It’s only a couple of days before the summer solstice, and London is HOT! Everybody knows that in recent years, this world capital has risen higher and higher on everyone’s bucket list of must-visit destinations, but today its literally hot- temperatures are soaring well into the 80s Fahrenheit and is nothing but blue skies overhead.
These are ideal, if atypical, conditions for exploring the city. We had our introductory art history lecture yesterday, and we’ve already visited 3 major galleries in just two days. We saw works by the Pre-Raphaelite artists and by Turner at the Tate Britain; I came face to face with many famous works of art at the National Gallery; and we explored conceptual art at the Tate Modern, stopping along the way to explore a famous street art collection. Professor Nicola Mann of Richmond University has also shown us some secret gardens, hidden on rooftops and behind gates, which have been a pleasure to explore in the sunshine. On our first day in London, we visited Westminster Abbey, the British Museum and St Paul’s Cathedral – probably the most ambitious first day I have ever managed in any city!
Our local neighborhood where our apartments and classes are located is Kensington, which means we’re walking distance from Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Prince William and Princess Kate’s London residence, Kensington Palace. Kensington has so many beautiful flowers on display. A few of us plan to have a picnic in Hyde Park later this evening, and some others plan to go to Shakespeare’s Globe to nab a £5 ticket to Twelfth Night. Last night, two students got same-day tickets to see Andrew Scott, aka Moriarty in Sherlock, as Hamlet in a West End production – and they have the selfies to prove it!
This post was contributed by Meg McClure, an AIFS Study Abroad staff member accompanying students on our summer European Art and Architecture traveling program.