Catherine Ruby


Dr. Rodgers

IDS 301

Travel Journal 4

Tate Modern

                According to Rick Steves, the Tate Modern was dedicated in the spring of 2000 as a place to show off contemporary and modern art. The collection has many different artists such as Monet, Matisse, Dali, Picasso, Warhol and so many more. Each year the art is alternated with different works of art from the various artists. During my visit, I really liked seeing the different types of artRecently I have only seen works of art that are older and it was really nice to change it up a little bit and see something different. I also really enjoyed the room that allowed other artists to become inspired and show off what talents they have. For example, another Meredith girl that I was with was able to play on the piano to show off her talents. Others in the museum gathered around her and even took pictures as she played.


Churchill Museum

                In 2005, London opened a museum in honor of Sir Winston Churchill. This museum is the only one in the world dedicated to Winston Churchill (  During World War Two, the museum was actually used as the underground headquarters for the British government.  On August 18, 1945 the headquarters were shut down and not used until 1970 when the Imperial War Museum began (   To me, this was awesome that the headquarters remained locked and untouched for about twenty-five years because they were able to preserve the rooms and now have them on display. While walking through, I was able to see the original function of the rooms.


Claddagh Village 

                Claddagh Village is in the middle of Galway City. The term claddagh comes from the Irish name “An Cladach” meaning a stony shore (  Fishing used to be the main source of income until the last century. Local claddagh men would sail out to sea to catch the fish to bring home to their wives. The wives would then clean up the fish and bring the fish down to the market to sell. The women would bring the fish to the dock closest to the city of Galway, but not in the city because they didn’t want to pay taxes. There are fishermen who are still keeping this tradition alive to this day (

                The Claddagh ring has become a well-known ring throughout Ireland and also the world. The story behind the Claddagh rings comes from a man who was sold into slavery and lived in Galway, Ireland, which is the city next to Claddagh Village ( week after Richard Joyce was sold into slavery he was supposed to get married ( While in slavery he learned the trait of a goldsmith and he created the claddagh ring ( The ring has two hands to represent friendship and the hands are holding a heart that represents love.  Richard was eventually released from slavery and made his way back to his love in Galway. She was waiting for him when he returned and he presented her with the Claddagh ring.  The ring is now worn by many people around the world and if you wear it with the heart facing out that means you are available and if you wear it facing inwards then that represents that your heart has been taken.


Experimental theatre

                Experimental theatre dates back many years but has only become popular since the twentieth century ( Experimental theatre tends to have free admission with some uncertainty of what you’ll see.  This type of theatre is meant to experiment with the community to see what is accepted and to demonstrate a new style of theatre ( While I was in Dublin, Ireland, I watched an experimental theatre performance.  There were many performances going on throughout the day but the one that caught my attention was a couple that could do acts with fire. During their performance they did various tricks alone with fire and also did synchronized tricks together with fire. It was amazing to see how well they worked with fire and how confident they were while using the fire.


Trinity College

                While staying in Dublin, Ireland, I stayed across the street from Trinity College. During our stay, we toured the college and I loved learning about the traditions that are still held to this day within the college.  Trinity College Dublin was created in 1592 as an all-male college. In 1904 the first female student was accepted into the college. Now the majority of students are female students ( During the tour, I learned that the college values education so much that they offer to pay for graduate school if the student achieves a certain number grade or higher in their concentration. They also offer various scholarships for good grades such as paying for the tuition, lunches or on campus living. When the college was first created the students had to wear cloaks to class.  Although this is not an everyday occurrence now, the cloaks are still worn on graduation.  Also, people are permitted to wed at Trinity College, but both participants had to have graduated from Trinity College and they have to get married within five years of graduating.


London Museum

                London Museum is a combination of two museums. Guildhall Museum was founded in 1826 and the London Museum was founded in 1912. In 1976 both of the museums put their collections together and made what is now known was the Museum of London (  I found the museum very interesting and almost jealous of the fact that London has so much history dating back thousands of years before the United States was founded.  I really enjoyed how the museum was easily laid out in chronological order and easy to follow the time era and what happened during that time. I also enjoyed the various hands-on exhibits to learn the history in another way.



Travel Journal 3

St. Paul’s Cathedral

            As a group, we all went to the Sunday service last week.  I was amazed by how beautiful the church was, all the details within the church just looked amazing and I could just tell it was built with pride. I really enjoyed the service because although I am not Anglican, I felt the service was very well-rounded and I really appreciated that fact that they prayed for everyone in the world separately and took the time to explain why in some cases.  I also enjoyed seeing the church since Princess Diana got married there.


