England, Europe, London

Abbey Road

I am a huge Beatles fan, and so of course, being so close to Abbey Road, I had to go. This was the last must-do on our list, and it was our very last day in London! I slept in because of a late return from Paris the night before, and our flight left in the late afternoon so we didn’t have time for more than one thing. The timing worked out perfectly. We packed up all of our belongings and left them in the room. We would go to Abbey Road, take an iconic cliche picture, come bag, grab our bags, take the long train to Heathrow and begin our trek home!. We took a long Uber and Tube ride to get there. Abbey Road is located in the borough of Camden, London. I believe it was about 45 minutes from where we were in Zone 2.

Abbey Road was the 11th album released by the Beatles and was released in September 1969 with one iconic cover. The cover was shot on August 8, 1969, on a zebra crossing. The photographer was given 10 minutes while police held up traffic and gave him enough time for just six shots. The crossing is a popular spot and has been deemed of “cultural and historical importance.”

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England, Europe, London

21st Birthday

January 9, 2018, was my 21st birthday! Spending it in London was super cool, and there’s definitely a lot of positive memories to hold onto!

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I started the day by taking some time with myself to enjoy lunch and then my typical activity: getting piercings. I had been planning this for a while, and it finally happened: my 21st piercing on my 21st birthday! I got my left second forward helix (20th) and my right anti-tragus (21st). I traveled 45 minutes via Underground and Overground to get to an affordable shop. It ended up being super sketchy back-room type shit, but I went with it.

For dinner, Brady and I went out and had some drinks. Even though the drinking age in London is 18, and I’d been drinking the whole trip, it was still exciting to celebrate “being legal” back in the US.

I wanted to go out to a club to celebrate. Clubs aren’t totally our scene, so we tried to find something a little fun. We decided on a place called Ballie Ballerson, which is a club with a large ball pit.

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photo courtesy of http://www.ballieballerson.com

 

 

 

England, Europe, London

Greenwich, London

On January 8, we visited Greenwich, which is home to the Royal Observatory, the Prime Meridian, and other museums. Greenwich is a borough in London on the bank of the River Thames. It is significant in its shaping of astronomy and maritime knowledge.

 

First, we explored the museum. Admission was affordable, and an audio tour was provided for us to use as we walked around.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known for the fact that the prime meridian passes through it, and thereby gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time (Wikipedia). 

We were able to explore the Royal Observatory and learn a lot about astronomy history and knowledge.

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We were also able to stand on the Prime Meridian, which was super cool! This is the point where longitude is 0°. By standing on the Prime Meridian, you have one foot in the Western Hemisphere and one in the Eastern Hemisphere.

 

 

England, Europe, London

British Parliament

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Source: Wikipedia

On our 10th day in London, we visited the British Parliament. We did an audio tour and walked through the chambers. There were areas we could take photos and areas we couldn’t. Here are some quick facts about the government:

  • The official lengthy name is “Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”
  • The main Parliament is located in the Palace of Westminster in London
  • Parliament (formed in 1707) is the legislative body of the UK and is composed of the House of Commons and House of Lords
  • The government is lead by the Prime Minister who has the power to choose the other Ministers. They are all members of Parliament (MPs). The Prime Minister is an individual from the dominant party who is voted on to lead.
  • The current Prime Minister is Theresa May.
  • General elections are held every five years.
  • The House of Commons, or the lower house, is the most powerful and introduces most of the significant laws. The 650 members of the House of Commons are elected by the people, which represents 650 constituencies.
  • The House of Lords has less power but can still vote to amend laws and introduce bills. They are not elected/voted in. They are appointed by the Queen in consultation with the Prime Minister.
  • Any bills must be given a royal assent by the monarch to be passed (fun fact: this also applies in Canada because they are technically still under British rule as a constitutional monarchy)
  • Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have local parliaments with some limits

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Next, we went out for a drink, reflected on the day, and headed back for the night!

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England, Europe, London

Museum of London

On Friday, January 5th (Day 9), we headed over to the Museum of London, which is one of the many many free museums in London.

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You could spend an entire day just looking through every single collection, exhibit, and artifact! We stayed for a few hours before calling it a day and found it all really interesting; the history ranged thousands of years. The exhibits regarding the London Fire and the evolution of human rights stood out for me.

 

And, we also got a cool puzzle to add to the collection of subway map puzzles!

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England, Europe, London

Banqueting House

To finish out our London Pass at the end of one week, we went to the Banqueting House. Here’s the description from the Pass website:

Designed by Inigo Jones for King James I and completed in 1622, The Banqueting House is the only complete surviving building of Whitehall Palace, the sovereign’s principal residence from 1530 until 1698 when it was destroyed by fire. It was also the site of King Charles I execution in 1649.

We watched an introductory documentary and then were able to explore around the main large room and listen to an audio guide explaining the history and different architecture and artwork.

England, Europe, London

Kensington Palace

Day #8 (January 4th) started with a trip to Kensington Palace! This is another really popular site, and one where there’s a lot of history to take in! Here’s the description from the London Pass website (because they’re really able to sum this stuff up better than I can) –

As one of central London’s royal residences, Kensington Palace has been a home and refuge to the royal family since the 17th century. Now, it is the official residence to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – otherwise known as our familiar Kate and Wills. Built in 1605, it has roots in Jacobean architecture and was first known as Nottingham House. Now it is one of London’s most exquisite palaces and comes with acres of manicured gardens and the world famous Orangery.

They also had an exhibit on Princess Diana. Visit their website if you’d like to learn more about the history! (Maybe I’ll come back someday and write more about each of these things, but for now, a brief summary and photos is going to have to do).

 

 

 

England, Europe, London

Churchill War Rooms

After my Freudian adventures, Brady and I met back up to go to the Churchill War Rooms. Here’s a description about those from the London Pass website:

Explore the secret headquarters of ‘the greatest Briton’, Sir Winston Churchill, and uncover the underground nucleus of Britain’s war effort. The first London museum of its kind, the Churchill War Rooms and Museum depicts all ninety years of Winston Churchill’s life, divided into five chapters starting from his childhood, through his early years as British Prime Minister and the period famously known as the ‘Gathering Storm’.

It was really cool to walk through the places where this stuff happened and read about the history that happened there. I was overwhelmed by it all! It was definitely a place that connected with Brady more as he’s pretty into history.

Here’s some pictures, and if you’re interested in learning more, visit the Imperial War Museums website linked to above!

 

England, Europe, London

Freud Museum

The Freud Museum might very well have been my favorite sight in London. This was a day that Brady and I took to ourselves and he went to a park and relaxed and I went and fangirled over psychotherapy history. Here’s a brief description about the Freud Museum from the London Pass website:

The Freud Museum was the final home of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, who came here after fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna. One of London’s ‘hidden gems’, this extraordinary, atmospheric house is probably London’s most intriguing museum. See Freud’s study, his original psychoanalytic couch and collection of over 2,000 Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Oriental antiquities. The Museum is also filled with memories of Freud’s daughter, Anna, a pioneer of child psychoanalysis.

Like, just check out all these pictures and all the cool stuff. I can’t add a whole lot with words, most of it speaks for itself. I honestly just stood in his study and walked around looking at everything, his desk, the couch, for like a half hour. It was so cool to be in a historical place for someone who’s such a key figure in my field (although I’m into macro social work, I would still consider him a key figure because of clinical social work and psychotherapy). Also, seeing things like the original couch was just so cool.

 

Everything was super cool, and I definitely recommend going, especially if you’re into psychology and all that cool stuff! Learn more about the museum here!