The UK Tour is in full swing and we take a moment to catch up with our students and teachers, Andrew and Chloe, as they explore the wonderful city of London…
Following a long and gruelling flight from Melbourne with stops in Brunei and Dubai, we arrived at Heathrow airport at around 6am. While all of us were thrilled to have finally arrived, this was especially exciting for the few of us who had never been overseas before. We dropped our bags at our accommodation at College Hall and wandered to Russell Square in search of some edible food. This was the first of many trips to Pret-a-Manger throughout the week. We then made our way to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard. The grandeur of the palace, the surrounding gardens and the event itself is amazing. Afterwards, we ventured to the Royal Mews where we saw the Royal Stables and Royal vehicles, including the Gold State Coach used in Coronations. Next we went on a ‘hop on; hop off’ tour on a double decker bus, which gave us a good overview of the main sights in London.
After a great night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we headed straight to the British Museum. Not only was the building itself stunning, we had the privilege of seeing some of the most beautiful and significant historical artifacts in the world, including portions of the Greek Parthenon and the Rosetta Stone. Following lunch, we made our way to Oxford and Regent Streets for a better look at the city, the lifestyles of the residents and a spot of shopping on the side.
Today we took a boat tour and cruised along the Thames to Greenwich. We had an open air view of many key buildings along the river, such as Tower Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe, and received a live commentary as we went. In Greenwich, we explored the Observatory and visited the Meridian Time Line which is where time is +0 hours; all the time zones in the world originate from here. The views from the top of the hill where the Line is situated were gorgeous, as were the gardens we passed through on our way to the top. We then explored the Cutty Sark, the world’s only surviving tea-clipper, before returning to London on the river cruise. In the afternoon, we visited the National Gallery, home of Vincent Van Gough’s ‘Sunflowers’ and Monet’s ‘The Water Lily Pond’. As would be expected, Ms Rees especially enjoyed this. All of us, however, marvelled at the intricate details of some of the oldest paintings, the scale of others and the overall artistry present in each work. In the evening, we had a curry in Brick Lane with Greg McMahon, a solvency lawyer living in the UK. He provided us with an insight into both the law profession and what it is like to live in the UK.