February went by so fast and SO much happened during these 28 days! For the exceptionally long posts, I've decided to make separate posts for them and will include links if you want to read more! So without further ado, here is a summary of my second month in London:
STONEHENGE + BATH
Our class took a day field trip out to Stonehenge, and it was VERY cold and foggy! The stones themselves were actually not as big as I pictured in my head, but still an impressive prehistoric monument from the Neolithic period dating back to 3000BC. Researchers are still unsure what the stones were meant for, but many suspect they were used as burial grounds.
The circle is aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the opposing sunrise of the summer solstice.
After Stonehenge we made our way to the town of Bath, named after the baths built from the Romans in the valley of river Avon. It was a very lovely city with Georgian architecture, and here we visited the Royal Crescent, the Circus, along with the baths and pump rooms in Bath Abbey.
The Royal Crescent
Windowless panes were common for those who didn't want to get taxed on having windows.
The clouds parted for a lovely sunset before we left that day.
SKETCH AFTERNOON TEA
Since there are many cheaper options for afternoon tea, I would say this is the place to go for their unique pink room and bathrooms. Just make sure to make a reservation before coming!
The left and right staircase leads you to the men's and women's room (respectively). The middle is the bar.
Inside their cups had the words "Forget about it."
We had Earl Grey, Chai, Rose, and Vanilla tea, and while all were good, the Chai tea was very aromatic and my personal favorite. The truffle croque-monsieur, and their chocolate cake also stood out for me from the rest of the pastries and sandwiches.
They also had quirky sketches on their walls that I found very amusing:
I made a separate post you can check outhere (just watch out for the food puns). ;)
BBC BIRMINGHAM + CADBURY WORLD
Our program took us on a tour of the BBC Birmingham Studio where we learned about the different shows that are produced on-site, what goes into making those shows, as well as how the studios are set up. Click on each image to learn more about how things work in the studio.
At the end of the tour I participated in a radio drama show where I created the sounds for the characters that were invited to a spooky house using props like shoes on gravel to mimic walking/running, glass clinking, and shaking rubber gloves to mimic the sounds of flying bats. If you're thinking of going into Broadcast Journalism, I would highly recommend this tour as it was very informative!
Afterwards we went to Cadbury World, where I felt like I was in a sea of little children hyped up on chocolate. I would go here if you absolutely LOVE milk chocolate. For me, even though I love chocolate, it was a little too much to handle.
In the middle of the month, I took an afternoon trip to catch up with a couple of high-school friends that I have not seen in a while! Both Ben and Lauren are studying in Cambridge (Lauren studying abroad for one semester), and Catalina visited from Oxford where she is studying abroad for one semester as well. I explored around the streets and inside a couple of shops before seeing them for dinner.
Cambridge Satchel Co.
Corpus Christi College.
We got dinner at La Margherita before I had to catch the train back to London.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME
Probably one of my favorite plays I’ve seen so far. Christopher (the protagonist) has an extraordinary brain and is exceptional at maths, but interprets everyday life differently than how a regular person would. The inner dialogue he has with himself and his professor showed great insight to how he processed his thoughts, and it was humorous to see the police and general public react to his unintentional witty remarks and abnormal actions. The use of graphics and projections on the stage, as well as body movements of the other actors cleverly portrayed the environment around Christopher and showed how he felt internally. For example, when he arrives in London, the amount of glitches and loud sounds in the tube as well as how he walked sideways along the walls showed how intense the tube was for him, and it was something I related to when riding the tube myself (especially during rush hour).
The play ended with the cutest puppy that Christopher gets from his dad as a sign of forgiveness, and him passing his A-level math exam with an A*. If people stayed after the curtain call, as promised by the professor, Christopher showed us how to solve the math question for his exam, and the play officially ended with confetti falling from the ceiling.
Unlike Borough Market that's all food, Camden Market has food but also a wide range of everything from medieval gadgets, trance and cyber accessories, statement jewelry pieces, vintage clothing from any time period, and the list goes on.
Cyberdog: For your futuristic clothing.
The next photo was the central location where I had a delicious wrap at The Grilling Greek, and will come back for hand-made pasta cooked in a huge wheel of cheese atThe Cheese Wheel.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
We saw the "You Say You Want a Revolution?" exhibition at the V+A museum, learning about how music, fashion, and politics in the late 1960s affected each other and changed the way we live today. The exhibition included handwritten lyrics from The Beatles and their outfits, old footage of Twiggy, written correspondents between the military during the Vietnam War, a simulation room of the 1969 Woodstock festival, and more.
Hand written lyrics of The Beatles "Help."
BURBERRY MAKERS HOUSE
You can check the post here to see the amazing designs from the Burberry Spring 2017 collection.
Along with their original songs, the songs they played were a mix of current pop songs on the radio, older American rock bands like Blink 182, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Killers, as well as indie rock bands like Florence and the Machine, and even the opening song from The Lion King. The visuals that went along with the music were bold angsty visuals like cartoons putting up the middle finger and sticking its tongue out, whereas others visuals had the psychedelic quality which included the use of abstract fractals, rich colors, distortions, and pattern repetition.
Nick Martin: The opening act
From time to time fire would appear and firework sparks from above would come down.
Marrissa and I were near the front of the crowd, but there was surprisingly no pushing or shoving involved. Everyone respected the space around them and just bobbed their heads up and down, putting their hands up in the air when Alex or Drew shouted to, and swayed back and forth to their music.
Westminster Abbey was our final London Highlights Tour this month, and it was amazing to be able to stand in the exact spot where the current Queen was crowned 60+ years ago; I kept comparing it to the scenes from The Crown (if you haven't watched it yet, I would highly recommend it!). We also walked the exact path Kate Middleton walked for her wedding, and although we weren't able to take pictures inside the church, it was amazing to know that it has and will serve as the church for Royal Coronations of past, present and future Kings and Queens, their marriages, as well as their burial site. We also walked though poets corner and scientists corner where many notable scientists and writers were buried, including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, and more.
Outside the church where monks resided over 1000 years ago.
OTHER FAVORITES THIS MONTH
For their Matcha Zenzai (I really missed red bean, and their red bean paste hit the spot)!
For their red velvet cake.
For their pear and honey hand cream.
For their chai tea donut with a chai custard filling, chai glaze, and chopped pistachios (In case you can't tell, I LOVE chai).
CENTRAL STREET CAFE
For THE BEST avocado and fluffiest scrambled egg toast. They also have an amazing work environment, and they donate all proceeds to help feed hundreds of elderly Islingtonians in need each year. This is my favorite cafe I’ve been to so far. Just make sure to come in the morning before it gets super busy around lunch time!
THE BLUES KITCHEN
For your American BBQ cravings, and amazing live R&B music.
It was after this month where I realized that there was just so much to do and too little time! Either way, thanks London for an amazing February!
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