Zombies, mummies and graveyards are not really my thing. I mean I close my eyes during scary movie previews. I have never seen "Freddy Krueger," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," or any of the major horror films. And while I haven't "seen dead people," I have walked over lots this trip. 

Today, I toured Westminster Abbey where over 3,000 people are buried including seven monarchs: King Edward, Queen Eleanor Castile, King Henry III, King Edward I, King Henry VII, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. With almost every step I took, I was walking over a grave. It's kind of morbid when you think of it.  

Westminster is famous for lots of things, one being the "Poets' Corner" where famous writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens and Robert Browning are buried.  Poets' Corner started with the burial of Chaucer; however, he was buried here because of his connections with the palace of Westminster and not because of his writings. Memorials also line the walls in Poets' Corner includes those commemorating Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, John Milton, Percy Bysshe Shelley, T.S. Eliot and more. Thinking about it now, I see how awesome it is to say I have seen the burial place of such amazing writers and have even stood on their graves. 

Scientists, statesmen and many others are buried in the church. Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton are buried here. 

Westminster Abbey is beautiful with its tall ceilings, arches, stained glass, gold carvings and perpendicular gothic style. Outside the West Gate there are modern statues of martyrs. The most recent statue is one of Martin Luther King Jr.

Westminster Abbey has been a destination for many important English ceremonies such as coronations, royal weddings and funerals. 

Thirty-eight coronations have taken place in the abbey beginning in 1066 with William the Conqueror's coronation. I have never watched a coronation ceremony, but I did get to see the actual coronation chair. The oak coronation chair was made in King Edward I's reign and is more than 700 years old. During coronations the Stone of Scone from Scotland is placed symbolically under the seat to show that the king rules over both Scotland and England. I also saw this stone in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. 

I also stood at the West Gate where Kate Middleton revealed her wedding dress to the public for the first time. Our tour guide explained how the church was set up for the royal wedding and we walked where the ceremony took place. 

After touring Westminster Abbey, we ate at a pub. Unfortunately, the oven had broken before we arrived so we couldn't order any pies. This was upsetting because the pies were what convinced us to eat here. Nonetheless, I ordered a burger and even thought they put cheese on it, it was very tasty. 

Next, we tried our luck at the Houses of Parliament. We weren't really sure if we were going to be able to get in, but we did. 

I wasn't really looking forward to sitting in on a political debate because I'm not very familiar with politics or the British government; however, once we made it to the House of Commons my mind changed. Sitting in a wooden bench with green cushions, I peered down at the members of parliament as they debated the issue of legal aid reform. Jumping into a debate midway is not recommended. It took me a while to figure out what they were talking about and how their system worked. It was like a live puzzle. I had to listen to the speakers, watch their body language and scan the environment for clues. Once I connected the pieces, the picture was clear. 

Each member took his or her turn speaking for five minutes and would "give way" to other members when they needed to interject another opinion. Even when they were angry, the members were polite to each other, addressing their counterparts as "honorable gentlemen/lady" and thanking them for their input. At one point, one whole side disagreed with a member and they made a mumbled chorus of noises. It was very amusing. 

Before leaving parliament, we sat in on the House of the Lords. This was very dull and nothing really happened. 

Class was dismissed after we all made it out of parliament, so Lauren, Kayla and I walked around and bought our last souvenirs. Somehow we managed to walk in a complete circle in an hour, so before heading back to our dorms, we ate ice cream in Hyde Park. 

Tonight we had our going away dinner. Initially, we all wanted to go someplace where we could all sit together, but a Thursday night in London is crazy busy. We all got separated on the Tube and it took us a while to find the pub. People were already piled into the pub so we debated for a while where we should eat because we didn't think we could fit here. For a while, we walked down the street in the rain and then decided to try our original spot. 

We didn't all sit together, but we were in the same general area. I branched out and tried the chicken; can you believe it? It was actually really good, but it tasted like spaghetti. Dinner ended with a toast from Dr. Guidry and then we all split up for a night on the town. 

Kayla, Jennifer, Lauren and I walked Waterloo Bridge with our umbrellas sheltering us from the freezing rain. London definitely looks different at night with all the colorful lights painting the skyline. I felt like we were in a typical London scene: It was raining, we had umbrellas, we were walking on a bridge with cars streaming by and in the distance we could see the London Eye and Big Ben. Ahh, could it get any better?


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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.


    July 2013
    June 2013