A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: flame1985

Kew Gardens


View Study Abroad on flame1985's travel map.

I went to Kew Gardens today with Gabriella and Frances. I've been meaning to go ever since our science professor mentioned it in class, and since this is our last weekend (sniff) I figured it was about time to get off my lazy butt and go. The reason it has taken so long for me to go is that it closes as 4 in the winter and is an hour-long tube ride away, which means we had to wake up early. It turned out to be worth it, though. We started in a greenhouse with tropical plants and a mini aquarium downstairs. It was nice and warm compared to the outside; my camera lens fogged up because of the humidity. We took lots of plant pictures and watched a walking fish. Then we went to another greenhouse with cacti and carnivorous plants, among other things. We also spent time wacthing ducks on the pond and walking through a rock garden. We found some plants nicknamed "felted pepperface" and "monkey puzzle" and decided that botanists must have tons of fun insulting each other. We stopped by the gift shop, then ran back outside because we spotted a peacock chillin' by the window. It was a lovely day, except for the bloody goose head we saw in this fox's mouth on our way out.

Kew Gardens Greenhouse

Kew Gardens Greenhouse

Kew Gardens Peacock

Kew Gardens Peacock

Kew Gardens Plant

Kew Gardens Plant

Fox with Goose

Fox with Goose

Posted by flame1985 16:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Parliment, Westminster Abbey, etc., etc.


View Study Abroad on flame1985's travel map.

Today was, well, busy. I started off the morning at Parliment with my politics class. We took a tour, which was alternately really cool and super boring. Armitage answered the first few questions from the tour guide before the rest of us (because he's British and we're not, duh), so the guide kept picking on him the rest of the tour, which Armitage did not appreciate. Then Armitage took us across the street to Saint Margaret's Church at Westminster Abbey to see where Sir Walter Raleigh is buried. After that I went inside Westminster Abbey. All of the tombs were alternately impressive and depressing.

Parliament across the Thames

Parliament across the Thames

Big Ben

Big Ben

Nelson's Column

Nelson's Column

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

I got some lunch, took some obligatory photos of Parliment and the cathedral, and somehow ended up in Trafalgar Square. It's funny how the more I randomly roam around the city, the smaller it seems. Anyway, I went into the National Gallery for a bit. Most of it was boring, but they had a special exhibit of big impressionist painters in one wing, so I got to see a bunch of stuff by Monet, Manet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, and others in one spot, which pretty much made my day.

After that, I got tea and a scone at St. Martin in the Fields (I know I've done it before, but I figure I can't go down the street for tea and a scone much longer!). Then I found my way to Piccadilly Circus and shopped around for a bit. It was a very eventful day. And now I must go start on one of the twenty-seven papers I have due next week. Sigh.

Posted by flame1985 16:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Thanksgiving


View Study Abroad on flame1985's travel map.

Thanksgiving was amazing. We started out the day by putting on a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Armitage decided that we had not seen enough Shakespeare productions this semester to satisfy him, so we put on a reading of our own. I got to play Titania, the fairy queen. Since this is an honors program and we are all nerds for coming here, we went all out with our set and costumes. We even had an audience of friends and families who were visiting for Thanksgiving break.

Lines

Lines

Decorating

Decorating

Costumes

Costumes

Donkey

Donkey

Then we all almost fell asleep during politics class.

Then we went out for Thanksgiving dinner! Professor Armitage made us reservations at a pub, the name and location of which he kept a secret until after our production that morning. The food was very good (turkey, steaks, and even an onion tart for me). We had appetizers, a main course, dessert, and coffee, which the program paid for. It was a nice alternative to having to cook in our flats. Armitage also got us all Christmas crackers, so we all got paper crowns and toys to play with while waiting for our dessert. Then we all walked home together singing every pop song we could think of at the top of our lungs. It was an odd way to spend Thanksgiving, but something we'll all remember.

Posted by flame1985 16:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Deutschland!


View Study Abroad on flame1985's travel map.

My trip to Germany started with me staying all night in the airport. I didn't especially want to pay for a taxi to take me to the bus station at 2am (partly due to my fear of riding in taxis), so I took the tube at midnight instead. I took the bus to the airport and arrived at around 2am. Check-in for most flights didn't start until 4:30, but I was far from alone. I had no idea how many people would be there, sleeping in front of check-in desks and under the big television screens. Everyone started waking up around 3:30 and I checked in a little after the desk opened. I slept on the plane, but was exhausted the whole day anyway. Lilly came to meet me at the airport because she is just that awesome.

