dear london | week two

Happy Monday!!

Since I’ve double-posted extremely long posts about my company and cultural recaps, I thought it was time to interject with another photo diary of my second week in London. Here it goes!

A few girls and I headed to the Victoria & Albert Museum because we heard it was a must-see as well. It was free (as all London art museums are), and a lot bigger than I thought! I wish I had more time to explore but we went at night. I mostly wanted to see the fashion exhibit anyway!

IMG_1804

The entrance of V&A – doesn’t it remind you of Chihuly in Seattle?

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Beautiful gowns from the fashion exhibit.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

A quick trip to Harrod‘s, where basically Qatar royalty shops! This is the Miu Miu area.

IMG_1818

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful, until me and a few girls headed to Edinburgh, Scotland! We headed out really early one morning from King’s Cross Station (too bad I didn’t sit in a compartment coach like Harry does on his way to Hogwarts). I stayed at The Castle Rock Hostel, which I’d say is a great location but I had the worst experience due to opting for a 12-person, mixed dorm situation. Yikes.

IMG_1849

The beautiful street called Circus Place!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Of course we stopped for a photo op!

IMG_1925Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Pretty views from Edinburgh Old Town.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Last breakfast at Southern Cross Cafe – highly recommend! I ordered a cappuccino and the eggs royale.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Making our way to the Alnwick Castle, where part of the first Harry Potter movie was filmed! We hiked through so much farm land because we missed the bus that wasn’t going to come for another hour. The Blair Witch Trials, much??

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Made it!! Stopped by for some broom lessons, lol. Notice how short the broomstick is – obviously targeted for kids.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

IMG_2113

After my weekend in Edinburgh (which I highly recommend, but bring very warm clothes), me and a few girls on the program bought tickets to go see The Book of Mormon! It was extremely hilarious and I found myself dancing in my seat to so many of the numbers. Definitely worth the 48 pounds.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The next day, my program and I went to Cambridge! We had a company visit and then we got to do some fun exploring. We went on a punting tour (think gondolas in Venice). Our punter was very nice (and not bad-looking, too!).

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

A little piece of Venice in Britain!

IMG_2120

Ate a meal at The Punter. Really delicious but pretty expensive for the portion sizes.

That’s all for week two! Stay tuned for my last week of company and cultural visits, and of course the last photo diary.

Cheers,

Jen

Advertisements

britain – week three cultural visits // 07

Hello again!

I hope everyone’s had a wonderful start to the weekend. Today I wanted to recap my trip to the National Theatre in London (when will these London posts be over? The world may never know). The visit was part of the program so we had a wonderful tour guide the entire time. We were forced to wear these neon vests – which were actually quite awful, mind you – but overall it was really interesting. One of the first things our guide talked about was the building itself: it’s right on the water and it’s made of concrete. It doesn’t look the fanciest, but that’s the point: they wanted the theatre to be approachable and a communal space for all of London’s citizens. I thought that was unique and humble of the National Theatre; they didn’t want anything extravagant or exclusive.

We were shown to the theatre’s main stage, the Olivier Theatre (I believe the NT has three theatres total!) It was a huge semi-circular room that seats about 1,000. I thought it was really cool how the stage isn’t more than 118 degrees because that’s the extent of the peripheral vision. The technology of the stage was fascinating to hear about – there’s a revolving drum underneath the stage so that the stage can switch sets quickly during the show if need be. It revolves rapidly and noiselessly, ensuring a fascinating theatre experience. I loved hearing about it!

We also walked through the production part of the National Theatre. We saw people working on set pieces, backdrops, etc. We even got to hold some old pieces like fake food, a mask, and more. Additionally, we saw the Dorfman Theatre, which was much smaller and rectangular-shaped. I thought it was interesting how actors like to be able to see the audience, since growing up as a dancer, I knew I hated seeing the audience while I was performing. It’s interesting to see how the preference is different in theatre.

After the tour, I wasn’t able to see a show, but I did make a quick walk-through of the giftshop, which had a lot of show-branded gifts. Comparing the National Theatre to Shakespeare’s Globe, I have to say it is much more approachable than Shakespeare’s Globe and not as intimidating.

That’s it for the cultural visits from week three!

