North America, Europe ·
8 Days ·
106 Moments ·
24 May 2018
On the last official day of our trip I really want to write something in depth and meaningful, bit I got like 4 hours of sleep and I’m tired.
“At least we can map better now.”
-after getting lost in the Louvre
23 May 2018
“I really like the green grow things... the plants, I like the plants”
-I loose ability to speak English when tired
In my senior year of high school I took what I now think was the best class offered, AP art history. I absolutely loved the content, the people I was in the class with, and the teacher. One of the ongoing assignments was flash cards, 250 or so that needed to be done as we covered chapters throughout the semester. I have seen some of them, but never as many as I saw today, in about 3 hours, in the Louvre. It was incredible. Someday I’ll come back and spend more time exploring art I may not know so much about.
We’re waiting at the louvre for the rest of the group and the meeting time. I would be more excited if I wasn’t so tired. We made pigeon buddies though.
After the art, we wandered around Paris a bit and did some shopping. Then, since we’re not getting a group dinner tonight but we’re’nt hungry enough to get something substantial, we stopped in a café and had some creme brûlée. It was delicious.
After lunch, we made our way to the Musée d’Orse(?), an art museum. It was wonderful, even though I only got to see a bit of it, the impressionists. Impressionism is one of my favorite types of art, right up there with Greek art. It wasn’t the first time I had seen impressionist paintings in a fine art museum but definitely the largest collection I had seen. If the artists in the Musée d’Orse, my favorites are Cezànne, Manet, and Degas, though I really do love all of them.
For lunch, we ate at a fancy brassiere(?) and I had tartar with a burgundy wine. My father would be proud; he loves tartar. It was very good, although I’d prefer for it to have more texture and the flavor was different than I’m used to. My Oma naked tartar, and I would think the difference in tastes comes from the difference between French and German seasonings.
We started our last day in Paris with a bus tour! We also got to walk around the Eiffel Tower for a bit, which was really fun!! We also saw the arc de triumph, which was incredible and rode down the champs-eyleeses(sp?)
22 May 2018
There’s something poetic about a boom lying open on the metro track... I’m not sure what, but something.
Dinner in Paris was incredible!! Duck and potatoes and I may have a new favorite dessert!!
I know there’s a lot of people in our group who are unhappy that is raining, but I really couldn’t be any happier. I love the rain, and I’m currently sitting in a tiny cafe drinking a cappuccino and eating a vegan granola bar; my life couldn’t resemble a book or movie more than right now.
Notre Dame was astounding; I literally was moved to tears. My father is a fairly devote Christian and I will eventually bring him here. He make like it even more than me, resident art history/architecture nerd.
Walking to Notre Dame we passed through the cute green house/kitschy market. We waited out the rain and it was wonderful!!!
After lunch, we got to walk around St. Eustache. It’s not the first time I’ve been to a cathedral, it was not the biggest or most decorated or most famous but I’m still struck by how awe inspiring it is. How much time was spent building this, how difficult, but mostly what was going through the heads of the people who were laboring? Were they literate? What was their family like? How did they live? Wee they righteous and rigorous in their beliefs or more easy going? I love science, but it’s buildings that make me question why I’m pursuing a biochem degree instead of art or architecture.
My first meal in France, la Caesar salad and a cappuccino. They’re so much better in Europe for some reason
I’m in Paris!!! I love the 19th century limestone buildings so much!!! It really looks like how it was portrayed in The Aristocats, one of the best Disney movies!!!!
Train selfie! On the way to Paris!
For dinner yesterday, we got real Indian English Curry. It was wonderful! I overheard some people saying it was lamb, why h is kind of interesting; because I like lamb, but it’s difficult to find in the US.
After the Natural History Museum, we crossed the street to explore the Victoria and Albert Museum. I really didn’t know what to expect with the V&A Museum, but I really enjoyed it! In the little bit of time we had to go through, we saw silver and metalware old enough to be from the renaissance and gothic eras to iPods from just a few years ago.
21 May 2018
On our we back to the hotel last night, we finally got to stop at the dessert bar we’ve passed (and I wanted to stop at) everyday. I gat a Ferrero Rocher sundae. It was huge and delicious!!
