For my last week, I finally decided to visit some of the main tourist attractions in London. First, I visited Hyde Park which was absolutely stunning. There were beautiful patches of colorful flowers, stunning greenery, and the pond was an incredible sight to see. The pond was full of ducks and swans, which was a change from the typical city pigeons I’d seen every day. Being in London has been amazing but of course, it is a city; there are a lot of buildings, stores, and traffic but not a lot of nature. So going to Hyde Park was very refreshing and reminded me of home. Plus, I’d never seen a swan in real life before, and my excitement over spotting one was almost embarrassing. I’ve attached a photo of this gorgeous assortment of flowers I saw in the park. Then, I visited Buckingham Palace, which is the main estate of the royal family. I’d never seen pictures before, yet it was nothing like I had imagined. I was expecting something with a lot of gold and plated windows. But instead, it was very simple and elegant, although it was still quite large. The gates in front of the palace were exceptionally tall and were detailed with golden accents that made the building look more ‘royal’. It was hard to get a picture of the palace both because of the gates and the significant amount of people waiting outside. This had to be the most densely populated area of London I’d ever been in so far. There had to have been at least 150 to 200 people taking photos and admiring this historic site. Also, there were police around and gates set up in preparation for the coronation of the King. Unfortunately, I’ll be gone before the coronation but I do plan to watch the parade on TV.
After the palace, we decided to visit Big Ben (or the Great Bell of the Great Clock of Westminster, to give it its full name), which is a giant and famous clock tower. According to my professor, the tower was being renovated for a long time and was just unveiled before we arrived in January. Thankfully, I was able to see the tower on a day that was incredibly sunny and clear skyed. The gold glistened in the light and it was amazing to finally see it in person. Overall, taking a tour of these locations is something that I will never forget. I had so much fun seeing the classics that I was raised to associate with the United Kingdom, and I can’t wait to show my family the photos when I return home!