By Rachel Simoneau
Politics, Class of 2018
Coventry, Rhode Island
On a day off from my internship in Parliament, I decided to further explore London. First, I went to Tower Bridge which is located across the River Thames and is where the Olympic rings were displayed during the 2012 Summer Games. The bridge is free to walk across, but there is an admission fee to go up inside the towers. Luckily, thanks to my trusty Cardinal Card, I received a student discount for my ticket. In various parts of the exhibit, I learned about the design, construction, engineering, and history of the bridge. Most people were not drawn to these informative sections and instead proceeded along the walkways to get a better view of the cityscape. From this elevation, I had an unobstructed view of the Shard, which is the tallest building in the United Kingdom. However, the true highlight of the Tower Bridge attraction is a section of flooring that is made out of glass. I stood and watched as pedestrians, red double-decker buses, and boats passed beneath my feet. To say the least, it was disorienting to see all this activity occur 42 meters below.
After the Tower Bridge, I decided to go to a museum in the afternoon. After consulting a map, I realized the Tate Modern museum was only a short walk down the River Thames. Strolling along, I passed other attractions that I will visit another day, including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Winchester Palace. This museum does not have an admission fee, so my Cardinal Card remained safely stowed away. I was surprised that many American artists were featured in the museum. Notably, some of Andy Warhol’s pieces were on display and an exhibition of Robert Rauschenberg works was advertised with posters of President Kennedy. I was so enthralled by the art in this museum, that I ended up going through all the floors of the building. When I finally left, I was starving and exhausted so I reluctantly returned to my flat. The rest of London would have to wait for another day.