After lunch yesterday, Katelynn and I went to a colorful Spanish store, Desigual. I bought a beautiful scarf! We also got mildly lost going from Piccadilly Circus to the store, although it was fun to see Piccadilly Circus!
How many forks can we drop during dinner? Current count = 3
Yesterday afternoon, we went to the Natural History Museum, which was absolutely amazing! We went through kinda fast in order to be able to spend time elsewhere afterwards, but we still got to see the exhibit on human evolution, the dodo birds, and the dinosaurs!
Lunch for our free day was eaten at a nice Italian restaurant, Cucina. I had lasagna and tiramisu for dessert, it was delicious!
My mom visited London in the 1980’s and gas told me one of the funnest things she did was go to the London Dungeon. Today, I got to go. I had been worried I’d worked it up in my head and would be disappointed, but I shouldn’t’ve. It was wonderful! Very touristy, like a haunted house, but there was also lots of interesting information. The beginning was about plans to blow up parliament, Guy Fawkes, and the torture devices at the Tower of London. The second part was the plague, then great fire, then Sweeney Todd and miss Lovett, Jack the Ripper and the Ten Bells. The scariest part was at the end there’s a drop ride.
Liam, who lead the Jack the Ripper tour, was an amazing storyteller. He also had absolutely amazing sense of style and a good voice. I was hanging on his every word. The places we stopped were also... not nice, but very very good for the tour.
The Tower of London yesterday was also really fun; I especially enjoyed the part about the ravens. There has to be six ravens living at the Tower of London, so legend says, and if there are less than six, the Tower will fall and London will follow. It was also incredible to see the carvings the prisoners etched into the wall; they’re so detailed!!
20 May 2018
WHERE’S THE FRONT OF A BATHTUB?
The Egyptian exhibit in some ways exceeded my expectations and also wasn’t what I imagined. There were far more actual mummies and sarcophagi than I had thought, but the way they were set up was surprising - there was much less room to move around. I think my favorite part was the pieces of the Formulae for Going Forth by Day, or the Book of the Dead.
Today started out with a visit to the British Museum. We first went through the world famous Egyptian exhibit, then Greece and Rome, Sutton Hoo, a peat bog, Assyria, and then back to Greece.
Double decker bus selfie!!!
19 May 2018
After dinner, we strolled back to Trafalgar Square and day by the fountain for half an hour. The sun setting light was truly beautiful, and people watching in the square was fun, especially the Chelsea football fans. I wanted to clim and sit up on one of the lions, but after watching people get yelled at by the police for sitting on it, the desire lessened.
Dinner was remarkable!!! We went to a pizzeria, and I got a warm goat cheese salad and rosè wine. My salad was spectacular; it had potatoes! I’m definitely going to try to recreate it, maybe slightly altered, back in the states.
Stonehenge was marvelous!! Even walking around it, without being able to go in, was remarkable because I’ve wanted to go since my AP art history class. While walking around the stones they looked big, but it was surprising to me that I thought they’d be bigger.
In the bus on the way to Stonehenge, we went through a little village with some buildings with thatched roofs and the little jail cell. It can hold up to 6 people and was also used to keep meat cool.
Leaving Bath, we saw the most amazing scenic view of the city and also a game of cricket. Is there anything more British?
after walking through the Roman baths, we grabbed lunch at the Pump Room, possibly one of the fanciest places I have eaten in. I had beetroot smoked salmon and apple and elderberry sparkling cider. It was delicious!!
The Roman baths were amazing!!! Although it seemed smaller that what I had always imagined in my head. If I could time travel, one of my stops would definitely be at a Roman bathhouse! Also, though very dirty, the water was beautiful!!
The cathedral in Bath, right next to the Roman baths!
Bay Decorade (?) bombings during 1942 were aimed at places like Bath, with no military or political powers, but instead with historical importance. The Frances hotel, the fanciest in Bath, was hit directly.
The river Avon (river river) that runs through Bath.
Royal Victoria Park and Crescent, one of the most exclusive places to live in Bath, with a 2.5 bedroom apartment selling for 3.3 million pounds. Named after a visit from Princess Victoria.
