With sore legs and lots of pride, it was time to start another work week. With another book in hand, I welcomed another morning ride on public transport. Monday melted by its usual fashion, but Tuesday seemed promising because the Assistant Dean of BU’s College of Communication was visiting us in London. I rushed home from work with dinner in mind. Assistant Dean Sabovik treated us to dinner at the Queen’s Arms as we discussed scheduling for the spring semester. The bomb was dropped: In a few short weeks, we were to return from this experience and go about our previously normal lives. Lives vacant of cultural experiences, day trips, accents, and steak and ale pies. Not only did we have to worry about scheduling, but residence assignments needed to be reserved as well as several issues waiting for us back home.
The one dose of home that I can’t wait for is my parents’ upcoming visit to London. I am excited for them because this is also their first time in the UK. Although my internship will severely eat into the time that we could spend together, I know that they will enjoy themselves thoroughly.
THE WEEKEND IS HERE! Saturday was going to be the beginning of the weekend. We decided to tackle the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square first. Clad with sub-par street performers and large monuments, Trafalgar Square is the tourist trap that it appears to be. Fortunately, the National Gallery is the diamond in the rough. In our very practical way, KJ and I decided to tackle this mammoth museum in chronological order. Over the next few hours, we glossed through the artistic works from the 14th Century to the present. We were able to see Picasso, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, and other greats. One of the coolest things about the museum was the photography exhibit. Through this medium, contemporary artists attempted to recreate the classic works of these painters. After a 4-hour browse, we headed off to the Sherlock Holmes pub for dinner. With a name like that, we should have known that the pub would be saturated with tourists. Now that we have been here for so long, I think we have the authority to separate ourselves from tourists. We decided to forfeit the idea and go with an inexpensive favorite: Wahaca. There isn’t a better place in London for Mexican Food than Wahaca.
Afterwards, we decided to visit the London Tea and Coffee Festival on the South Bank of the Thames. A lovely walk was accompanied by dozens of tents housing various homegrown, organic, better-than-ever hot beverages. We also didn’t mind the various baked treats that were nestled in between the beverage tents. Upon our browsing session, we happened upon a tent set up by Rosie Lee Teas. They were armed with an adorable little girl, free samples, and a quality product. We didn’t stand a chance. The owner told us that the name of the company originated from the Cockneys. These natives spoke a rhyming language that honestly makes no sense to me at all. In this case, Rosie Lee means “cup of tea” because it rhymes. After trying their peppermint tea, I was convinced that this tea was heavenly and that every cup of tea should be called a Rosie Lee. As a result, I found the perfect gift for my grandmother. I’d say that was a successful day out.
We were changed with the duty of rising early the next morning for another day trip run by BU. Today’s journey was to Dover and Canterbury. A rainy morning didn’t gave the impression that the mood of the day would follow. The weather at Dover Castle didn’t feel like convincing us otherwise. Wind and rain pushed us away from its gates, but we proceeded inside of its walls regardless. After getting bumped from the tour of the secret WWII tunnels, Christina and I decided to ascend the Great Tower to the roof of Dover Castle to take in the beautiful view. I can honestly say that it has been a while since I have seen that much green…and seeing the coast of France was pretty cool too. Gale-force winds aided us in leaving as if to Mother Nature’s bodyguard. We weren’t willing to leave without a proper photo of the White Cliffs that we have heard so much about.
After the photo-op of a lifetime, we departed for Canterbury. Our empty stomachs led us to the pub for lunch instead of the guided tour of the cathedral that our guide was so adamant about showing us. Instead, we were able to sit down and chat about our scheduling woes, the prospect of being on our way back home soon. All thoughts like this should be eradicated and burned. We decided to enjoy our time in Canterbury and marvel at the cathedral. Another successful weekend convinced us that enjoying our time here would be smarter than thinking about back home.