From the first step off the plane at Heathrow to the last step back to Georgia, London has been an experience like none I’ve ever had before. It has been a mix of exhausting, exciting, stressful, and fun all at the same time.
So many things in London are different from America. I never would have known exactly how different people and culture could be without experiencing it first hand. It didn’t take very long to realize that southern hospitality actually exists and isn’t just a myth, and I’ll appreciate it much more now. I’ll also appreciate having my own car and being able to drive where ever I want whenever I want instead of having to plan trips through the tube. The tube was terrifying at first but after a little bit it became much easier to understand. However I’ll probably never understand why they don’t put ice in their drinks here or what the appeal of sparkling water is.
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My favorite experience by far in London was the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. I got to put myself inside the world of Harry Potter in the place that it was filmed, which is a once in a lifetime type of experience. I also enjoyed going to Greenwich and standing across the Prime Meridian. Greenwich is so green and pretty and it’s so much easier to breathe there than in the center of London.
Throughout this whole trip I walked all over London, got lost way more than once, and pushed my navigational skills to their limits, but the experience (and the instagram pictures) was so worth it. I walked 115,739 steps, 51.11 miles, and climbed 119 flights of stairs through London. It was so exhausting and I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed, but I’m so happy I did it.
In our large group activity of the morning we were able to experience the iconic Globe Theater. The tour explained the history of the theater and how this reconstruction allowed Shakespeare’s plays to be performed as they were intended. The one thing that stuck out during the tour was that the push for the reconstruction of the theater in London came from an American. One other interesting things that we were told is that the there was a second indoor theater attached to the Globe that allowed plays to be performed using candle light. As a group everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Following the tour the group went over to the Borough Market where the diversity of food available was immense. The locals that worked that the sands were very friendly and helpful in deciding which choice of food to make. I tried Indian food for the first time and had a smoothie- both of which were delicious. The atmosphere of the market was one of a kind and showed the diversity of the cultures and foods that are present within London.
Freshly energized with food from the Borough Market, we headed towards the Florence Nightingale Museum. What we thought would be a short walk turned into a 40-minute walk, but we made it there regardless. Though the museum was short, it was really interesting and gave a lot of perspective on nursing and how far it has come. Everything from nursing uniforms to hygiene practices has been influenced by Florence Nightingale and transformed over the years. Florence Nightingale was truly a dedicated and strong-willed woman.
After our journey through Florence Nightingale’s life, we took a boat to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian. We sat on the top level of the boat so we could have the best view London from the river. Greenwich lived up to its name with green grass parks lining the path to the line. The Prime Meridian was at the top of a hill that tested every ounce of our willpower, but it was worth the climb.