In Queen square, built in the 1700s. The stone column is to commemorate Prince Fredrick of Wales
Most buildings in Bath, or aquae sulis in Latin are made if Ulitic(?) limestone. It is also the third most popular city in England for students who come from abroad and then stay after graduation to live there...
Bath’s horse racing track paddock
Old wall, built without mortar
ENGLISH COWS!!!! 😍😂😄
Hamlet = a few buildings with a gas station
Village = a few buildings with a gas station and a church
Town = a few buildings with a gas station and a church and a market square
City = a few buildings with a gas station and a church and a market square and a cathedral
That’s Wales way out there in the distance, those hills.
So we’ve been on the bus about an hour, on the way to Bath. I’m very excited to visit the Roman baths, smithing thing I’ve always wanted to do. Also, our tour guide for the day, Allen, has suggested somethings for lunch, and I’m looking forward to having tea with clotted cream in a scone.
Yesterday was incredible! We got to see Hampton Court, one of the palaces is the royal family, including Henry VIII. We also got to see Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Buildings of Parliament, which were all wonderful. I believe though that Westminster Abbey was my favorite, just because I really love gothic cathedrals and Romanesque churches. For dinner we went to a French cafè, which was wonderful!! And then the best part of of the day; we got to see a play! The Play that Goes Wrong by the Mischief Theater Company. It was absolutely hysterical!
18 May 2018
Some pictures I forgot to post yesterday; the Wembley Stadium lit up, (it was the day before the FA Cup Final) and some pictures from the play. Apparently it’s a thing in London to get ice cream during the intermission of a play, which is a wonderful tradition we should adopt in the US, and a picture of me with one of my favorite characters from the play, Cecil aka Ceckle. He was wonderful.
During the preshow of A Play That Goes Wrong
Does anyone here have a dog?”
“Oh, great then where is he?”
“Back in America”
“I can’t tell you how useless that is to me”
Later in the preshow, to another group
“Are any of you American?”
I bought tea!! Camomile and ginger spice loose leaf!! They also have a tea that is 95% similarity to the tea that was thrown into the Boston harbor (a mix of oolong and green teas); it was fun as an American to have that conversation with the nice Brit behind the counter!!
Dinner at Cafè Rouge; a portobello mushroom croque, fries, and Chardonnay! Very good!!!!!
Another stop in the bus tour; Westminster Abbey and Parliament! We learned that there a ton(!!!) if people in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the British version of parliament. We also saw the statues of lots of people, Martian Luther King Jr. (whose actually on Westminster Abbey), Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, and Millicent Fawcett, a suffragette.
More pictures of Parliament!!
More pictures of Westminster Abbey. It’s dedicated to St. Paul, and is the burial place of Princess Diana, among many others.
More pictures of Victoria Fountain
Another stop on our bus tour (after learning about and driving by Harrods), at Buckingham Palace. We got to stop and take pictures and learn about Victoria Fountain.
Before our bus store, we took a quick bathroom break in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and right above the reception desk there was a beautiful chandelier.
In our free time at Hampton Court, we went through the maze!! I got us to the middle, and we went passed the exit about three times before we left lol!
The pictures I took in Hampton Court, all the rest are on my camera! I really enjoyed our visit, especially in the chapel. I really love places and European churches, do this was a really fun tour for me!
Our tour of Hampton Court was lead by this gentleman in a charming coat, Keith. It was a lovely tour, and I wish I could remember more of the information, but sadly all the names are the same and blur together in my mind.
A small lunch after a tour of Hampton Court of sea salt and malt vinegar chips and pear and elder berry lemonade! Both A+
Wembley from Wemble’s Lea. Wembley was a warlord who had a settlement, or lea, in this area
After a lovely breakfast of bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and Greek yogurt with berries. I also tried black pudding. Turns out I’m not a fan. We got on the bus with Keith, our tour guide, owner of a wonderful yellow jacket, and, according to Alec, a “bastard of knowledge.”
