Saturday, September 29, 2012

London, Days 12-14

After a day off Wednesday, it was back to the classroom Thursday afternoon for my hardest class, which is an IR session that deals with national security.  Apart from having to read about seven books a week for this class, the teacher is a PhD student at the London School of Economics who insists on treating us with the same level of distance as his professors do.  It will prove challenging.  After classes, we returned to the flat and I bought some groceries before having a large group dinner.  One of my flat mates, who is an excellent chef, made us all a huge dinner and we all ate together before heading to bed.
Friday was spent as a tourist day.  After waking up early and going for a run, I went downtown with three of my friends to watch the changing of the Queen's guard at Buckingham Palace, which I had never seen before.  After, we walked to the horse guards parade for a bit before heading north to Trafalgar Square and spending some time at the National Gallery of art, inside which I saw Van Goh's "Sunflower" and Monet's "Water Lilly Pond."  At 4 PM, as it started to rain, we headed back to Buckingham Palace to take our tour of the summer state rooms, which was incredibly cool.  We toured the throne room, ballroom, dining room, and other famous rooms inside the working palace before closing in the giant palace garden.  After dinner, I did some work before heading to bed.
Saturday after my run, I went to the famous Portabello Market with two friends. The market is an almost mile-long stretch of shops and food vendors along a side street in the south part of the city.  It's an experience in itself, and the food was amazing.  After heading home, I tried (and failed) to watch the Manchester United game at a pub before we all went out to see a movie, "Looper," which was very good indeed.

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