Sunday, 31 July 2016

Day 5: London's Sights & the Student Debate Evening

For those of us not going on the Stonehenge & Salisbury trip today, we had an almost completely free day to explore London for ourselves. Apart from the debate in the evening, we were free to roam and see the sights and sounds of this beautiful city. With maps in hand and a plan finalized, Kristine from Norway, Rene from Germany, Savvas from Cyprus, Micah from Switzerland, and I made our way through London! 
Our first stop was Hyde Park, where we where met with beautiful stretches of green trees and buildings of all ages and architectural styles. The building above, for example, is a relatively new piece in Hyde Park. When standing at the position this photo was taken, it looks as if the structure bends inwards greatly. However, if you stand facing the structure directly, the curvature almost completely disappears. This is due to the position of the boxes relative to one another, creating a cool optical illusion.  
There were small boat rentals at Hyde Park, so we jumped on the opportunity to cycle a boat around the beautiful lake! The view was lovely, and it was fun to get close up with the swans that swim on the lake. 
Over the course of the rest of the afternoon, we strolled through the busy streets of London, walked along the Thames, stopped in a few shops, and took endless pictures. The whole time we were abuzz with conversation, discussing so many aspects of our countries and how we do things differently to one another. For example, men in Cyprus are required to do military service, so Savvas will fulfill his next year and attend university the following year. Micah told us that on Switzerland's national holiday (which is actually tomorrow, August 1st!) everyone gets a free sausage. Good thing the Imperial has loads of sausages in the morning so Micah can still have his!
Here are Kristine and I in front of St. Paul's Cathedral! 
After we had sufficiently exhausted our feet from walking, we made our way back to the Imperial just in time for dinner. Everyone was very excited for the next event - the Student Debate Evening called "Art Meets Science." The question was whether or not art is essential for science. There were some exceptional student responses, and we were all keen to add our opinions to the discussion. We were so keen, in fact, that after the debate had ended, most people had not had the chance to share their thoughts, so we continued back at our common room. I'm amazed at the richness of thought that each participant has. People here are deep thinkers. 

Tomorrow we jump into a full day of lectures, and I am so excited to hear Professor Chris Bunce talk about his research into therapies for leukaemias and lymphomas.

Until then...

- Vivienne 

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