Greetings from London!  Today was another busy but fantastic day in London. We met outside our flats at 7:30 am to begin our journey to Down House, the home of Charles Darwin and his family.  To get from London to the village of Downe, we took a tube, a train (well three trains but that is a long story), a bus, and a walk.  Once we arrived at Down House we toured the beautiful gardens, walked Darwin’s Sand Walk, and listened as Dr. Firenze read from Charles Darwin’s autobiography.  We also toured the home where Charles Darwin lived happily with his wife and children and saw his study where he wrote The Origin of Species. It was inspiring to be in the place where Darwin pondered and wrote about his evolutionary theory that forever changed the way we understand the natural world.  After returning to London we had a bit of free time.  Some students visited Banqueting House (the only remaining part of Whitehall Palace) while others rested, caught up on their journals, or bought caps.  In the evening we met for our private tour of the Charles Dickens museum. Once again it was inspiring to be in the place where Dickens lived and worked and to see the desk where he wrote Great Expectations, the novel we are analyzing in this class. Our guide did a wonderful job talking about Dickens and the Victorian period and really helping us to understand the personal life of Dickens. Today was such an eye-opening day where we got a glimpse of these real men who became such iconic figures in the realms of science, literature, and social reform.  We ended our night with some instructions for tomorrow.  We are meeting at 5 am to walk to St. Pancras and take the Eurostar to Belgium.  We are all excited for the next part of our European adventure.  There will not be a full blog post tomorrow as I will not have my computer, but I will catch up when we return to London on Thursday night. Cheers from London!


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