Ali arrived in London and we went to the Tate. The Modern one.

by Heidi Obermeyer

This semester is a weird one. Classes have gone by at the speed of light (all I have left now is seminars- lectures were only 8 weeks long) and my time in England has followed suit. Bath doesn’t feel too much different from when I first arrived, besides the new absence of leaves on the trees and the sudden necessity of a winter coat. Ali’s visit came at the perfect time- I’ve gotten a good chunk of work done (2/5 papers turned in!) and was ready for a break from class.

We spent 5 days in London, beginning last Saturday with an agonizingly long ride from Heathrow into the city center. The tube line out of the airport was getting some major improvements, so a straight shot ride that should have taken 45 minutes ended up involved about an hour on a bus completely packed with the usual tube traffic. Not the best introduction to London after a transatlantic flight! We dropped off our luggage just in time to catch dusk near Saint Paul’s cathedral, where we disembarked from the tube and walked across Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern. It’s started getting dark out here around 4:30 p.m., but despite the darkness the Tate and the surrounding area were still packed with people. There was even a guy painting tiny mini paintings into the grating of the bridge, some of which we spotted after seeing him working on a new piece.

I’ve actually started to enjoy going to art museums, but one fatal error I always make is confusing modern and contemporary art. Modern art (for me)= kinda weird and boring and only sometimes interesting, and contemporary art= I’ll usually like it. The plus side to this is that we got through what we wanted to see in the Tate very quickly, which worked out well for the jetlagged (Ali) and tired for no good reason (me) among us. We then walked along the Thames and visited the sorta-kinda-disappointing Southbank Christmas Market (Once you go German, you never go back), where we got some overpriced Glühwein and some roasted almonds, which redeemed the Market from being a total bust.

Anyway, it was a good first evening, despite a few travel hiccups. And with this post, I henceforth open my week(ish) of London-y posts. Please mind the gap! 🙂