17 May 2018
For all that today was exhausting after the flight, it was a really great first day. Hopefully by now I’ll be tired enough that the jet lag doesn’t matter and I can get a goodnights sleep. I really enjoyed all the things we did today; especially learning about St. Paul’s Cathedral and how it was treated during WWII. I had expected the feel of London to be more similar to Vienna or Munich, but it makes sense now how London doesn’t feel as old - because it’s a mix of Georgian, Victorian, neoclassical, post WWII, and modern buildings.
The Millennium Bridge aka the Wobbly Bridge, was made at the turn of the century, hence the name. It was one of many projects, including the London Eye, that was supposed to showcase the great style and engineering of the future. Unfortunately, it gets the name Wobbly for being very unsteady during the opening and as a result, has to closed for a year and a half.
The bridge and street below were such a pretty view during dinner, fish and chips!
St. Paul’s Cathedral; one place in London that was untouched after the blitz and WWII. It was perceived by Churchill to by a symbol of hope for the people. He even had a special fire brigade stationed 24/7 on the roof to use sand to put out fires from bombs.
The Tate Modern Art Museum is built out of an old coal burning plant; the very tall brick buildings are smoke stacks. On the 10th floor, there is a viewing deck that edges the whole building.
Here’s the remake of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. The original burnt down in the great fire of London in 1666, but this o e was built a bit away from the original area in the 1980s. It couldn’t be built where it stood originally because the building last around had been listed, meaning that they can’t be taken down or changed. It is also one if the only buildings built in this specific style; the thatched roof and timber frame were made illegal building materials after the fire to help reduce the risk for more in the future. However, the rebuild Globe had gotten special permission to use them.
Old rose window
Thee are so many more double decker buses here than I expected!
It’s a wonderful day for a waking tour, which we’ll start in about 10 minutes. We got to stop for lunch in an open air market, and the smells!!!! And the food!!! I got a meat pie with goat milk and sweet potato and spinach and it was amazing. Also it cane with mash and vegetarian gravy, which was wonderful. Also a sweetheart smoothie, with spirulina in it. And there were lots of pretty pigeons.
My first ever ride on the tube, in London or anywhere else!!! Gotta remember to not be a “nice, Northern American!”
Our hotel is pretty nice; we’re just chilling here before we get our oyster cards(!) and get to ride in the tube!!! Also, cell phones are mobiles and texts are sms’.
Driving to our hotel, and there’s Wembley Stadium, right next to our hotel.
This is such a long line and I am so bored.
We’ve been in this line so long.
How bad is it if me to be listening to the conversation of the people behind me?
We’re so much closer but still so far. Will we ever escape?
WE MADE IT!! Out of the line, through border patrol (I got a stamp, yay!), and through customs, and my energy levels and happiness levels have receded from the abyss!!!!
“Two men just pulled up in a truck that’s says engineering; they have a tool bag”- Our Captain, as we wait for the tool-bag-truck-men to make repairs to the jet bridge
“Looks like they’re brining manual stairs”- Captain
“We’re going to deplane using the stairs and take buses to the arrival area”- Captain
About to go down the stairs manually... is it weird how excited I am for this?
To the couple sitting next to me on the bus: thank you for making my first interaction with Brits so wonderful!! I hope you get your poached eggs and toast and thanks for embracing the fact that “sleep is for wusses!”
My very first view of England all the way down there. We just got an update from the crew that we’re about 45 minutes away from landing and we’re starting our decent! ps on a plane to another country and we gat “Colorado fresh” yogurt for breakfast lol pps they drive on the other side of the road, can you tell from the picture?
16 May 2018
On the plane to London!!!!! I’m soooo hungry! Thank goodness we get dinner on this flight, and even breakfast before we land! At least I’ve got a snack!
We’ve made it to my least favorite airport in Atlanta, Georgia!!! At least we got to ride the plane train to get to our gate, and don’t have a long layover. Next stop: London-Heathrow!!!!
We made it onto the plane! 😆
Our trip has officially started!! After spending the night in Omaha, we, Katelyn, Mackensie, and I, are in the Epply airport, which I know isn’t a super tiny airport, but it is in my mind! There’s only two small concourses, and not any underground trains. For a person used to DIA, it’s a tiny airport.