Speakers Corner

Britain’s constitution is unwritten and has a huge respect for freedom of speech and the right to assembly. For many years people have gathered in Speaker’s Corner to share their views on society or anything they feel like talking about. Some famous people have actually spoken at Speaker’s Corners such as Karl Marx, William Morris, Vladimir Lenin and many others (  I went and experienced Speakers Corner last Sunday and it was amazing to hear people talk about anything on their mind and not get arrested for it. I know in the United States we are allowed to enjoy our own freedom of speech, but I know if someone was to speak out like they were doing at Speaker’s Corner it simply wouldn’t be appropriate and could possibly get a person arrested. Although many of the speakers that day didn’t have very strong points, in my opinion, one man did stand out to me and said that we are going into a bad world with Facebook and how we worship people who have done nothing for the world or society, like Paris Hilton. He also said it’s ridiculous that our world has become so pre-occupied on the wrong things and used the analogy if Lady Gaga was to sneeze and leave her tissue somewhere it would be put on eBay and sold for over two grand.  I found him interesting to listen to because he was so confident in his words, I cannot imagine having something like this in the United States.


Hyde Park

            My walk in Hyde Park was a very relaxing experience. I saw a lot of people relaxing and it seemed like going to the park was a normal, daily routine for others to relax and spend time outside. I really liked how there are bike trails just for bikers and it is expected for pedestrians to stay out of the way of the bikers. There is also a memorial for Princess Diana there. Also, there is the first naked structure in London that stands in Hyde Park. While walking around, I noticed there were no squirrels and no bugs.



            A group of us saw Wicked on Monday night and it was amazing! I have seen it in the states and it was just as great here. We went and saw the show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. According to Apollo Victoria Theatre’s website, it was first opened in 1929 as the state-of-the-art cinema.  The theater was closed down and reopened in 1975 and has since then focused more on musicals.






            Afternoon tea was a nice and relaxing experience. I enjoyed the down time I had while drinking tea with friends and munching on little sweets.  After reading about the history of afternoon tea, I found on that people started drinking tea more in the 19th century and the majority of people would just have two meals a day, breakfast and dinner, and then enjoy having afternoon with a light snack to tide them over for dinner. Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford was actually the first one to start this idea and she gradually started to invited friends to join her. Although this was a tradition that was started in the 19th century as something that happened daily, it is now more of a luxury for the British.


Kensington Gardens

            In Kensington Gardens we actually saw squirrels! We were amazed to see them for the first time and watching the other people’s reactions to seeing the squirrels was great! In the states, it seems like we take squirrels for granted and even get annoyed of by them, but here since there is such a small amount of them people love to see them and just watch what they do.  Kensington Gardens was originally designed for William III as he was an asthma sufferer and needed a quiet place to relax (

Kensington Palace


Kensington Palace

            Kensington Palace was a great representative of the royal ancestry. I did not know that Queen Anne had 18 pregnancies but only one child lived past the newborn stage. Many were miscarriages as well. William, Duke of Gloucester, was the only child to survive but unfortunately he died of smallpox at 11 years of age.  



Oxford University

            On Wednesday we visited the town of Oxford. Oxford is the oldest university in the English world ( We took a day trip to Oxford, which was a really nice coach trip out of London that only took about an hour and a half each way. While we were there we saw a lot of older buildings and many different colleges that were within the oxford university community.


Louvre Museum         

The Louvre museum was a very overwhelming experience. It was really nice that the museum appreciated students coming to the museum enough to allow us in for free. The museum was huge and I could see myself spending many hours or even days in there just seeing everything it had to offer. We saw a lot of the Egyptian preserves as well as many works of art including the Mona Lisa.  According their website, the Louvre building was originally built in the 12th century and dominated central Paris.  In 1981, President Francois Mitterrand decided to restore the Louvre Palace to be a museum which it now is today

Being in Paris                                                                                                                                      Being in Paris was a completely different experience from what I’ve experienced in London.  I feel as if I’m at home in London because I speak the same language. In Paris, I found myself getting frustrated with the fact that I didn’t speak their language. I even had to take a step back and think about my frustration when I was in the Louvre Museum since everything was in French and I felt as if it should have been in English as well. Once I took a step back to analyze the situation, I realized in the United States we don’t have translations either at museums and simply expect everyone to be able to read English. Once I realized that it made for a better experience.          


