Part of my winter term trip does have an academic purpose. Believe it or not I am not just in London and Paris to have fun and do touristy things. I do have some work to do and there are scheduled events to partake in.
Today was all about Roald Dahl and Matilda. Roald Dahl is known for his quirky and unique children’s books. Our full group hopped on the coach and made our way to Great Missenden, the town where Roald Dahl lived for part of his life. It’s also where he is buried.
We started by walking to the church where his grave site is. His grave has a memorial with benches with a quote from the BFG. His grave is located just beneath the tree. We didn’t spend much time there because we wanted to be respectful to other other sites on the property.
From there we walked the main road of the city. Great Missenden is a very small town in the countryside of England. The main road consisted of a few places to eat, various shops and the public library. It’s one of those towns that you could miss if you blink.
We were going to venture into the library for a short amount of time but it was closed. Who would have thought that a library would be closed on a Thursday? It was kind of a bummer because there was a little room dedicated to Matilda, which is the Dahl book we read for class.
The teachers decided to walk us back to the Roald Dahl museum, which is where we spent our morning. It was a pretty small museum with only a few rooms talking about Dahl and his life. There was also an interactive part to the museum where I ended up coloring for a bit.
After we finished exploring the museum a group of us made our way to a local pub for lunch. One of my goals is to go to as many pubs as I can because they tend to have a cool atmosphere and I feel less like a tourist when I eat in them. This is also where I met Archie the black lab that was sitting inside the pub. He was the ultimate good boy.
Once lunch was over, we made our way back to Kensington. I decided to be kind of boring and took a nap before getting ready for dinner and the musical we were seeing. I was still tired from all the walking I did yesterday and I wasn’t feeling well. I wanted to be as ready for the musical as possible because Matilda was one of my favorite books we read for the class.
Dinner is where I gave in to my Americanism. Myself, Hannah and Clare went to Five Guys where we indulged ourselves with burgers and milkshakes. As disappointed as I was in eating very American food, it was so good. I personally ordered a grilled cheese but it has never tasted so good.
We left for dinner relatively early so we still had an hour to kill before we had to be at the theater. This led us to wandering around the Piccadilly Circus area and part of the area around Covent Garden.
Also I learned a lesson today: when there are elevators provided, ALWAYS take them. Never take the stairs because you think you will be able to handle it and they will actually kick your butt when walking up them. We learned this the hard way.
Lesson 2: Usually an announcer will come over the intercom saying not to take the stairs because they are for emergency purposes only. Of course this will happen after you have climbed all 193 steps.
(I am proud though that we made it up the steps successfully because it was not easy.)
Once we thoroughly tire ourselves out, we made our way to Cambridge Theater where we saw the show Matilda. It was so cute and very well done. I thought it was more similar to the book than the movie but I loved being able to see all three versions.
The night ended back in our hotel room resting because tomorrow we get to go to Warner Brother Studios where Harry Potter was filmed! It will definitely be an exciting day.