The University of Iowa

A weekend in London: to Stonehenge and beyond

January 14th, 2015

A rather dreary looking Stonehenge

By Taylor Corrigan*

I finally experienced a typical rainy day in London yesterday. Our class had a day trip to Stonehenge and then to Windsor Castle. It was a bright and early wake up to be outside on the bus at 7:45 am; or I guess I should say dark and dreary. It was lightly raining as all of us zombie-walked onto the bus.

I wish I could talk all about the trip out to Stonehenge but I have to admit that I was fast asleep for the 90 minute bus ride, until out tour guide came on the speaker and jolted us all awake.

 The first glance of Stonehenge is about a quarter mile away from the highway behind a giant field of sheep. There were a crazy amount of sheep.

on the london eye

Way up high on the London Eye

All I really knew about it was the fact that no one knew much about it. I love the unsolved mysteries of the world, it makes the visit much more interesting. I did learn though that it’s about 5000 years (insane!), that during winter and summer solstice the sun passes right through he center, and that the larger stones were probably rolled on tree trunks from over 30 miles away.

Keeping watch outside the famous 221B Baker St

My favorite theory is that it was a way to communicate with aliens. Or perhaps that aliens were actually the ones to build it. After Stonehenge, it was an hour drive to Windsor during which it got rainier and colder. And unfortunately for us, the tour was outside. Forty degrees and rainy in the US is not the same as 40 degrees and rainy in the UK. The air is so damp and humid that it clings to you and chills you to the bone. I was not properly dressed for bone chilling rain, so although Windsor was quite beautiful and interesting, I was happy to get back on the warm bus.

Today, Sunday, was our day off! I decided to do a personal exploring day. My first stop this morning was the London Eye. It wasn’t rainy, but there was a pretty dense fog over the city. I still managed to get decent pictures, even a few of myself with the help of a nice German couple.

After that I headed over to the Tate Modern, London’s modern art museum. I would have also visited the National Gallery or National Portrait Museum, but because they were free and on the north side I knew there would be a line or the crowds would be unenjoyable.

So I strolled through the uncrowded Tate Modern pretending to understand the abstract exhibits and had lunch on in the fourth floor café. As a fan of BBC Sherlock, I couldn’t help but make a trip to Baker Street after. The long line swayed me towards not going through the museum, but I still snapped a shot of the infamous 221B address.

I enjoy travelling and exploring on my own, it’s peaceful and even rewarding. SO I’m sure I’ll be doing more this trip!

*Taylor Corrigan is a senior from Iowa City, IA majoring in marketing at the University of Iowa. She is currently studying abroad on the winterim International Business Abroad program in London, England.