With three days left of break, friends and I booked a quick weekend trip to good old London. We were fortunate to stay with friends at Queen’s Gate (looking for Hugh Grant as well) who also were able to show us around and who introduced us to The Tube. Highlights included Piccadilly Circus, Notting Hill (where there was another market), Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, London Bridge, the London Eye, and of course for all those Harry Potter fans- Platform 9 & ¾. I think by far my favorite day in London was our last. We got up early in the morning and saw the Changing of the Guard! It really is something not to miss and the Queen was in town as evidenced by the special flag waving. While watching the Changing of the Guard we were also trying to be on the lookout for any of the Princes…haha. The last stop for me was the Courtauld Gallery, I read that this small gallery had many Impressionist works and of course I had to go and see them, so while my friends watched a race on the Thames, I went to go find Degas. On the way back to Dublin (the 29th, also Mom’s Birthday!), I remarked to myself how different I found London to be in comparison to Dublin. It was funny because I felt I saw two distinct aspects of London culture- a very formal side, steeped in tradition (Changing of the Guard) and a very informal side, a little ‘edgier’ perhaps (while strolling around the Camden town markets). Still, the difference from Dublin could be felt and I thought that interesting considering the history between England and Ireland and then realized that Ireland in fighting for its independence had to be different and unique, which reminded me again why Ireland is to me such a special place.