Author Archives: claybenko

It’s Been Real

            The last day in London was fun.  We had a tour of St Paul’s Cathedral and then went on the London Eye.  St Paul’s Cathedral was one of the more beautiful cathedrals we saw during the trip.  It was modern which made it more appealing.  The tour guide talked about Christopher Wren and his design of the cathedral.  It was interesting to see how the dome was constructed and the amount of weight it holds.  Adam felt that one of the more interesting aspects of St Paul’s cathedral was the spiral staircase and how each step below carries the weight of the step above it.  Experiencing the London Eye was also an amazing experience.  The 360 degree view of London in the pods was amazing.  Clay was able to go back at night and seeing London at night was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

            The history and historic sites of England does not even compare to anything we have in the states.  Both of us were amazed with all of the cathedrals.  To think that they could build these cathedrals several centuries ago is mind-boggling.  One of the many fantastic views I saw through this entire trip was looking up to the top of some of the most historic cathedrals.  Both, Clay and Adam really enjoyed the Roman baths and Warwick castle.  Both sites were breathtaking and we were able to take some great photos.  The trip to London was well worth it and both of us will take memories with us for the rest of our lives. 

Two for the show….

The bus tour of London was exciting because we were able to see London during the day instead of at night.  It was weird at first because I think many of us were not use to being in such a large city in Europe.  First, we drove past the British museum which looked phenomenal and the tour guide said the museum takes up an entire block.  One of the exhibits that Clay thought would look interesting was the ancient Egypt exhibit where mummies and artifacts from the BC era are on display.  After driving around the city of London, we walked down through a park and up to Buckingham Palace.  As the tour guide explained the job of the Queen.  After hearing her explanation of the Queen’s job.  Adam found it to be a very difficult job because she constantly has to be politically correct. She can never give her own opinion on anything and has to remain mutual. Everyone always sees the Queen as glamorous but never understands the work she actually does.

At the end of the tour, we were dropped off at the Tower of London, where William the Conqueror built this castle around 1075.  This was just many castles that William the Conqueror built during his time.  The tower has 12 towers and has so much history inside of it.  The Crowned Jewels were on display in the tower at the Waterloo Barracks. Both of us were able to see the diamonds, jewels, crowns, swords, gold dishes that have been used on royal occasions throughout history.  Many of us realized that during our lifetime,we will be able to see the crowning of a new queen.  Having been to London and all of the historic sites will make that day much more memorable because we will be able to say that we were there.  

One for the money…

Going to Bath and Stonehenge was a great opportunity. The Roman Baths were amazing in regard to the history and structure.  It is hard to believe that they could create something like this a few centuries ago.  I could not help but think how “we” do not have anything anywhere near this in the United States. Clay was able to get many great photos of the Roman Baths that I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life.  I was able to taste that water which is said to have an unusual taste.  While I was a little weary at first.  The waster did not taste as bad as many people made it seem.  An interesting fact that I learned was that the water of the Roman Baths contains 43 minerals which is believed to promote wellness.

The mystery behind Stonehenge makes it much more appealing and exciting to see.  How such large stones, some 25-50 tons, could be positioned the way they are and out in the country is mind-boggling.  To think, this happened over 5000 years ago, makes it that much more impressive.  You could not help but wonder how these massive rocks got there to begin with.  Adam could not believe how drastic the air temperature changed when we arrived. It was much colder and windy than any other place we have been.  As we entered to the field, Clay and Adam wondered to myself as I watched the other tourists snap numerous photos.  How many different photos of a pile of rocks can one person take?  Apparently, the answer is a lot.

The day has finally arrived!!!!

With about one week left, Adam was prepared like any would be before a big trip. Never having been to Europe, the trip to England is going to be a totally new experience. It will be interesting to spend several weeks out of the country with other students who are interested in really experiencing the culture of another country. While being excited about all of the sites we are visiting, I am even more excited to have time to see how people in England really live. It is funny to listen to people in my family talk about the trip. My aunt is really excited about us spending time visiting important Shakespearean sites, my mom is thrilled we get to see the Eiffel Tower, and even my brother wants me to bring him back a soccer jersey from one of the local football teams (not the national team). After all the political debate over health care, and the historical opening of the London Olympics, it will be really interesting to see how regular, everyday Brits live and how they think about things.

As a Broadcast and Communication major, I am interested in observing the role media plays in British society, and how people react to media in England. For example, when people in the US were talking about Prince Harry’s partying as if it were a huge scandal, I talked to a former teacher who is from England and she said it really was not such a big deal in England. She said that most British citizens accepted that Harry, although a Prince, is also a young guy who was getting ready to deploy with the military. I do wish I could take a tour of a local television station to see how their equipment compares to what we have at 10TV.

Through the last week, I was not as excited as most people would think.  For many, that is odd for someone who has never traveled to Europe.  Waking up this morning and finally realizing that the day is here.  I am starting to get anxious and excited.  Excited to see how people across the globe live their lives on a daily basis, how a hospital operates and functions, and the historical sites that do not compare to what we have in the United States.  I am sure it is all going to be a culture shock for many of us.  One thing I hope to experience is being able to watch a soccer game at a local pub with fans.  With the time counting down until we leave, I realize that there is three hours until I have to be at the airport and I have not started packing.  Typical guy?  Yes!  So I will contain my excitement for a few hours and get that ready