Wednesday, September 26, 2012: I came to the UK a few years ago and stayed with one of our dear family friends, but one significant thing that happened to me on that trip occurred every time someone would ask what I was studying at my university. Every time I stated that my minor was in Museum Studies, every single (and I am NOT exaggerating) would respond with: “Oh, you absolutely must go to the University of Leicester! They have a wonderful museum program.” I heard it enough times that the school name stuck with me, and now, here I am two years later in the running for my Master’s in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester in England.
So, welcome to my blog, which for the foreseeable future, will be about my European adventures.
What I’ve Explored Thus Far: I convinced my dad to fly over to England with me so that I would not have a repeat of D.C. where I had more bags than I could carry–I will NEVER do that again. Needless to say, moving into my loft here was a lot easier with the help (especially since we didn’t have a car, which meant lots of walking and carrying items that we purchased at stores).
Once we landed, he and I explored London a bit, if for no other reason than to stay awake until that night. We walked to Southwark Cathedral, which is from the 1200’s and was also the home-church of Shakespeare. It was absolutely beautiful. Obviously, my dad and I were determined to see how old the oldest gravestone was inside of the building (we found a knight who passed in the 1300’s).
After we explored the church throughly, we walked down the river to the HMS Belfast, where we looked up in the distance and saw Tower Bridge with the bridge raised for a tall ship to pass. It was very interesting to be able to watch the drawbridge open and close to let the ship go through.
Next, we walked to the Tower Bridge, across it, looking at the Tower of London. We then followed the Tower of London around the side, crossed the street to the Underground, and rode toward Buckingham Palace. We tried to go see Buckingham, but apparently you must purchase tickets in advance because they sell out very quickly–even in the off-tourist months. Since the lady would not let two more people into the palace, we decided to start walking back toward the hotel before dinner. The next morning we rose early and caught the train to Leicester.
As soon as we arrived at Leicester, we set out to purchase bedding, find the school and my building, and find local food venues and grocery stores that were not too far from me. We managed to accomplish all that needed to be done in two days, while also returning to the school (which is about a 25 minute walk from where I live) more than once a day.
We were even lucky enough to see the dig site for King Richard III on its last day that it was open. While truthfully it was only some trenches in the ground with a few markers and only a few tiles left in the ground as well as the body marker of where they believe King Richard III’s remains were found (they are currently DNA testing them to determine if it was he that they found or not), it still was one of the more interesting things I have seen in a while.
My dad and I explored much of the town before he headed back to the states. Now, the rest of the adventure begins as I start exploring Europe and make new friends.