We worldly travelers have returned from our weekend adventures in London, and restored our lives here, in Dingle. What a packed four days, though!
Almost immediately after nursing lab on Thursday, we boarded the bus to the Kerry airport and our London-bound flight. Our hotel was about a 3 minute walk from the High Street Kensington underground/tube (subway) station. Friday morning, we followed our fearless leaders (Sean Pol and Dr. Watson) on the short walk from our hotel to the High Street Kensington underground/tube (subway) station. About 20 minutes later, we emerged from the Westminster tube station and basically ran into Big Ben. We, of course, had to get our fill of pictures and selfies with the iconic scene, which was perfectly complemented by Britain's famous red telephone booths!
Eventually, we made our way to Westminster Abby, famous for the coronations of England's kings since 1066, and more recently, for the wedding ceremony of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton. It was fantastic to see where the queen and her knights have private sermons, as each knight's coat of arms was represented with a flag and a decorated armored helmet above his seat. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show of the abby, as photography is not allowed inside: but I assure you that it was beautiful and the history of the building and its country was very prevalent. It reminded me of how young our country is- the abby was home to royalty hundreds of years before the Americas existence was even realized by Western peoples!
After lunch, our group visited the Florence Nightingale Museum, located in the basement of St. Thomas' Hospital, just across the River Thames from Big Ben and the Parliament building. Personally, I thought it was a wonderful experience as a future nurse- the museum does a great job of illustrating who Florence Nightingale was as a person, where she came from and how her ideas and policies changed nursing for the better. It brought tears to my eyes to realize how Nightingale began to revolutionize the public's view of nurses and the profession of nursing itself; Nightingale's own parents were horrified at the thought of their daughter nursing because nurses were seen as drunken, promiscuous, working-class women. Nursing was not a professor nor a calling for most- it was a job, one they did not take very seriously. Florence Nightingale believed she was called by God to nurse, so perhaps it was an act of God that nursing is as incredible and important as it is today. I am so grateful to Florence for starting the change in nursing which has become my calling as well.
Us Nursing majors with the Florence Nightingale bust at the museum.
On Saturday morning, Colleen Dalton, Alyssa Mickalauskas, Tracey Castelli, Corinne O'Toole, and myself ventured to King Cross Station and, more specifically, Platform 9 & 3/4. There we took amazing photos of us pretending to walk into the wall and even saw a mini Harry Potter!
After a quick lunch, we toured the Tower of London which is the historic castle on the bank of the River Thames near the Tower Bridge, and houses the crown jewels. It was fun to listen to our fantastic beefeater tour-guide talk about the historic prisoners held here, as well as their gory and sometimes mysterious deaths. I learned so much, not only about the Tower but of the English history. It made me very grateful to be living in the current time and not the 1500's.
Beefeater tour-guide with the Tower's famous ravens in the background
Me + the view of Tower Bridge from the wall of the Tower of London
We closed the Tower of London, as we left only because they were closing and it was getting dark. From there we returned to Westminster tube station to ride the London Eye. London is a beautiful city to behold at night, even in rain.
Sunday morning was quiet but enjoyable, as most of us wandered about the lovely area surrounding the hotel. The rest of the day was spent traveling back to Dingle. I speak for myself and others when I say, though we enjoyed London and even hoped to spend another day there, we are happy to return home to our quaint town of Dingle!
Ta ta for now!