Hi loves! It’s been way too long since I’ve gotten the chance to sit down and write. Traveling for the last month has been seriously life changing, so I hope you can forgive my lack of blog posts. Don’t worry though, I have some exciting things coming! Just to give a quick preview, I went on a month long Europe trip (called Euroterm) which was planned through the Art and Design program of my school. It was a group of 19 with two of my art professors (who were amazing the entire trip). Since I went to five different countries, I would love to dedicate a separate post for each one. They were all so unique in their own way, so I have tons to say and many photos to share of them. So without further ado, let me jump into the very first place I visited: London!
Words cannot describe just how I excited I was for London. Since I was a kid, for some reason I have had this fascination with England and have wanted to visit for years. My favorite band is from London and the entire culture itself seemed so exciting and slightly different from my own. Over the years I have had some pretty bad anxiety when it comes to planes and flying in general. The long flight time (9.5 hours there, 11 hours back) had me pretty nervous. The anticipation of it though, was definitely worse than the actual flight itself. The plane was a double decker, and surprisingly because it is larger than most planes, there was barely any turbulence and the take off/landing was very smooth. Getting over that fear during this moment and throughout the trip was a big deal for me and I couldn’t be happier that I am no longer a nervous flyer! Besides, it was 100% worth the things I was going to see in London.
Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, and Westminster Abbey
Day 1 of London we went straight to Big Ben and Parliament, which completely blew my mind. Big Ben is so much bigger in person than I ever imagined and the architecture is simply stunning. The gold accents on the entire building really caught my eye as well. The London Eye is even larger than Big Ben, especially when you’re standing at the very bottom and looking up. We also went to Westminster Abbey, which is seriously the most beautiful cathedral I have ever been in. The extremely high ceilings and the endless details in the architecture absolutely took my breath away. When the choir sung during the church service, their voices filled the entire place. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
Braving the Underground
Public transit was another aspect of London that was very foreign for me. Being from Southern California, I am used to driving myself wherever I need to go, but London has a different system. The London Underground or the Tube was a very convenient way to get from place to place and an absolute crazy experience with masses of people trying to get to their destinations. I have a very hard time navigating in general, so this was a little tricky for me. But luckily I had a great group of people to lead and guide me.
Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Tower Bridge
Buckingham Palace was one of my favorite places in London as well. The sheer size of it was incredible but simply the fact that it is someone’s home is insane. I couldn’t ever imagine living somewhere so grand. Fun Fact, the Queen was home while we were there! I wonder if she was hanging out with her many corgis? Trafalgar Square has some great memories as well. As a group we all grabbed a quick lunch and sat in the shade in the square to take a break between destinations. Sitting with my cucumber sandwich from Pret A Manger and taking in the beauty of Trafalgar Square is a kind of little moment I live for. Tower Bridge was a lovely sight after walking around near the Tower of London. We didn’t walk across it, but if I were to go back, I would definitely take a tour of the Tower of London and walk along the bridge.
Tate Modern and Art Museum Adventures
Since this trip was put together by the Art Department and the fact that I was taking the Contemporary Art class in Europe, we went to SO MANY museums. And when I say so many, I mean 20 to be exact. One of my favorite things in the world to do is go to art museums, which is one reason why this trip was so darn perfect for me. Tate Modern was one of the first museums we visited. The enormous turbine room had me awestruck and some of the pieces there gave me experiences I didn’t think were possible. Before this museum, I wasn’t a huge fan of audio or video works. However, with the combination of large spaces and perfect audio, I was absolutely blown away. Tate Modern was the start of contemporary art pieces growing on me. Other museums we visited include Tate Britain and the British Museum. It was planned for us to see the Saatchi Collection, but unfortunately Michael Kors had it rented out and it was not open to the public (thanks Michael!) But regardless, I’m still so lucky to have gone to these museums and take in all that I could. Even though our visits were focused on contemporary art, classic pieces from Picasso and Mondrian still captured my full attention.
Some Architecture and Little Thoughts
I took so many photos of London, it took so long choosing ones perfect for this post! There were some photos I just had to share, even if they weren’t of anything specific. One of my favorite parts about London and this trip in general was being able to walk for hours and just take in the sights and the culture. London’s architecture constantly had my attention, so I thought I’d include these specific photos. The red phone booths, double decker busses, the details of the buildings and the scale of some of the cathedrals were indescribable. Through it all we also managed to find quaint little neighborhoods with colorful houses and cute plants.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention how lucky I was to have been able to take this trip. I am so grateful to my family and the people who made it possible. It has been my dream to go to these foreign yet beautiful places and I definitely couldn’t have done it alone. I realize that I am so blessed and I truly tried to take in every single moment and every single day. I feel I made the most of this adventure, learned a ton, and allowed myself to change because of it. Each destination had its lessons and I’m thankful for each one of them. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I loved taking them. Look forward to the next country’s post soon! A little teaser, we had to take the Chunnel to get there, can you guess where we went? Have an amazing day everyone!