We ended up taking about five different buses before finding our way to Potsdam. Lilly kept asking people which buses and trains to take. They would answer to both of us and I would just nod my head pretending like I understood them. Then Lilly would translate for me after they left. It was a good system we had going.

In Potsdam we went to Sanssouci Park. Apparently some feudal lord (whose name escapes me) had all this land and built a palace for each one of his wives so that they would never have to meet. I don't know how successful his strategy was at keeping his secret, but after walking all around the park, I'd say it's possible never to run into your neighbor. The park was huge and we had fun taking photos of the palaces and each other.

Sanssouci Palace

Sanssouci Palace

Bridge over Reflecting Pool

Bridge over Reflecting Pool

Saturday, Lilly showed me around Cottbus, the city where she is studying. It was nice, but deserted on weekends, so we didn't stick around long. We went to Berlin for the afternoon. We spent quite a bit of time in a cathedral called the Berliner Dom. We climbed to the top and walked around the dome to get a beautiful view of the city at sunset. We also got to see a fountain with a sculpture of Neptune, a fancy car showcase, Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag (parliment kind of building), and eat yummy pretzels!

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Reichstag

Reichstag

Sunday we spent in Desden, which was, unfortunately, colder than Berlin had been. We walked down a row of trees decorated with Christmas stars, saw a bunch of churches (from the outside), warmed up inside a mall with some coffee, braved the cold again to see more churches, passed a Christmas market (complete with signs and lights, but no stalls), warmed up inside a gift shop, saw more churches, and warmed up inside a restaurant with an ice cream Mickey Mouse.

Dresden

Dresden

The Great Wave

The Great Wave

Giant Snowman

Giant Snowman

Catching my flight back to London was a bit stressful. I had been using Lilly's friend's student ID to ride the trains for free. Lilly and I got on the train, but she forgot her ID, so she got kicked off and had to take her friend's ID with her. They didn't check tickets again, so I was okay until I had to switch trains. I got my ticket at the next station easily enough. The man didn't speak English, so I showed him the paper with my schedule. He said "Cottbus?" and I said "No". Then he said "Oh, Schonefeld" and I said "Oui," because I figured any foreign language was better than English. It was only €2,30, which was the last of my euros. After that I accidentally left the station in the wrong direction. It wasn't until a few stops later that I realized it and I got out. The problem was that this train to the airport only ran once an hour and the next one was going to be cutting it very close. I got on the next train back, but I didn't have a ticket for the first four stops and I didn't have any money left to buy another ticket. So when the woman checking the tickets came around I hid in the bathroom until we got back to the station that I bought my ticket at. Then she came to check my ticket and told me something about how I should have validated it, but I didn't understand her. Then she got out her translation book and I thought I would be in trouble. She asked me where I was going and when I said the airport she said "okay" and left. The train arrived at the airport at about 8:50, so I only had five minutes left to check in. I ran to the terminal. The large tv screens said my flight was done checking in and was now boarding. The only Ryanair desk I saw said "Dublin", so I stood there for a few seconds waiting to talk to the people behind the desk. Then I turned around and saw the London desk behind me just as they turned off their sign. They were just closing, but the woman was nice and let me check in. The rest of my trip went well. I spent it sleeping and laughing about how I almost got standed in Germany.

A lot of my weekend was spent reminising about camp on our train rides to the city and back. The cities were beautiful, clean, and not very crowded. It was the perfect break from London. I fell in love with Germany and can't wait to go back!

Posted by flame1985 16:00 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Tower of London


View Study Abroad on flame1985's travel map.

The Tower of London was a fun little field trip. We got to go on a tour with the Beefeaters, see the buildings where Walter Raleigh and Guy Fawkes were held, see exhibits on torture, and see a 41 gun salute celebrating the opening of Parliment. As fun as it all was, my favorite part was really just getting a chance to take lots of photos of old buildings.

Beefeater Special Occasion Suit

Beefeater Special Occasion Suit

Cannon

Cannon

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Posted by flame1985 16:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 30) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 »