Sorry it’s been so long! Our fall break took up these past two weeks, and I’ve been trekking around the whole continent trying to see as much as possible: London, Greece, Prague, Munich, Fussen and Frankfurt! I’ll start with London:
London was, to say the least, impressive. So much to do and see – you could stay there for a month and not get the whole effect. However, I was going to give it a valiant effort: I made it to the Texas Embassy, the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge, the Imperial War Museum, the House of Lords, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum (that houses the Rosetta Stone), New Scotland Yard, St. James Park, saw a play, and, of course, had fish and chips and took one of those cheesy pictures in a telephone booth (a tourist must). Most importantly, I had a Dr Pepper and almost fainted from relief (they don’t have my favorite drink in Spain!).
The Texas Embassy is a Tex-Mex restaurant on the site of the original Texas Embassy back when we were our own country. It made me pretty proud, and they even had an SMU flag inside! Plus, that was the first chili con queso dip I have had in nearly three months.
As an English major, I enjoyed seeing the extensive literary history everywhere I went. In Westminster Abbey there is a “Poets’ Corner” to honor British authors; Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, and Ben Jonson are all buried there. Also, ironically, Charles Darwin is buried in the cathedral. The Globe Theatre was also pretty amazing, even though it is not the original as the Globe burned down multiple times during Shakespeare’s time. Still, getting to see the balcony where all the Romeo and Juliet history was made was very cool.
Despite the literary side of the city, London is filled with sites and artifacts hundreds of years older than even the first thoughts of the United States. The Tower of London is one such place – it is hard to picture a time of kings and queens, when people used “the rack” to torture and the guillotine to chop off the heads of naughty wives (Anne Boleyn was executed in the front yard!). The best part BY FAR was getting to see the Crown Jewels; I had to circle the exhibit three times to fully inspect the awe-inspiring jewels. Rocks as big as my palm just stuck onto the side of a crown, I cannot even imagine how strong a neck had to be able to support it! I would love a chance to try on one of those solid gold beauties, though.
More soon, I promise! It is hard to convey the amazing things I’m getting the chance to see, but I am definitely going to give it a try!