London, Best Decision Ever!

This past weeks have been very busy for me, I have been exploring London and England in general. I have become attached to this wonderful city. There’s so much to see and do. I have been trying to experience it all at once so I hadn’t take the time to reflect about my recent adventures. So, I decided to go for a stroll at Hyde Park to relax and clear my mind from school and busy London. While I was there admiring the extremely beautiful landscape with the immense green nature in it, I felt invaded by a feeling of harmony within myself, it was an awesome experience! As I continue walking, I was astonished to discover a clear view of the Buckingham palace royal entrance gate. The luxurious and majestic designs of it impress me! I stood there for a moment just admiring it.  While I stood there I wanted to take some pictures of the majestic and contrasting views before my eyes for others to admire it as well, but I have been taking so many pictures of beautiful London that I decided to keep this experience in my memory and treasure it for myself.

The next day, I was invited to a Bollywood (Hindi-language film industry) theme party for International students at Roehampton University.  It was an unusual but astonishing experience to see the Hindu students dancing to the rhythm of their music. I was invited to take part in the dancing as well.  I wasn’t very successful adapting to their rhythm but I had a great time. I was promised by the president of the International students association here in Roehampton that we will have a Mexican theme party later on in the semester. I was fascinated with the idea of it, and I am looking forward to that! :D

That weekend I participated in another of the many ISA excursions, this time to Cambridge. We took the train from King’s Cross St. Pancras tube station and got to Cambridge in about 45 minutes. When we arrived there, the ISA director was extremely kind and paid for our bus fare to avoid us a 10 minute walk from the train station to the center of the city.  Once we got to the center of the university town we encounter a picturesque market and while we waited for our tour guide the ISA director allowed us to explore it. I bought a giant rye bread which I have been enjoying with an exquisite Cheshire cheese and a tasty white wine from the Breaky Bottom vineyard.

Later, we were taken to Cambridge’s King’s College, its magnificent Gothic architecture outside is a symbol that represents the English traditions. As I stepped inside the chapel I was amazed by its ceiling decorated with a Gothic fan vault only found in England. I felt as if I had travel back in time as the tour guide told us the different stories surrounding the construction of the chapel. I couldn’t take my eyes from the finest windows decorated with biblical scenes. After visiting the chapel the ISA staff had arranged for us to go punting. A punt is a square-ended boat which has a flat bottom with no keel and is usually propelled using a long pole. We were taken on that boat around the river cam while the boatman talked to us about the different buildings around the campus and the traditions surrounding them. It was a very interesting tour and I had a lot of fun! When the punting tour was over I was very hungry and I headed towards ‘The Eagle’- one of the oldest pubs in Cambridge with a lot of history in it.  There, Watson and Crick announced to the world they had discovered “the secret of life” (DNA). I was also able to look at the famous RAF ceiling which boasts signatures of Royal Air Force pilots from all over the world who returned from the 2nd world war and signed their names on the ceiling using only cigarette lighters, candle smoke and lip stick. While on the tour the ISA director bought some chocolates for us. She does that all the time we go to an excursion it has become a tradition! :D

Other ISA students and I in Cambridge
Cambridge
Beautiful and historical buildings of Cambridge.
On the punting tour in Cambridge

Later on that week I went to the Apollo Victoria Theatre in West End London to see “Wicked”- the Broadway musical which has magnificent choreography and is based on the classic novel of Wicked: the Life and time of the wicked witch of the west. “Wicked” won the 2010 Olivier Award for Most Popular Show and the 2010 and 2011 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best West End Show. This is one of the many things that I like about London that there are plenty of Broadway shows and Shakespeare plays to see.

Then, I participated in an ISA excursion to Winsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in Europe!! It was beautiful, packed with art and history of England and the United Kingdom in general. I explored the castle with my friends and by the end I was really tired and hungry so I bought a chicken and vegetable pastry; it was delicious!! And the best of all is that it cost me only 3 pounds :D After eating my pastry I meet the rest of the ISA group to return to London but guess what! Once again the ISA director was waiting for us with a bag of English chocolates!! The English chocolates are the best I have tasted in my life! If you come to England, you must try them!

A friend and I outside of Winsor Castle
Winsor Castle - beautiful!
I'm gonna be a star!

Today, I went with the ISA group to visit the BBC studios, where we were shown the behind the scenes methods to show the weather forecast on TV!! Also they revealed the techniques used in the Harry Potter movies to make him invisible using a blanket. The guide also told us some of the weirdest stories that have taken place on the studios, like J Lo paying ten-thousand pounds to decorate a room in which she only spend 45 minutes. Also, Madonna requested a figure of the Pope John Paul II in her room, so the BBC staff brought a figure of the Pope from the Wax museum and placed next to the door with little lighting so when Madonna opened the door she thought that the pope was there to visit her and she felt to her knees and started to cry of excitement just to discover that it was wax figure!! LOL! Good thing that instead of getting mad she had a good laugh.

Well that’s all for today I am going to bed, I had an awesome day :D

Cheers!

Francisco Gonzalez
Classmates Connecting Cultures
London, England
Spring 2012

Author: franciscogonzalez53

Hello!! I am a 22 years old Hispanic student currently attending my senior year at Texas A&M International University. I am pursuing a Bachelors degree of science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. I live in Laredo, Texas and I will be traveling from the U.S to London, England in January 2012 to study a semester abroad. I like to travel and explore different cultures, I like to meet new people and I am a strong Jesus Christ's follower.

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