Thanks for reading,

Jen

dear london | week one

Happy Friday!!

I can’t believe this is my last weekend in London – how the time flies by! I hope you’ve been enjoying my detailed cultural and company visits, I know they’re photo-less, so I thought I’d post my photo-diary from week one in this post. It’s been a whirlwind and I honestly don’t remember a lot, so here it goes:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

High tea @ the Shakespeare’s Globe‘s restaurant, The Swan!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Me & The Little Dancer @ Tate Modern! Fun fact: I went to Paris to the Louvre and totally thought this statue was there – it wasn’t. Since then, I’ve been waiting to come see this statue!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Lunch with my good friend Jo @ Pure.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Our walking tour of London was pretty much focused in the financial district, since our tour guide use to work in finance, haha.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The “Walkie-Talkie”!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Made a trip to the Kensington Gardens!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_1718

The best part about London? All the free museums! Here’s the National Gallery.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Van Gogh’s SunflowersThe National Gallery

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Got some blog posts and work done @ TAP Coffee. Highly recommend. Delicious Eggs Royale before 2:30pm.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Met up with some friends, old and new!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The Big Ben himself –

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

We had to visit 221B Baker Street, of course!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_1763

That’s it for week one in London! I can’t even explain how much fun I’m having with everyone everyday. The relationships I’ve cultivated with some people on my program are going to be truly unforgettable. I can’t wait to share with y’all the photos I have for my second week! Look out for my trip to Edinburgh in the next post as well.

Until then,

Jen

britain – week 2 cultural visits // 05

Hi!

How is everyone’s week going so far? Nearly everyone on my program has caught some sort of cold at this point (except for me!! Who would’ve thought?). Today I want to recap the cultural visits we got to last week. We had a pretty lax week in terms of required sight-seeing, but we did make it out to Greenwich. It’s still considered part of London, but it’s way out on the outskirts, east. When we arrived, we were right on the water and the town itself reminded me a lot of Bath. The main attraction was the ship, Cutty Sark. This ship was a tea clipper in the 1700s and considered one of the fastest (if not the fastest).

We were able to go on the ship (unfortunately, it is no longer mobile). It was pretty much a museum on a ship, but it was huge. It’s crazy to think that people lived on this ship for long periods of time! We walked into a role-play where an actress was talking about the letters that were written – she even roasted one of the students on our program for being 20 years old and wearing a trousers and a cap. It was hilarious!

After visiting the Cutty Sark, we climbed our way to the Royal Observatory. We were warned that it was going to be quite a hike, but it ended up being just fine compared to other heights I’ve climbed this summer. The view was stunning – we could see pretty far out of Greenwich! The museum was fascinating as well because they explained how the time zone, GMT came about (Greenwich Mean Time!!) Because the British traded by sea back in the day, it was really interesting being able to see what kind of technologies they used in order to do so, a lot of which had to be operate-able at sea or astronomically.

One of these technologies include a navigational instrument, which helps find longitude at sea. John Hadley invented the octant that measures up to 90 degrees. Finding longitude requires accurate instruments that can measure the angles between objects in the sky. Of course, this object wasn’t perfect upon creation, so John Bird improved the octant by increasing the size of the scale – the sextant, which can read up to 120 degree angles.

Another helpful device was Harrison’s many timekeepers. The fourth one in particular was based on a watch and not a clock. This was especially helpful because it has high-energy balance and is thus unaffected by the rocky movements of the ship at sea. Prior to the fourth timekeeper, the watch couldn’t be proven to be a conclusive method for finding longitude. Harrison was finally recognized and rewarded in 1765.

The other technological device I found compelling was the the chronometer used at the Royal Observatory to measure temperature. Basically, it runs slow when hot and fast when cold. Over a given time period, people would track its rate of changing temperature and calculate the average. A machine that’s related to the chronometer is the time-ball, which was dropped at 1pm each day to signal to mariners on the Thames to check their chronometers before heading out to sea for safety.

Overall, Greenwich wasn’t somewhere I was expecting to visit, but I’m really glad I did. It was a great mix of a port town, Bath, and London. I highly recommend visiting if you want to learn something new and just enjoy the coastal side of London!