London in an artsy Nut-Part 1
A summary of a recent trip to London organised by my university.
London in an artsy nut-Part 1
When it came time to decide on a first year excursion destination from my university, being an international student i was naturally looking at the cheaper destinations.
But my dad persuaded me to choose London, for reasons only he can explain.
So, there are basically two ways to get to London from Groningen(where my university is located): two hour train journey to the airport and then a 3 hour flight to London, and a 9 hour train journey. So logically my university chose THE 9 HOUR TRAIN JOURNEY TO LONDON.
Kidding aside though, I'm glad that we took the train journey, it gave me us a lot of time to make some new friends, and have a different experience.Plus the train journey was so much cheaper than the flight.
What normal people do when they have to wake up early in the morning is to sleep early and then wake up with the help of alarms. i cant do that though, ill wake up, turn off the alarm and then go back to sleep. So for sometime now, if i do have to wake up early for something, i just don't go to sleep the night before. a bit unconventional, but it works.
so after spending a sleepless night(by choice) i was at the train station at 5 in the morning and we started our 9 hour train journey to London. Throughout the journey we kept losing members(one due to lack of a visa and another due to lack of an ID card); never a good sign that. we finally arrived in London at around 14:15 and checked into the hostel right away.
After settling in, we were on our way to the Royal Academy to see an exhibition about abstract expressionism. To the layman, this exhibit would have just seemed like random strokes of paint on a canvas, and there would always be one guy who will be like, “ i could've done that” while looking at a Barnett-Newman. But to an art student, it is supposed represent the inner feeling of the artist; a representation of the social situation at that time; what he/she was going through at the time of painting it. I guess I'm not an art student yet, because i thought i could've painted any one of those.
the whole group did all of our travelling by the Tube( the underground metro service) and whoever designed it is a genius; it is conveniently located at every financial and tourist hotspot in the city, it take 10 minutes on average to get to your location and it is relatively cheap.And all of us seemed to be enjoying it. Of course it was my first time in London while some of my friends had been here many times before, so it was basically, me looking awestruck while the others yawned their past everything.
That night i discovered that the hostel our university had booked us into was more like a miniature hotel than a generic hostel. it had its own TV room, Ethernet cable room, Bar, sports room, and had a PS4 for all your gaming pleasures. But i was way too tired to do anything that night and went to bed early.
Call me old fashioned but i like to visit all of the touristy places of a city when i go there, but we didn't have the time for that on our itinerary. So in my pursuit to view said touristy places, its safe to say that missed i some art pieces or galleries altogether.(I’m neither confirming nor denying any of the above)
The places i did want to visit are:
- London Bridge
- Tower Bridge
- Big Ben
- The London Eye
- Baker Street
- Oxford Street
- The Shard
- Piccadilly Circus
- Leicester Square
- China Tower
On the second day, our first destination was the National Art Gallery, which was very conveniently located from Big Ben and from the London Eye. Me and a couple of friends slipped out of the Art Gallery and saw Big Ben(which sounds like a mafia king now that i write it down) and the London Eye. After lunch, we made our way to China Town, which is more like China Street with the same stores every 50 yards.
The second gallery for the day was the WhiteChapel Gallery which had an exhibit about William Kentridge. That was by far my favourite exhibit of all of them. His exhibit was mostly based on performing and visual arts and is something that i do get
We had one more gallery for that day, The Hayward gallery was purely a visual arts gallery and consisted of videos and movies from several artists. As much as this did appeal to me, there is only a certain amount of “gallery” that you can take in during a day and i had checked out at WhiteChapel. Our next incognito destination was Oxford Street. Oxford Street was like the fashion capital of the Capital. To get to Oxford street we had to go through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
So, is that three birds with a single stone?