So much to see, so much time.
I am really very fortunate to have had so many opportunities to travel abroad. I am fortunate that most of these have been for periods of time log enough to see at least one season change. Speaking with fellow affiliate students here at UCL I often get the impression that they are treating London as a staging point for further travels; to ireland, throughout the UK and over to Continental Europe. Having arrived at what equates to the midpoint in the teaching curriculum here at UCL, it is often surprising just how much of the coming months will be taken up not by days in which we are expected to attend class, but reading weeks, easter vacations and an entire term dedicated to essays and end of term examinations. So, it is understandable that the attention of my fellow affiliate students has been caught by the reasonably priced train tickets, flights to the continent or school-organized weekend trips. Maybe its just my attempt at budgeting in an expensive city but I find myself wondering more and more what there is in London that has the potential to speak to the heart of British Culture. It is an international city no mistaking it and this in and of itself is fascinating (and delicious), but Im still curious what more London has to say about itself.
I have been able to attend both the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Ballet in the past few days and if one is looking for culture, these are certainly brimming with it. The home of the LSO was built in the post-war boom of the 1950s and the theater has some of the best acoustics I have encountered. The orchestra itself is famous for a lot of things, most recently performing with Mr. Bean at the Olympics this summer. The Ballet, whose home is at the Royal Opera House overlooking Covent Garden, gives the impression of tradition. The building itself is grand and intimidating. I felt underdressed when I walked in and I was wearing a jacket and tie. The students sitting next to me in fleece pullovers and sweatpants made me feel a little better though.
Today I got out of the center of town and went for a walk in Hampstead Heath, a large park with enormous green spaces, very old woods and year round bathing ponds (I plan on trying these next week). Here are just a few recent photos. Enjoy.
And yes, there is a female bathing pond. And one for nude bathing…
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