today we had our last program meeting – Macfarlane sang a funny tribute to Susan Howe (to the tune of a Wicked song) and it was hilarious, especially with his awesome singing voice! :) We had a pizza party and dozens of dozens of Ben's cookies (very popular among us students).

Update: Well today we heard about a massive volcano eruption in Iceland!!! There are no flights in or out of England, indefinitely... My fight to Lisbon (where I start my backpacking trip) leaves Saturday morning... crossing my fingers...

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