London has come and gone so swiftly. We experienced a historic vote, iconic sights, stately buildings, magnificent castles, informative museums, local restaurants, afternoon teas, pints of cider, and pure adventure. Not only did the four of us traveling dancers see the sights within London, we also managed to venture outside the center city. Each day brought us a different taste of London and English life.
I found myself comparing London to both NYC and Paris. I don’t see myself running away to London, like I would Paris, but I adored learning about the country’s history, traditions and sense of pride. These three major cities share an explosive tourist industry and iconic sights, however London felt much like the United States. But, let me tell you, the direction of the traffic was extremely bizarre as a pedestrian and still hard to adjust to after a week. We will certainly not be driving in England or Ireland!
I feel privileged to have visited the United Kingdom’s center during a historical event – one of its most important votes. In the days leading up to the vote, I noticed a scattering of signs and protestors in the streets. On the morning of the results, the air was tense.
From an objectives point of view, the undeniable stress of the split vote seemed to take a toll on the citizens of London. Liz took a run along the Thames that morning and witnessed the reporters facing the Parliament broadcasting the news live on air, while Matt went to a coffee shop and heard the locals chatting about its effects over their morning brew. Carli and I were glued to the morning news as David Cameron announced his resignation live on 10 Downing Street, where we were the day prior. We really lived through this moment in England’s history and I will never forget it.
Picnic at St. James with our luggage, met my cousin Ioana at her flat, enjoyed a Pimm’s cocktail on the Lambeth floating boat bar, walked along Thames River by the London Eye, Doghouse dinner
Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Chapel & later Abbey, Big Ben, House of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, Prince of Wales local pub
Brexit vote results announced, Tate Britain, all met for at Momo for our Moroccan-inspired afternoon tea, shopped around Soho, Taming of the Shrew play at Shakespeare Globe, dinner at the Borough Market’s fish!
Imperial War Museum, traffic at Gay Pride near Trafalgar Square, Victoria & Albert Museum, made our home-made Icelandic spaghetti, early night
Mass at St. Paul, Tate Modern, Bloomsbury Hotel afternoon tea, Covent Garden, Royal Opera House, Kensington Park (Princess Diana Memorial & sculpture park)
Lipton event at Barbican Conservatory that Ioana art directed, changing of the guard & visit Windsor Castle, (ran into my friend Taylor), Wimbledon (free tickets to Court No. 1 match, had champagne, strawberries & cream), The Tommyfields for dinner (England vs. Iceland football game)
Bus tour to Bath & Stonehenge, walked through Harrods, a rainy walk through Brick Lane, Pho dinner in Shoreditch
Breakfast at Ginger & White, walked through Hamstead Heath, visited Kenwood House, transport to Gatwick airport to Ireland.