Day 20 – Houses of Parliament & the final BBQ
An extremely early start saw many bleary-eyed students eating breakfast at 7:00 am in order to avoid heavy traffic into London. We were rewarded with gorgeous weather and fantastic views over the River Thames looking across towards Parliament (Westminster Palace) and Big Ben. A leisurely stroll took us across Lambeth Bridge and into Victoria Tower Gardens to await our entry into Parliament.
Like a large woven tapestry, our experienced and extremely well-informed guides took us on tours of Parliament, sharing their knowledge whilst weaving many of the historical strands that we have learnt about on ISCA together to form an exquisite masterpiece. Having seen the site of the signing of the Magna Carta a few days ago at Runnymede, it made perfect sense when the functioning of British Parliament was explained to us. We learnt about the 3 stages of Parliament made up of The House of Commons, The House of Lords and The Monarch as well as the functions of the different rooms within Parliament. The architecture was exquisite whilst the grandeur of the Robing Room was astonishing. We were fortunate enough to see a fresco depicting, ‘The Death of Nelson’ aboard HMS Victory, and another one showing, ‘The Meeting of Wellington and Bulcher,’ notable as we are staying at Wellington College. The gunpowder plot is a favourite story in many British households and further details about the event were revealed today, together with other stories about when Parliament burnt down.