Today we went to London! London is a lot of people’s dream city. You hear about it and see it on movies, so finally visiting it (if you haven’t been) can be really exiting. It’s a little different for me; I was actually born there and have lived there for six years, but since I left I have been anxiously waiting for my chance to move back there and it feels like home to me. That is probably why I was really happy to go: I love being there!
The drive from Oxford was about two hours long. You know how you can listen to music and stare out of the window really nostalgically when you play sad songs? That’s pretty much how I spent most of the ride, it’s nice to have new places to stare nostalgically at and not the usual panoramas in Italy. The English countryside is actually very beautiful.
We arrived at about ten o’clock and started our city visit with a tour. The tour guide was very nice and he explained a lot about the history of London and it’s parliament and royal family, teaching us a lot of fun facts as well. We walked past Big Ben (and the story of why it’s called that way is quite funny!), the house of Parliament, Parliament Square, Buckingham Palace and Downing street.
Before passing Buckingham Palace, we went to Regents Park to eat our packed lunch, where the guide told us a story about how they used to keep an elefant there. It was symbolic though, to symbolise the power of the common wealth, so they couldn’t keep it caged up and after it trampled some people they came up with a “brilliant” and “not cruel in any way” solution: keep it drunk to slow down its movements and reduce the danger; to be fair, at the time you barely had human rights, let alone animal rights. Thankfully it is no longer there, but it’s curious to think there used to be a drunk elefant strolling around the park.
After the London tour we went to the London dungeon (right behind the London Eye). The London Journey is and educational “journey through London’s murky past”. The thing is: it’s terrifying. I’m a sucker for jump scares, I manage to get scared if a car suddenly honks without me expecting it, so having people actually make an effort (which is not necessary) will definitely do the job. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one freaked out, Niuscha (from Germany) was also screaming and clinging on to me. I do really love serial killers (to the point where I literally forced my mom to take a criminology class with me) so listening to the stories of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper was fascinating.
By that point everybody was really tired and hot (I know, it’s incredible; summer weather in London!) and it was time to go. On the ride back we played games and as soon as we were back in college at about seven o’clock I signed out with Dana, the girl from Palestine, and we ate at Burger King.
It was a very fun day in a city I love. I look forward to tomorrow, when I’m finally going to get around to buying those Oxford sweatshirts! That’s right, I finally have free time!