London through the Ages.

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The Borough Market. I have heard nothing by incredible things about this place. Basically a farmers market with fresh fruit, bread, veggies, sea food, sandwiches, etc. The best part about the Borough Market is you can shop here for groceries for a decent price and you can sample and eat an assortment of foods! It is like, costco samples with much bigger portions. Heaven? I would say so. My friend Rachael and I were desperate to experience this market early this morning. Unfortunately, we did not check what time they opened. We arrived around 10am, but it did not really “open” until 11:30. We were extremely bummed. There were a couple little stands that had some bread, baked goods, and fruit. Since we were there, we took advantage of the places that were open.

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We both bought some fresh chopped watermelon squares from the fruit market above. Every bite was just like the first bite! We were tempted to buy a whole watermelon and just grab 2 spoons. We figured that it would be frowned upon in the city of London, and we would definitely be identified as tourists that way.

We carried on to find this baked goods stands. All sorts of breads, cakes,  cookies that could have fed an entire family, brownies, chocolates, and doughnuts.

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These weren’t just any type of doughnuts. They were sugarcoated, maple filled, and topped with a real honey comb…I wish I was making this up, I really do.

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We both sat there in awe, and could not believe something like this actually existed. I have never had anything like this before, and the owner told me it was rated in the top best doughnuts in London. Now that is an accomplishment.

That was the end of our Borough Market trip, but we plan to go back at the correct time within the next few weeks. Since we had some time to kill, we ran across a church right nearby and decided to make our way inside to see what it was all about.

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It was so beautiful. Details in every part of the ceiling, walls, floor, and glass. There were only 4 people total on the inside of the church at the time including Rach and I, so all you could hear was silence. It was nice to be able to walk into a church here in London without hundreds of people surrounding you, or employees telling you that pictures were not permitted. Which is what happens later in the trip…

We head back to meet our other classmates for our British Life and Culture class. Today, we were headed to the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum.

The National Portrait Gallery in London was our first stop. The Gallery was founded in 1856 to collect portraits of famous British men and women. There are over 200,000 portraits and paintings from the 16th century to present day.  I apologize for the limited pictures. It was extremely difficult to take pictures, especially since only some portraits were open for photographs. Most of them were for visitors eyes only. 

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We learned so much about London’s past Kings and Queens. Traveling through history, monarch by monarch, all the way through to the current names of Royalty. I will say, it was so difficult to keep everyone straight. They all had the same names or married up to 10 times! They were all connected in some way or another. It was interesting to learn about all the events of history that occurred within their rein and time period. Some of these paintings are even 500 years old. There are a handful of paintings that look more like a photograph than a painting. It was unbelievable.

After getting a brief background knowledge, we moved on the the British Museum. One of the world’s oldest museums, the British Museum is vast and its collections, only a fraction of which can be on public display at any time, comprise millions of objects. Discovering the World in the 18th Century’ is a permanent exhibition of around 5,000 objects chosen to cast light on the period between the mid-18th and the early 19th century, a time of great discovery and learning when the British Museum was founded by an Act of Parliament. 

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There is no way humanly possible to get through this entire museum within a day. It was full of artifacts from throughout the ages. We did not even finish 1/2 of the museum and we were there for hours. My classmates and I had such a great tour guide who gave us so many details about all the exhibits we visited. I won’t post all of them, but I will give some highlights.

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(^^ Yup, that is the REAL Rosetta Stone. )

This museum holds so much culture and history from throughout Europe. “Time traveling” is definitely something I have enjoyed doing during my time here in London. I want to go back once more so I can view all the galleries we did not have the opportunity to see.

My posts are beginning to become longer and longer! Thank you friends and family for reading and being a part of my program abroad. I hope you are all enjoying my entries and photos!

Cheers!

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