Still sightseeing on our second Saturday in London, after our FIE sponsored bus tour, we took a tour of the Houses of Parliament. From the stained glass to the ornately detailed walls and ceilings, every inch of each room is filled with hundreds of years of history that you can feel as you walk through each corridor. Learning the traditions of England seems vital to my personal history as without this country’s past, we would not have out histories as we know them. I feel this importance on both a personal and artistic level, as it informs my artistic perspective as I create and develop my personal aesthetic, holding on to the past influences.
As we walked past Buckingham Palace on our way to Parliament, we were able to see the end of the Changing of the Guards. We watched their final steps as they dropped their characters and began walking casually up the stairs. It was both a fascinating and humorous sight to see.
We spent our second weekend continuing to explore our neighborhood in South Kensington. Right around the corner from our flat sits the monstrous Natural History Museum, fit for every secret science junkie out there. Whether you prefer dinosaurs, plant life, or human biology, there is something novel to learn in each room at this museum, and you could easily be there from open to close.
For dinner, we all went to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, right around the corner from our flat. I tried the Camemburger and the lemongrass ginger fizz. After we took a walk through Hyde Park up towards Kensington Gardens, right near Prince William’s London home, Kensington Palace. It began to pour heavily so we had to cut our walk short and take the tube home instead of walking through the Gardens.
Other adventures from our second week as residents in London include a sighting of the 9 ¾ platform from Harry Potter at King’s Cross Station on our way to see In The Heights at King’s Cross Theatre, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Trafalgar Square. Again connecting all of these sight to history makes this experience even more rewarding and valuable. Both St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey were absolutely stunning sights of architecture and beauty representing the house of God and containing so much history within the walls- both figuratively and literally as you can see traces of war time destruction. The same goes for the Tower of London, where we were able to see the Crown Jewels and learn about the brutal side of British history, right down to the savage resident ravens which feast on blood soaked biscuits.
After touring some staple sights, we ventured over to Shoreditch, a quite hip neighborhood lined with street art and trendy shops. Shoreditch is also home to the Cereal Killer Café, a café dedicated to serving you the fanciest cereal concoctions imaginable. (It is also decorated with cereal art and 90’s bedroom vibes.) You can choose from almost any cereal you can think of (including gluten and wheat free options!,) topped with candy, fruit, whipped cream, etc., and then choose from cow’s milk, soya milk, almond, hazelnut, strawberry, banana… INNUMERABLE milk options. Needless to say there is something for everybody, unless you don’t like cereal at all, in which case I don’t understand you at all.
It was another week of sightseeing and grub eating, while still spending 9 to 5 at Trinity Laban moving and creating.