Last Log of London

It’s time to say goodbye to the City of London. It’s been a wonderful three weeks of exploring and learning. The last day definitely wasn’t a bore. Dressed to impress, I took our last test (60 minutes) and I can say I’m pretty confident that I did better! We also presented out energy topics. Mine was on resource constraints. I, of course got put last. two hours of anxious waiting. It was also recorded for external assessment, which made me twice as nervous. When I present power points, I literally forget everything and end up just casually mumbling to myself what I forgot to talk about. I survived at least. With the last class over, we had a 2 hour final ceremony informing us about resumes, alumni, and further studying at UCL. We got out certificate of participation!

The last thing was the End of Summer Boat Party! It was a nice two and a half hour cruise along the River Thames. Yup! Lots of selfies in honor of the last day in London.


This was quite an experience and I’m really happy I got the opportunity to enjoy it. I believe this is my last post. I don’t know how long I have access to this blog because I would love to finish the Brussels, Lion, Chinatown, Kensington Palace, and Globe blogs. That’s five blogs I had planned but never got to do. Everything is on Facebook though. No witty commentary really, but lots of pictures!

Goodbye! And thanks for following my journey!

Bath time! Bath, Somerset that is.

You can’t visit England without spending a day in Bath! The architecture (most of the buildings are built with bath stone which is very yellow hued) and history is something that needs to be experienced.  Especially the Roman Baths themselves!


We took a nice walk through the Royal Victoria Park before we reached the Royal Crescent.The Royal Crescent consists of 30 terraced houses, which are not cheap to live in. In front of the building is a ha-ha, which is a special ditch that’s one side vertical stone and the other sloped turf. Our tour guide said it kept cows out of the people’s windows.

Next we walked to the Circus, and unfortunately not the type with tents and acrobatic feats. This was literally a circle of buildings with 4 exits. So a roundabout I guess. The buildings were 3 stories and between the windows was a tribune to Greek architecture. Each story featured pillars of the three styles. I don’t remember which order the guide said they were in, so I guess that’s just another thing for you to go see!

When we were given time to go off by ourselves before the tour of the baths, I wandered down to the Jane Austen Centre. The museum was closed but the gift shop was open! Outside the museum was a figurine of Austen and a guy dressed as Mr. Bennet who meets and greets visitors. (I’ll admit having to look that up. I actually haven’t read any of her works. I went to get my friend a gift because she likes them. All the staff is dressed up as Austen’s literary characters. You can meet them here:



I spent about the hour before our tour of the baths in the Parade Gardens. For 1.50 GBP I got to walk around and read in a beautifully done public park. There’s a gazebo (I guess they must have a band there sometimes) and benches and lawn chairs. There’s statues too. There’s one of a pig and a man. Along the garden is an avon (a river). Technically there are many avons, but only one named Avon River. (Hilariously translating to River River).


Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. There was a guy outside the Abbey giving ghoooooost tours! We didn’t actually go inside the Abbey, but we did get to appreciate it’s architecture. The Abbey has been around since the 7th century.

The water inside the bath is untreated, so you can’t touch nor drink the water. (I don’t know why you’d want to drink water people bathe in?) There is a pump room that you can drink the water from. It was closed after the tour and I didn’t think to go in it before the tour, so your guess on the interior is as good as mine. There’s an audio tour of the baths filled with all kinds of history of the making of the building and of the culture of Romans. There was even two guys dressed as a gladiator and clergyman. (I’m actually not too sure of that one, I didn’t go talk to him, just the gladiator. Hey, the meeting time was almost upon me!) It’s a great place to visit, so make sure to add it to your itinerary!

(In real time, I’m halfway through my last week! Not as much travelling as I get ready for my presentation, but I still have pictures from the last week to add. So no need to worry. Plenty of content is on it’s way!)

And this is only 3 days worth of activities!

