This week we packed up and headed to London. We arrived and it seemed to be a lovely day but on the train ride into the city, the clouds got darker and darker until it was basically black.
This meant we had to walk in the rain trying to find our hostel, which we did eventually find. Happily the rain cleared up as we took a walk across the Thames River and walked along it all the way to Big Ben and Parliament.
We saw a double rainbow, a street artist named The Chewing Gum Man (who paints on discarded gum)
and people trying to save a skate park. It was a wonderful introduction to the area that we were going to be living in.
On Tuesday we went on this amazing street art tour.
We were even able to make our own stencils and spray paint our original designs onto walls right outside the bus in which Alternative London is stationed.
On our "School Bus"
The street art we saw was amazing, some pieces bigger than others. The art was primarily legally painted works, except for one street which was full of illegal art.
My favorite piece was of a boy that was made out of multiple stencils so he had different layers about him.
The third day was our museum day and in the morning we went to Westminster Abbey and we were able to learn about the different monarchs and their history.
When we all finished making our way through the cathedral we started walking to the Tate. we were told different directions on how to get to the Tate; it was supposed to be a simple 5 minute walk... but ten minutes later in the bitter wind we decided to finally just take the bus there. We got on a double decker bus and went to the top and saw London from a different perspective. We made it to the Tate and were set loose to experience the magical place filled with so much art, but really it was super confusing to navigate. After a little bit of lunch we made our way to London’s Imperial War Museum. Unfortunatley when we got there we realized it was closed for renovations so we went to the next best place: the Churchill War Rooms.
Churchill was an amateur artist, but it fueled him. He loved it.
These are the hidden rooms under the streets of Westminster where England conducted military business during WWII.
The next day we had solos so everyone went off on their own and did something that interested them specifically.
I went to this really old embroidery shop that sells hand-painted canvas for you to needlepoint on. That afternoon we all met up and saw the musical production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
That was such a cool experience for everyone to do together!
Friday was our last day and in the morning we were given a nice surprise: we were going to another museum, this time to the National Gallery right at Trafalgar Square. It was good having Dave show us around the whole museum and talk to us about some of his favorite pieces of art. By the time we were done with the museum everyone was hungry, tired, and ready to go back to the hostel and get our stuff so we could fly home. A week on the road in London offered amazing opportunities, but it sure felt good to walk in to our home, drop our bags on the floor, and hop into bed.
Sam B painting the next morning.
Tucker painting his dad
Until next time, fairwell from France.