We went to London for the day. We started it off by going to see St. Paul’s cathedral, which was amazing! I looked at how long the aisle was in awe. I could not believe that Princess Diana walked down the whole thing!
The most touching part was the American chapel honoring all of our fallen men in WWII who served in the U.K. It was beautiful with eagles and a book that had all the names, and the page gets turned every day.
We then went and ate lunch at the park. That was a lot of fun because we are still meeting everyone. The lunch was box sandwiches (with prawn on them – sick!) and chips (some were steak-flavored) – overall it was not the best meal ever.
Then we went to the British Museum. We did not get halfway through it before they kicked us out because the workers were going on strike. The strike lasted only 45 minutes, but it was just long enough to keep us from getting to see the rest of it.
Then we went to the Tower of London. It was a little morbid to see the place where people were executed, including Anne Boleyn. There is also a room that has carvings of the prisoners on the wall. The best part by far was the crown jewels. I have never seen anything so beautiful. The septor has the biggest diamond in the world on it. The coronation crown is massive and covered in amazing jewels! We were looking at pieces of history that have been used or worn by many members of the royal family.
Afterward we went on a riverboat cruise along the Thames River. We all danced to the ridiculous music the DJ played; Britney Spears and the Spice Girls. It was cool because I don’t think you will ever see those people intermingling that way again. The last 15 minutes were just singing and dancing along, and everyone was on the dance floor. It was cool because for a minute everyone forgot what sorority and fraternity everyone was in or whether they were wearing designer clothes and just had a great time together. Not to mention that the House of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye were lit up at night and beautiful from the river!
On Saturday I opted to stay in Oxford. Saturday was a good day because it was the first time I had a couple of hours to just chill. That night we went to a nice dinner at Bella Italia, which was the first time I have been full on the trip. Then we went to Chequers (a pub). If you are looking for a place to have one drink and sit around and talk, this place was perfect. We went home about 11 because that’s when the pubs close.
On Sunday I went to church at St. Aldates again. I like the sense of community there, even if it is really charismatic. This Sunday a man spoke in tongues, which is definitely not something I have ever heard, so it was interesting.
As far as classes go, I feel that they give us a lot of homework, for as busy as they keep us – the tutorial paper once a week, then lots of reading, but it is definitely manageable. The three-hour classes are pretty miserable in the morning, but then you have the whole day to do whatever you want.