We started the day with a hearty breakfast at the WomBAR, the breakfast and cafe area at our hostel. We had our first experience on the world-famous London Underground, also known as the Tube (it was a totally Tube-ular time!). After minding the gap, we made our way to the British Museum, which featured the “Cradle to Grave” installation by Pharmacopoeia. The exhibit illustrates the life of an average man and woman through the thousands of medications they take across their lifetime, from vaccinations as an infant to long-term pills for chronic conditions. We were also able to explore everything else the museum had to offer in small groups, including the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures from Ancient Greece, and the China and South Asia galleries.
After working up an appetite, we took a brisk walk to the Southbank Centre Market, an open air market with a number of diverse food stalls, all of which contributed to the amazing aroma emanating from the plaza.
From there, we went on the Fat Tire Bike Tour around Hyde Park. We saw famous sights, including Buckingham Palace (or as the locals call it, Bucky P), the Clock Tower (you might call it Big Ben, but that really refers to the bell inside), and Westminster Abbey (which contains Britain’s oldest door!). The weather was perfect for biking - the clouds seemed to dissipate and the temperature was at a happy medium.
After four hours of traveling like true Londoners, we took a quick pit stop at our hostel to get ready for our dinner at Masala Brick Lane. We had our first taste of British Indian food, like Chicken Tikka Masala (Britain’s national dish!), and the owner spoke to us about the Indian culinary traditions that have been passed down for generations across continents. Satisfied with our meal, we had a leisurely post-dinner walk back to the hostel to rest up for the next day!