Friday, May 7, 2010

Westminster Abbey, Churchill Museum, and Cabinet War Rooms

Good golly, I love this city. And I love this program. There’s so much to do, all the time! This morning the entire group (all 41 of us) met up at Westminster Abbey to take a tour. I was lucky enough to go through Westminster this winter with my friends from the Paris program, but it’s definitely worth a second visit (or a third, fourth, or seventh), since it touches on three of my greatest loves: history, politics, and literature. Unfortunately, pictures aren’t allowed in the main cathedral, but I was in a dream wandering among the tombs of Elizabeth I, William Wilberforce, and Charles Dickens. I was especially happy to see that, although she’s not buried there, Jane Austen is also memorialized in the Poet’s Corner.I stepped into a pub (I promise we’re allowed in them) with Natalie, Chelsea, Stephanie, and Katherine for a traditional British Lunch, and we finished up just in time to join the group again at the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms. How have I never heard of this place before? It was a history major’s dream come true. Apparently Churchill and his entire staff built secure offices and apartments under ground so that they couldn’t be blown up in the blitz, but they just closed everything up when the war ended. They left their maps, paperwork, furniture, and just about anything else as it was, locked the door, and didn’t go back again. When curators were setting up the museum they even found an envelope of sugar rations that one of the officers had hoarded away. It was so cool! Churchill is definitely making my list of favorite people.

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