4 July 2017 (Yup, I spent my 4th of July in class and then at the science museum!)

I was at Imperial College because of a Nuclear Power Conference going on. It was quite interesting to hear about the scheduled closings of many old reactors as well as the hope to build new ones. After the conference, I decided to go to the Science Museum since it was down the street. There are three free museums on that street: the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A toy space display within the Space exhibit. The exhibit includes information on planets and spacecrafts. You can learn about our solar system and planets outside of it, specifically the ones that could imitate the living conditions of the Earth. There’s lots of history about space missions and their related astronauts and spacecraft.

The next exhibit is about how steam and other industrial inventions have evolved our lifestyle. There’s models and artifacts of everything from transportation to household items.

On the second floor was an exhibit all about human beings and their makeup, physically and mentally. You could learn about our ancestors as well as fears and memory. It’s a very interactive exhibit as you learn more about what makes you an individual.

Oh don’t forget to check the gift shop for some merchandise with astronomical puns that just add up to a chemically inducing laugh. (I tried)

6 July 2017 (Sorry nothing special on the 5th! I had some physics learning to do since I would be out to a theatre this night)

I’ve made it a thing to spend at least 2 hours in the area of a social programme before the programme starts. It gives me time to explore shops, restaurants and see street magic!? (check my Facebook for that video)

Covent Square is a nice place to shop and eat. There’s high end stores and more local stores. Still pretty pricey I will warn. There’s a nice artisans market within the main building of arches, and there’s other stalls of souvenirs. It reminds me a bit of Faneuil Hall. I loved it, especially the gelato I got at Venchi. ( one scoop lemon and  one scoop raspberry, not too sour or sweet). But yeah, there were street performers in quite a few spots.

Cambridge Theatre! Matilda the Musical! It was so amazing to see one of my favorite movies on stage. It was different enough from the book and movie to definitely be loved on its own, but it still had the magic and strength of books. Even if you didn’t enjoy the movie or book, I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the musical. The children are really talented and cute. Plus it is pretty hilarious and Miss Honey’s backstory is so much more deeply intertwined within the plot!

Richmond University friends who are also part of the AIFS study broad program!

7 July 2017- Westminster Area

I did plan to go into Westminster Abbey, but it was a bit too late for the price. I plan to try again though. I did get to see horses though, so stay tuned for that!

Westminster Abbey is a beautiful building. I can’t wait to see the inside sometime! Outside is many a place to sit and enjoy the abnormal sunny weather of London. (surprisingly it only rained once so far, and that isn’t until the following week of this trip to Westminster). The queue wasn’t bad for the building, but by the time I got out of class and to the front, it wasn’t worth the money for maybe 30 minutes of walking around in the building. Instead I decided to go see the Horse Guards since they’re only there until 4:30 pm.

I actually got to see the changing of the guards. That was a fun surprise. (Check Facebook for the video). People were hesitantly going up to the horses to get pictures. Actually, no one had really pet them. Of course when I went up, the new horse was very friendly and decided it was going to headbutt me until I pet it. How could I resist? In other words, I unintentionally started the queue for a petting zoo. Oops, not sure how happy the guard was of that, but I left to go explore inside the building. To the Household Cavalry Museum!

Yup, if you walk through the courtyard of the Horse Guards, you’ll see signs for the Household Cavalry Museum. For 7 pounds (adult ticket), you can have a hour and half video tour within a nice air conditioned building! There’s a lot of history held in that museum and through audio recordings you learn of the pride that each of the cavalry members hold.

Everything I’ve been doing and plan to be doing, honestly don’t take that much planning. Well you do have to by tickets ahead of time, but it’s easy to find stuff to do in the area before the show starts.

SPOILER! Next up is Bath, London. See you there! (or then? I’m very behind)

UCL… Here I Am!

