London Days 1-5: Imperial War Museum, Conference, & More!

To see each photo in a larger scale, simply click on the photo!

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe my trip to London is almost half over. It has been a crazy whirlwind of surreal experiences. This city is one large historical sight. Every new place I see I am in awe over. After years of reading about these places, seeing only photos, I am finally here, living the experiences for myself. So much history has come to life for me.

I won’t make this a terribly long post, but I thought I would go over the last five days as best I can with some photos below. From here on out I will be posting each day, so I will have lengthy posts on each day and more photos dedicated to each place I go. But for now, here is a (somewhat) brief overview.

I landed early Thursday morning and succumbed to jet lag, but Friday I was determined to not let it get the best of me. I decided to go to the place I was most anxious to visit- the Imperial War Museum. It was incredible seeing my research literally come to life in the First World War exhibit. I go back tomorrow (Wednesday, 2/22) to research in their archives, but plan to go through the First World War exhibit for the fifth (…maybe sixth and seventh) time to take some photos and notes. And yes, I went though the exhibit four times on Friday and am not ashamed to say so!

Saturday (2/18) was the day of the conference I was accepted to, the HOTCUS Winter Symposium. It was the first time I presented on my current research, which I will do a post about soon. The conference was an absolute pleasure- wonderful papers and panels, but more importantly wonderful people. I could not have asked for a better conference experience. Thank you to Dr. Jane Potter and HOTCUS for taking the photos below! I am happy to have them.

Sunday (2/19) I wandered around London. First, I went to Trafalgar Square and saw the Lord Nelson column. Then I went to the National Gallery and saw so many of the famous works I have only seen in books and digitally. I think my favorite piece from the National Gallery is Monet’s The Thames below Westminster. Afterwards, I caught my first sight of Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. It slipped my mind that it was Sunday, so Westminster Abbey was not open for tourism, but I plan to go back sometime before I leave. I also caught sight of the London Eye. I have been struggling with whether or not to actually ride the London Eye, but I think my fear of heights wins out; however, it still does not take away from seeing it.

Yesterday (Monday, 2/20) I started off my day in Trafalgar Square as I did Sunday. This time I went on the other side of the National Gallery and saw the Edith Cavell memorial. I then went into the National Portrait Gallery. As with the National Gallery, I saw so many pieces that I have only ever seen in books and digitally. It was surreal (which is definitely the word for this trip). After a brief stint in the gift shop, I wandered to the Tower of London and that too was, again, a surreal moment. I walked around for hours and I know I barely saw everything. I decided last night to dish out the extra pounds to visit again before I leave.

Today was another amazing day at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, but I will do a separate post that will go up tomorrow- and I will have plenty of pictures to share.

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