Green Park

            We walked through Green Park Sunday evening and saw many different things happening. We saw many people running or relaxing out on the lawn. As we were on our walk, we ran into the Royal Air Force Memorial. This was a monument representing the 55,573 young bombers Command crew that lost their lives in World War II ( The monument was breathtaking to me, as I was looking at the monument I came across a letter that was written in memory of someone’s brother who was lost in the war on September 24, 1942 at age 22. In the letter it said that it took the younger brother nearly seventy years to find the site of where his brother was killed because the aircraft crashed but was finally found. While reading and seeing the other things done for these brave soldiers I got the chills. My grandfather served during the Vietnam War and my brother is currently serving for rur country so I have the upmost respect for anyone who puts their lives on the line for others.

Travel Journal Two

                 It’s already been a week into my study abroad experience and I have already learned and experienced so many new things! One of the first things I learned was that the light switches are backwards from what I’m used to in the United States; at breakfast baked beans are served with the meal; a lot of the shops close early in the day and once they have closed they will not open the doors to allow you to purchase something quickly; and, the sun sets really late and rises really early in the morning. So far on my trip I have been able to visit the Tower of London, Parliament, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Pride Parade and Harrods.

Tower of London

                When we went to tour the Tower of London we attempted to listen to the tour guide but unfortunately the group that was touring at that time was too large and we struggled hearing the guide so we decided to walk around ourselves. When we were in the tour I did learn that there are a total of twenty towers within the tower of London. According to the Tower of London’s website the towers were originally built by William the Conqueror in the early 1080’s. Then throughout history monarchs added on to what is now known as the Tower of London.  The tower was used as a prison and also a place to execute people. While we were there, we got to walk through a museum and see some of the armor that was worn during that time as well as some of the guns that were used. One thing I do wish I could have seen was how the original castle was; I wish they would have preserved some the rooms within the castle we walked through within the towers to show everyone exactly how they lived. We also stood in line to see the crown jewels; unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures in this room but they were absolutely gorgeous.  It was well worth the wait to see the jewels. To me, it was amazing to see the time period that the jewelry was made in and how well put it looked together.

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                We took a tour of Parliament this weekend and on our tour we learned that the first building that we walked into was the oldest building standing in Parliament. According to Parliament’s website, the building is called Westminster Hall and it has been around since the 11th century.  William the II, known as Rufus, built Westminster Hall. Parliament went through many bombings and the Westminster Hall was the only building that had its original structure.  Our tour guide did say that at times when Parliament was getting bombed the men did have to decide which part of the buildings to save and that side was always the one to save due to its age. Another thing I did find very interesting is that even to this day the people working in Parliament try as best as they can to keep the traditions alive. They still wear wigs and people sit where they are assigned to sit and if you are not a part of that group you simply cannot sit. I enjoyed taking a tour around Parliament and I do look forward to going with just the business group to learn more and have more one-on-one interaction with a guide. I also think I would like to go one day and watch one of the debates that goes on each day.

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Victoria and Albert Museum

                According to the website, The Victoria and Albert Museum was first established In the Victoria and Albert Museum and now has a collection of art that dates back two thousand years. I think the items that stood out to me the most would be the rugs or clothing I saw that had embroidery. My mother embroiders with a sewing machine and I couldn’t imagine not having a sewing machine. Those women who made the rugs and clothing were so talented and a part of me is saddened that our lives have become so busy that we simply don’t have the time or even the talent to do what they could accomplish by hands. We unfortunately have looked to technology to help us.

Pride Parade

                Going to the Pride Parade was an amazing experience for me. It was an absolute eye opener for me; I loved the fact that it is so supported within the community. I honestly had a great time watching everyone come by and just be happy for everyone.  I also was very impressed with the fact that every stereotype people have against the LGBT community were announced in some way or form along the parade route and to me it was a way the people in the parade were showing they were aware of the stereotypes but they weren’t going to let it bother them. I did also enjoy not seeing any protestors. It seemed like to me everyone that could possibly have had a problem with same sex relationships just stayed home or away from the parade. I wish our country was more like that and more accepting of that lifestyle.

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                Going to Harrods was a very overwhelming experience, I knew it was a place that everyone talked about but I would have never thought it was so big. I could get lost within the shop very easily. There were eight floors of everything someone could imagine. We also stopped in the café to get some chocolate and sweets but they also had full meals and I even believe they had a little bit of a groceries as well. I hope to make another trip to Harrods before I leave so I can get another glimpse at what I missed.

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From what I have learned so far, the British really value life and having fun, one of the ways I came to this conclusion was with the stores closing exactly when they are supposed to. From experience in the United States, I am not used to the stores actually closing exactly on time and businesses in the US will wait for their clients before closing or even let in a client for a quick purchase. Here in London, I do not see that happening and I truly think British people have a different look on life and possibly a better look on life.