Alright! So it’s actually been 4 days since I’ve been on my own at the college. The last few days have consisted of moving in, exploring, orientations, and making friends! It’s going to be busy now. I have class Monday through Friday from 9:30-13:30 (yes, I am trying to get used to military time!). Compared to some people I’ve met, this block is good. I don’t need to wake up too early and I still have a good amount of time to do stuff if I want. Already I have plans to go to Bath, to go see Matilda and the Lion King (both musicals), Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and a end of the session boat party! That’s all through the school too. I already am looking at local things to do like Westminster, St Paul’s, and looking at the parks and monuments. Before a lot of these events through the college, I plan to head to the meeting points really early so I can look around the neighborhood since the events take place outside of Bloomsbury. I do need to make sure to study hard! I am super excited for my module, climate and energy! We got the schedule today at UCL orientation and the lectures are very interesting sounding.

Alright let’s get started on some pictures!

July 1st: Arrival to UCL.

The Gardens Hall, 1 Cartwright Garden. It’s a really nice hotel/apartment like residence hall. There are regular tourists as well. I do have a little single room which is great for my late night blogging… (whoops). But it is kind of weird considering I’m used to dorms and roommates and common rooms and shared bathrooms! Though the last one is kind of nice to have private. I did meet two nice people who work with this group called London Nest. They plan some events within the building for students since we are all here for different reasons. It seems I’m the only one residing here that’s part of the UCL Summer School. Most of my day was unpacking and shopping for some other living essentials. It was a more relaxed day and if you saw, I did manage to check off two of my late blogs. (Brussels will come soon, I just felt I needed to update ya’ll on how my first few days have been before classes actually start)

July 2nd: AIFS Orientation

My first orientation was with all the other kids who are doing their study abroad through AIFS. I met Kelsi who’s also doing a UCL course! My course too! She’s staying both sessions however. She’s going into her senior year at University North Carolina: Wilmington. I was the youngest one there I think, most everyone else were seniors or just graduated! Oh, everyone else was studying through Richmond University.

After the meeting, we had a bus tour around London. Not in a double-decker unfortunately. I’ll have to remember to ride one of those these days, maybe when I go visit St. Paul’s Cathedral again? Which brings me to the point that we stopped at St. Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace!


It was a tiring day. Kelsi and I did walk around UCL’s Bloomsbury campus a bit since we needed to be there the next morning for enrollment/orientation.

July 3rd: UCL Orientation

I live 10 minutes from campus! Literally the closest of any residence. Everyone else seems to be staying at St. Pancras or East Side something. The only problem is it makes it harder to hang out with all the great people I met during UCL’s orientation. At least there’s classes and the school’s events. There’s so many people from Australia, Hong Kong and the States. There’s also been people from Spain, Canada, and China. It’s quite amazing the international diversity! Oh, I also made it known that I will be one of the loudest small persons you ever meet. Some of the presentations for orientation were multiple choice answers and I made sure to “speak” extra loudly the answers!

Kelsi, me (Lily) and Scotty! All from the USA! (NC, MA, and TX respectively!) We had just finished lunch.

Visit to Versailles

One thing you must do if you visit France is to go to Versailles to see the Palace and the gardens. We got up very early in order to get our bus to the Palace an hour and a half away. The tour tickets include transportation by bus that has additional commentary. The route the bus takes will go by the Louvre, around Concorde and under the Arc de Triomphe. We never did get to walk the Champs-Elysses and see the Arc de Triomphe up close, but I was able to get some really nice pictures from the bus.

The Chateau de Versailles is a marvelous building outside and in. It’s also really huge, which makes sense since it’s where the royalty of France once lived. There’s a courtyard for the counselors separated by a golden gate that houses the royal courtyard within.



The tour brought us through many of the waiting rooms and ballrooms that were used by the royal family, along with the King’s private and public bedroom and the Hall of Mirrors. At the time, there was work being done in the Queen’s bedroom so we were not brought there.

The waiting rooms were all themes around different gods/goddesses that helped to display Louis XIV’s power and wealth. The visitor would move from room to room, waiting in each one for an indefinite amount of time before they could see the king. The ceilings were covered in paintings of great battles and events, and in the middle was a scene portraying the God/Goddess that the room was themed around. Even the doors were gold-leafed to match the ceiling trimming. (I believe the room below was themed around Mars, the god of war and vengeance)

King Louis XIV had a public bedroom that was used as a way to show off as people waited to meet him in the throne room, and a private bedroom that he actually used for personal use.

