Day One from #VarsityLondon

Henry and Liza here!

There’s nothing quite like waking up in London, especially on a day like today. London is known for many attributes, but one of the more prominent is the typical, day-to-day, cloudy and overcast weather. Today was definitely not the norm and in the words of the Beatles, “here comes the sun.” The weather was picture perfect. Literally.

The first sight you see when leaving the hotel is the iconic Tower Bridge; foreshadowing at it’s finest, as we had no idea of the landmarks we would lay our eyes on today.

We went on a tour of the city, guided by the most knowledgeable Londoners we could’ve imagined (shout out to Olivia). First stop, Saint Paul’s Cathedral. As impressive as the name sounds, wait until you hear this: Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and many more have all had burial services here. These walls have watched history unfold, and you could feel it.

Stop two, this one’s for you, Queen Elizabeth II. Buckingham Palace is one of the most historical sights in London. Recognized around the world as the focus of royal celebrations, as well as the regular Changing the Guard ceremony. Fun fact: As if the Palace isn’t exciting enough, it’s actually built on secret tunnels that connects the property to nearby streets. Want to know if the Queen is home? Just look at the flag atop the palace: the palace flies the Union Flag when the Queen isn’t in, and the Royal Standard when she is. You might also spot the Royal Standard waving from Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster: this signifies the Queen is in Parliament. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in today; otherwise we would’ve totally tried to have a cup of tea with her Royal Highness (wishful thinking).

This might sound cheesy, but lunch was “grate”! Covent Garden was our destination, London’s main theatre and entertainment area. We lived our best (touristy) life by shopping, eating, and sharing our memories from the morning. Covent Garden, not only receives over 44 million visitors a year, but has also appeared in a number of films/musicals including My Fair Lady!

We wrapped up by visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, a perfect ending to a ‘Victorias’ tour. We only have two words for this experience: the history. We came, we saw, and we conquered art, roads, homes, and palaces today that are older than the United States Constitution. Talk about a humbling feeling.

Speaking of roads, tonight, some of the All-Americans took the yellow brick road to West End to watch our favorite witches, Glinda and Elphaba, in Wicked. The rest of us will go tomorrow night, until then, we’ll be clicking our heels. Goodnight, London!

– Henry and Liza, your #VarsityLondon Correspondents