English Breakfast again… I’m sure when we are back in the US we will miss it. Anyways since this day was free all members of the group could go wherever they wanted (one guy snuck off to Oxford and actually made it back in time for dinner and another went to see her sister for the morning), but most of the group started out by following our professor to The British Museum. While it is a great museum its World War One history was strangely lacking (i.e. nonexistent), I guess they figured the Imperial War Museum probably has it covered. If I ever manage to get through the entire exhibit at the Imperial War Museum I will probably agree with them. So I’ll just leave you with a picture of their European 1900-present exhibit, a picture of the front of the museum, the ceiling, and a picture of the Rosetta Stone just because.
Around 12:30 P.M. the group followed Prof. Leubner to Charing Cross Street where a large percentage of the group got distracted by the book stores he showed us, some got some rare books and Travis, a chemistry major, got a chemistry book from the 1900’s. Some people also checked out the National Portrait Gallery, which is just by The National Gallery, and after the rest of the group managed to tear themselves away from the book stores we all met up at Trafalgar Square where it was a short walk to Westminster Abbey, which was our next destination, and along the way we saw Big Ben again.
A couple more people splintered off from this group to meet up with others, and the group in the featured image were the ones to go to Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately, that is our only picture because it is highly discouraged to take pictures inside, which is understandable, considering the art and the sacred nature of the Abbey. Inside we found the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (a dedication to British soldiers who died during World War One which had poppies surrounding it) and something unexpected, at least for me, in the Poet’s Corner. The Poet’s Corner is a corner of the Abbey with various tombs of great novelists and poets of Britain, a tradition which was started by Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales who was first buried there. In regard to World War One, there was even a tomb dedicated to the trench poets, including many we had read such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sasson, and Isaac Rosenberg.
The next stop was St. James Park for an abbreviated version of the Mrs. Dalloway walk all the while with our professor shouting out quotes from the book. It was pretty fun, the park is beautiful and some of the shops she mentioned in the book are still around. It really is a great book, if you have the chance to read it and travel to London I would highly recommend this walk for one of your strolls around London. Also your life is made easier because are a bunch of websites detailing places in the book and where to find them here’s just one: http://www.virginiawoolfsociety.co.uk/vw_res.walk.htm . My phone had run out of charge before so I do not have any pictures of the walk, although, I’m sure someone snagged a few and we’ll be sure to post pictures of it after the end of the trip.
Once we got back to the hotel it was almost time for dinner at The Plough. We had tomato soup, chicken with vegetables, and an apple pie drowned in custard. Since it was our last night in London I also went out after dinner with three other members of the group for a night on the Thames and it was beautiful. The people I was with were also preparing for our trip to France by practicing our French on the Millenium Bridge. My phone was recharged then and they posed wonderfully in front of the Thames with the London Bridge and a beautiful skyscraper, The Shard, in the background. While not directly World War One related it was a wonderful night and I’m sure London nights were one of things the soldiers missed while they were on the front. Thanks for reading!