Posted by: jodester87 | April 8, 2009

A Friend Visit

April 4-7 2009

So my friend Sarah, who is studying abroad in Ireland, came over to London for part of her Easter break and stayed with me. She got in late Saturday night. But the next day began three days of sightseeing.

On Sunday we went into Westminster area to see Big Ben and we had hoped a changing of the guards (they’re finally in their red uniforms people!) but alas it did not happen. So we made our way down the street to the National Gallery. Where I got a call from the director here in London saying I needed to meet a photographer at 4:30 at Westminster Tube Station because the school is updating its advertising. Anyway, Sarah and I looked through all these famous paintings. She was going I learned about this in a textbook! The last ones we saw were Van Gough’s Sunflowers and Monet’s Japanese Bridge thingy.

Just for reference sake Trafalgar Square is right outside the National Gallery so we both tried to climb the lions up there but it’s really crowded and really difficult to get on the lion’s back. You basically have to run up it, jump, and slither you’re way up. We didn’t succeed.

Well we met up with the photographer who is an alum of our school. For two hours we were at her disposal taking photographs with Big Ben, The London Eye, and Buckingham Palace as the background. We even got one of all seven or six of us girls in one of those red phonebooths and with a royal horse guard. Towards the end we were jumping in the air with the palace as a backdrop. We ran into some American military men returning from the middle east. In the pub one of them was actually really friendly and was talking to us and was looking at our eyes not our chest, which is a BIG plus sign in my book.

While we were taking all these photos people were giving us a wide birth as if we were actual models on a photoshoot. Look out America’s Next Top Model here we come.

Then several of us went out to a pub that night, where I tried Magners c idar. It wasn’t too bad but I prefer the strawberry kind. Then three of us had our first tequila shots. It didn’t burn as much as I was expecting it to.

On Monday I dropped Sarah off at the British Museum while I was in class. After a free lunch we went down to the Tower of London. It was extremely crowded. Helpful hint people go really early in the day or go in the winter months when the crowds aren’t that big. But we saw the White Tower, Bloody Tower, Beauchamps Tower, Salt Tower, Royal rooms, and a few things outside. Such as were Anne Boelyne lost her head, traitors gate, and the ravens. There needs to be a certain number of ravens there otherwise the monarchy falls. We couldn’t get into to see the crown jewels because the line was starting to wrap around several buildings and we had a limited amount of time we could be there because I had to go see Entertaining Mr. Sloane that night (which rocked and was funny).

The White Tower

The White Tower

We ended up buying a bottle of mead there. Advice: never buy mead at the Tower. After my play that night we opened the bottle and tried it because people had been raving about how great it was. First taste was good. It gradually got worse the more you drank it. I’m not riding it off just yet.

Then Tuesday…Sarah’s last day. We got up rather late because of a late night editing a friend’s thesis and having fun. We made our way to Westminister Abbey. There was a line in of course but for the price to get in it was much better and worth it than the Tower in my opinion. That actually sounds rather morbid…we went where people died and then we went where people are burried.

As I was telling Sarah about the architecture the guy in front of us said that he was learning a lot just by listening to us. “Oh my god! A north American accent!” The guy was from Canada and studying abroad in Glasgow. We ended up going around the Abbey with him. We saw several royals: Elizabeth 1, Mary 1, Henry 7, Henry 5, Richard 2, Mary Queen of Scots and others. We also saw Oliver Cromwell. But Sarah was at her cutest when we were in the poet’s corners. It was all ah! oh! yes! and oh my god!

The poet’s corner is where several literay figures are buried. Some people include: TS Elliott, George Elliott, Rudyard Kipling, Geoffry Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier, Tennyson. There are also monuments to other figures who are not burried there such as Christopher Marlowe, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and Oliver Goldsmith to name a few.

Eventually we made our way around to where Sir Isaac Newton’s tomb is. Well there’s no photography allowed in the abbey but I managed to sneak in a photograph without being caught. Right near the tomb is also where Charles Darwin is buried. Now those of you who have seen The Da Vinci Code, you’ll notice that the area is different. That’s because they couldn’t get permission to film inside the Abbey so they had to film it elsewhere.

Isaac Newton's Tomb

Isaac Newton's Tomb

Then while I was on my architecture visit, Sarah went up to Camden Town and Regent’s Park with Charlotte. Joyce and I eventually caught back up with them. Then that night Sarah said goodbye as she caught her overnight bus to Edinburgh. I’ll see her again for a day in Paris. I can’t wait for Easter Break to start up. Won’t those post be long.

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