The second travel week has come and gone just as fast as the first one! This week I traveled with my class to London from Sunday to Friday!
Sunday October 29th
Our group met at the airport early Sunday morning and landed in Gatwick airport after a bit of a rocky flight due to wind. We then boarded a bus to our hotel which is right next to Chelsea Football club which was just so cool. We got settled in our rooms and then were off to see the London Eye! The area was super crowded, especially with a group of seventeen trying to all get through. We got our own little capsule for the ride and the sun was just setting which made for a great view of the city.
Afterwards we headed to Fortnum & Mason for high tea! This place was so fancy and such a great London experience that I am glad we all got to do for the start of our week! Everything was super tasty from the finger sandwiches, little deserts, assortment of cakes, and tea, but the highlight was definitley the scones topped with lemon curd.
Afterward we all realized we ate so much and decided that walking around the city would be good for us before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Monday October 30th
DIS really pulls out all the stops for the travel week, which meant that our flight/hotel/transportation card/and two meals a day were all taken care of. We started out each morning at the breakfast buffet in the hotel which also was quite fancy and always a great way to start my day filling up on all the fruit, toast, yogurt, OJ, and chocolate croissants!
From here we headed off to Wimbledon, yes THE Wimbledon. We had a great discussion about the brand and associated stereotypes that come with it before being led on a tour. We saw the center court, where the BBC does their news reports during the tournament, and the press room where the champions have sat to answer questions. There also is a museum where we got to see the actual trophies that are given to the winners. I really enjoyed hearing about the history and branding that this iconic sporting event has and how my major is relevant to something like this, and also that the tickets are actually much cheaper than is assumed, so I might just have to make a return!
The rest of the day we had to ourselves, so I along with three others in my class headed to Notting Hill, where we saw the shops of Portabello Market, the colorful and fancy houses, and ate some sushi for lunch.
From here we took a double decker bus (of course sat on the top) to Hyde Park where we walked around the huge area which was perfectly picturesque fall. We saw Princess Diana’s memorial, though it was closed starting that day for two weeks. We then walked along more to find the parent trap house, which was cool to see, but pretty underwhelming when you realize that British Lindsay Lohan isn’t living there and its actually a family ready for halloween, still cool to check off the list though! We then headed back to the hotel to charge up our phones before heading to eat for dinner where we found a pub, got some fish and chips, and I really couldn’t ask for more than that!
Tuesday October 31st
We started our day at the Imperial War Museum where we split up and explored as we wanted. I went through the WWI exhibit and then the Holocaust exhibit-which of course I really enjoyed, it had a great replica of Auschwitz. Afterward we talked about how the museum did well with communicating thier message of these definitive times in history and how they were able to do this through lighting, sound, interactive elements, etc. It was a cool and different way to look at a museum that is more tailored to our classes interests and how strategic planning was put in place to draw people to this museum and portray such important facts of our history to them.
We then had some time on our own, so me and another girl from my class went to the soho area and walked Carnaby Street. We went off to a side street to find some place to eat where we stumbled upon this hole in the wall burger shop which was SO GOOD and it was located on none other than Berwick Street! We then walked through a little park to watch people playing some ping pong before heading to Buckingham Palace where we saw a lot of fancy dressed people leaving the palace with cool hats, which made up for the fact that there was no changing of the guards ceremony on that day.
We then walked to Trafalgar Square where the National Gallery Museum is, it was such a nice walk here because the weather was so nice and crisp and the leaves were all changing. We then got some coffee and headed to met our class at 9 3/4 platform. Unfortunately did not get a picture of myself in this harry potter haven, but I did see it and that counts for something! We then all headed to The Guardian where we had a presentation about the day in the life of a worker at this British newspaper. This was another great visit because we were able to learn a lot about this popular publication and how they have transitioned into digital.
We had a dinner afterward at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant before heading to see Wicked! This play was absolutely incredible and the highlight of my trip. The performers were amazing, the storyline was amazing, and I definitley teared up during Defying Gravity.
