其實客觀來說，今天的tour是很失敗的，UK Study的導遊什麼都一問三不知，出發前說馬拉松已經開跑了，到了倫敦才知道11點才開跑，所以讓我們去看起跑；看完後原本說要去Hyde Park看大螢幕，結果發現今天只有持票者才能進入，想說至少導遊可以帶我們逛逛倫敦吧?沒想到他竟然就放牛吃草，要我們自由行…導遊是有那麼好當就是了=_=
Frankly speaking, I was disappointed with UK Study and its tour guide today. The tour guide didn’t know the time when the Men’s Marathon started, and didn’t know Hyde park was not open to the public till we got there. In the end, he asked us to do whatever we want in London, as long as we got back to the meeting point on time…but come on…we did pay for a tour guide, didn’t we?
Anyway, I didn’t expect this “do-whatever- you-want" trip, so I could only ramble around the city.
Before leaving Taiwan, my friends kept telling me how lucky I was that I could watch the Olympic Games in the UK. However, since I have no interest in sports and hate crowded places, London to me was just like a quarantine zone which I should keep as far away as possible from. Nonetheless, I was still curious about this big event. Thus, I went to London on the last day of the Olympics 2012 to see the Men’s Marathon race in the street. (I regretted it so much that I joined this UK Study tour instead of buying the return ticket on my own >_<)
I was told there would be one Taiwanese runner in this Marathon race, so one of my goals today was to take pictures of that Taiwanese one. I didn’t know what he was wearing or what he looked like; therefore, I could only take pictures of all Asian players, hoping one of them could be the one from my country. I remembered filming an Asian runner who was wearing a sunglasses with white frames, which was showy to me. However, not until I reviewed the pictures I took did I realize that the man with flashy sunglasses was the Taiwanese runner. Well done, pal!!
看著選手跑了兩圈也夠了(他們要跑三圈)，加上導遊又放牛吃草，在不知該前往何處下，只好往我最熟悉的Piccadilly Circus前進。記得去年在那邊晃了一整個下午，還順便逛到Covent Garden去，後來隔天又再去了一次，對那邊可說是記憶猶新，不過這回發現自己上次怎可以如此粗心大意，National Gallery一直就在旁邊，我搞不好都經過三四次了，竟然完全沒發現?!本來我就打算九月底課程結束後到倫敦玩一個禮拜，逛逛上次沒機會參觀的博物館，選日不如撞日…今天就先解決國立美術館吧!!
After the Marathon, I had no idea where to go. Then I decided to go to Piccadilly Circus since I once walked around the area for a whole day, and was familiar with it. However, later I found out that I was so careless that I wasn’t aware of the existence of the National Gallery nearby. Originally I planned to have a trip to London after my course finishes to visit the museums, but I think I can start now…from the National Gallery.
The gallery has collected paintings from 1300 to the early 20th century. The artworks before the 17th century were mostly about Jesus and his story; the topics were too similar, so I couldn’t see any difference between them. Therefore, I glanced through the paintings from early times for a while, then ran to the rooms for impressionism and post-impressionism, which I like a lot.
Last year I learned a lot about Monet (and Impressionism) & Van Gogh from the museums in France and Netherlands. Therefore, now I can identify the works of Monet, Manet, Renoir, Seurat (the inventor of Pointillism), and Van Gogh respectively. So today the assignment I gave myself was to learn how to tell the works of Cezanne, Gauguin, and Degas. It was difficult for me since I couldn’t feel the connections with their paintings. Maybe I need to understand the lives/personalities of the artists and the highlights of different stages before I start to love their works, just as I did for Monet’s paintings.
逛完美術館，就在Piccadilly & Covent Garden回憶去年的情景，看看老梗的魔術及特技秀，後來想…人不能一直活在回憶裡，還是該找點新鮮事來做，於是從Golden Jubilee Bridges過了橋，到泰晤士河的對岸看看。
I kept rambling around Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden and watching some cliched magic/tricks shows after finishing visiting the National Gallery. But then I thought I should do something new; thus, I crossed the Golden Jubilee Bridges to the other side of the River Thames.
I didn’t go to the other side of the river due to not having enough time. But this time, I thought it was a good place to stroll. You can be amused by the street entertainers alongside the bank, or you can just walk along the bank and enjoy the view across the river. I sensed something different from last year when I was walking. Last year, I was a visitor, who was nervous yet curious about everything. Today, I’ve been living in the UK for one month, and am getting used to life here. Walking in the street in London is now so usual for me that sometimes I even forget I’m Taiwanese.
It’s time to go to the meeting point at Victoria Station. When I was just about to arrive at the station, a huge Wicked sign took my eyes. It was a complicated feeling when I saw the sign.
The reason why I walked around Piccadilly Circus was to find the theater which Wicked was performed. I couldn’t find the theater in the end since it was not even there but on the opposite side of Victoria Station. However it was kind of too late to find it. However, to look on the bright side, I now live in the UK, which means I can go to London to watch this musical anytime I want. I will tell you the story about why I love this musical so much after I have the chance to enjoy it.
Back to the quiet-life Brighton again. With only 10% of the pedestrians in London in the street, the temperature seemed to drop a few degrees too. I do love this city, but I’m still not sure how long I will stay here. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.
You can visit this link to see more of the pictures I took today. And if you like, you can count how many runners appeared in my pictures.