Louis XIV’s private bedroom was placed in such a position that the sun’s rising shown in through his windows every morning. This was very fitting for the Sun King.

The Hall of Mirrors is a large gallery featuring 17 mirrors that reflect 17 windows that look over the gardens. The idea was to feel surrounded by nature. The art in the gallery include paintings and sculptures of gods and goddesses.

Once the tour is over, there’s an hour of free time to either explore the gift shops or the gardens. I chose the gardens, which are so vast that an hour isn’t nearly enough time. There were many sections to the gardens but I stayed rather close to the palace.



If you do decide to go to Versailles, the tour is great! However, if you want more time to roam around the gardens, it may benefit to go on your own. You just need to wait in a very long line.

Louvre and Montmarte

The Louvre was really amazing. There are so many exhibitions, and like any other huge museum, it’s impossible to visit every exhibition and enjoy each one fully. We saw Greek and Roman sculptures, some Renaissance paintings, and a room dedicated to Louis XVI (The Sun King).

There were six of these statues long the door way to the exhibit of Roman sculptures. It was also one of the more clothed pieces of art within the Roman and Greek exhibitions. I kind of forgot how much nudity there was in their sculptures.

The Venus de Milo statue was a very popular exhibit. It had it’s own space within the Greek sculpture room. There were many sculptures of Greek gods and goddesses. There was even a interactive screen where you could learn about certain symbols that are associated with them.

The Mona Lisa was what my mom was most excited to go find. Found on the 1st floor of the Louvre (in relation to the facts that there is a -2, -1 and 0 floor… it’s Europe after all.) There are signs that help point tourists in the right direction. Within the room itself, it holds it’s own place on the far wall. There are many other Renaissance works hanging on the walls, but everyone crowds around the Mona Lisa. It is covered behind a large glass panel and hangs behind a red velvet rope, likely to prevent any more thieving crises. The Renaissance art is very Christian inspired. The differences between the art of Roman and Greek times is vast. Earlier art consisted of sculptures and ceramics. The Renaissance was more of a time of paintings.

The room dedicated to Louis XIV was themes around his epithet as the Sun King. The engravings long the ceiling were of the astrological signs. My sign is Gemini, and thus I included that picture. I think it’d be too much if I included all of the signs. You should go to the Louvre to find the depiction of your astrological sign some time. The room is beautiful in all it’s golden plating. There is even a display of the crown jewels.


Going under the pyramid gave me the opportunity to do some really cool photographic shots of the building round me. It was like a greenhouse however due to the glass and the intensity of the sun!

The front of the Louvre is very beautiful with the old architecture, glass pyramids, water fountains and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (not to be confused with the bigger, famous Arc de Triomphe). The day was so hot, that people and ducks were dipping their feet into the fountains! I took partook mainly for the picture of it.



Also, I did tell you that the couple we saw by the Eiffel Tower weren’t the only ones we’d be seeing on our adventures through Paris (The City of Love!)

We spent so long at the Louvre that we unfortunately missed the artists’ stalls at Montmarte. We did go and eat at a nice restaurant and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris) was a lovely place to visit.

La Pierrade’s had a nice outdoor seating area though there were a lot of motorcycles and scooters passing by. (There’s so many of them in the city). I ate lamb shoulder roasted with thyme for my entree and a lemon tart as my dessert. (The tomato had balsamic vinaigrette nicely drizzled on it, but I had started eating before I remembered to take a picture)


Located on the summit of Monmarte, it offers a beautiful view of the city. Rather than walking the 300 steps to the top, we took one of the two funiculars that are at service. For the same price as a Metro ticket (1.90 Euros), a person can enjoy a good 1.5 minute ride up and down the hill.

(Heading down in the picture)

The Basilica and the view from it!


Picture taking is not allowed inside due to it being a place of worship and peace. So go visit it yourself when your in Paris!