Even though it was Halloween I was so tired and a majority of our class was pretty content with just heading home after the play.
Wednesday November 1st
On this day we went to West End on Demand for a Public Speaking Workshop (this was interesting because we talk about framing messages a lot in my course so the way this workshop was framed made it intimidating which is something we talked about afterward and how we would rename it differently). This was an amazing opportunity that we had to learn from a woman whose job is all about voice and she herself is actually currently in Les Miserables, so she definitley knew a thing or two. The exercises were awesome to go through, they focused on posture, articulation, projection, and confidence. In the beginning we each talked about our voice and where we want to be and then after she gave us tips on what she noticed. At the end we stood in a circle and each had to step in to the middle and say our name and something we believe in that starts with the first letter of our name (My name is Carly and I believe in communities). Then the next round we did this same thing, but instead before speaking, in our head we said ‘I have feet’. Automatically you saw people take their time more, walk all the way to the center, and take a deep breath before beginning. All of the tips are definitley things I will remember for the future and the experience in general was so applicable because of daily conversations and presentations are things that easily define us in everyday life, and being able to improve in this area is always helpful.
We left the workshop to get fish and chips from Mayfair Chippy before heading to listen to two speakers: Noo Saro-Wiwa a journalist, and Rebecca Lefort who spoke about government communications.
Afterwards myself and two other girls headed to Dishoom, an Indian restaurant that was recommended by friends who studied abroad in London. We got there early and there still was a line but we were very lucky and it went super quick and it definitley did not disappoint! I had lamb, rice, naan, and chai tea! The lamb was incredibly spicy and I wish I could have finished everything, but alas I could not, but still think about this meal and how great it was.
Later in the evening we went to Udderlicious, another recommended spot where I had strawberry basil ice cream!
Thursday November 2nd
We had an early wake up call on Thursday so we could travel outside the city for Oxford! Here we had a tour from a girl that grew up in the town that was really incredible and told such great stories. We later learned that she was just 17 and doesn’t even go to Oxford, has just applied there, we all really hope she gets in! It was cool to see areas that Harry Potter was based off of, the alley where Narnia was inspired, and also Oxford has such notable people like John Wycliffe who translated the bible and also C.S. Lewis who was inspired for Alice in Wonderland after he told a story for one of the dean’s daughters and she insisted it be written down.
We then loaded up on the bus again this time for Windsor Castle. We went through with an audio guide which was nice and the castle itself was just so grand and like its own little town.
We made our way back into London where we were dropped outside of Bumpkin South Kensington where we had some authentic British food (minestrone soup, meat pie, toffee pudding). It was all so delicious and hearty which was good since we spent a bit of time outside and it was quiet chilly!
Friday November 3rd
On our last day in London we went to the Welcome Museum to see the exhibit ‘Can Graphic Design Change Your life’. I really enjoyed this because it was all so visually appealing and it really showed how influential communications and design is to any product and brand. I especially liked the section that portrayed Provocation which showed how designs can promote social change and that when used in line with health care is important to how people respond and act, proving essential to matters of life and death.
We then headed to lunch and had such a great meal consisting of bruschetta, poutine, eggplant lasagna, and burrata. It was all so so yummy and we had a good wrap up discussion with our class about our favorite parts of the trip and reflected on our week.
We had some time before we needed to be back at the airport and load up the bus, so I met up for coffee with a friend from high school who is studying in London for the semester-it was so fun seeing a familiar face in another country!
Back at the hotel we loaded on the bus, got to the airport, found out our flight was delayed a bit, but having a plane delayed with a group is much better than by yourself, so it really was no big deal.
We got back pretty late, arriving back in my room at 1 in the morning. Boarding the metro I was shocked to be surrounded again with people talking and me not knowing a word of what they were saying.
The next day I went to Democratic Coffee and Paper Island with my friend Alexa to recount the week and enjoy good ole Copenhagen and its pure hygge culture! London was great, but definitley felt like I could be in NYC, so leaving and coming back to Copenhagen I was a bit sad to not know what things say again, but this day definitley set me back to what I love about Cope!