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Day 5

Big Ben from across the river

We started our day off, mid-morning by gaining insight into aspects of current and past London films. On Sunday the 29th, at 11:00 a.m. we had a scheduled visit to the London Film Museum, located on the other side of the Thames River, next to the Aquarium and famous London Eye Ferris Wheel (pity us – we got to walk across the Hungerford Bridge on one of the most beautiful days on the trip with Big Ben in the distance, and the Eye ahead of us). This bridge is decorated with giant, almost silver triangles.

One of the many street performers seen along this strip. The performers really get into their character and they look fake until they move!

We arrived on the other side and I was immediately reminded of  South street Seaport in New York City (right on the Hudson river). There was a carnival and many a street performer, and the Thames to the right. It was packed with people watching the performers and heading to one of the many popular destinations along this strip.

The London Film Museum was neat because we received a guided tour, and saw air-looms from modern and older films – some original, and some replicas. We learned different movie trivia about these  props and the movies themselves. The exhibit featured in the museum was for Ray Harryhausen -yes, an American- filmmaker who invented ‘stop-motion model animation,’ an extremely innovative technique where figures and objects are able to appear like they are moving on their own. He is most famous for his works Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans. There were also exhibits featuring Harry Potter and Sherlock Homes props. Perhaps the most fun we had at this stop was at the Star Warsset, where we all got to pose with light sabors for a photograph.

The entire group at the Film Museum

We wanted to see this park in action because it seemed hard to believe people were given complete freedom of speech, but they were

After the museum, our group split up into a couple of smaller ones. In my group, we traveled to a small section in Hyde Park called ‘Speakers Corner.’ After learning about this place in COM 300 Law and Ethics earlier in the semester, some of us were extremely intrigued, for at ‘Speakers Corner,’ regular Joe’s like you and I are able to bring their soapboxes and speak about any topic they so chose. It is a public forum area where free speech is tolerated. These men and women gathered crowds big and small to hear what they had to say from topics on religion, government, or even nonsense.

The speaker who stood up the most was an older woman, dressed in almost mystical witch attire who was essentially bad-mouthing anyone who was not British. It was an incredible experience to be part of the crowds in Speaker’s Corner, walking up freely to anyone and being able to voice your own opinion, or even sit in silence and take in what he or she is saying.

Listening to the speakers at Hyde Park...very interesting

On Sundays, certain tube stations are closed. Our group had a desire to travel to Abbey Road, where the infamous Beatles cover of said album was photographed. After a long, long hike to a more northern section of London called ‘St. John’s Wood,’  we found Abbey Road – complete with a ‘Zebra’ crossing – a zig-zag line that symbolizes that cars are mandated to stop for pedestrians, no matter what. After walking across and getting our picture taken, we all signed the long wall where millions of fans past and present have signed their names, or written messages expressing their admiration, respect and love for the four Beatles. Abbey Road studios is right on the other side of the wall, where the record was recorded, but it was closed off.

Walking across Abbey Road

We headed back on the long walk to our hotel where we dined in the pub next-door. After this myself and two others walked down to Kings Cross Station – about 15/20 minutes away from our hotel, where we were in search to find ‘Platform 9 and 3/4’ the famous train station ‘take-off’ point from the Harry Potterseries. After a success, we came back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the night.

-Joelle

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