Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Dickens, Hardy & London

« Seeing More of Central London | Main

I Promise Myself to Return to London

Jake Thomas 09 - Last full day in London.  My shin splits make it difficult for me to walk. The blisters on my feet are nothing short of repulsive and hideous. Still, none of it really affects my attitude.  Dr. Herzog and the class has traversed through ridiculous amounts of the glorious city as well as the English countryside.  The love and respect I feel for city reminds me a lot of how I feel to my home town of Chicago.  I have never felt as comfortable.

The first half of the day, Dr. Herzog took the group on a short tour of famous post modern architecture.  Above all else, 30 St. Mary Axe left a very strong impression on me.  Amidst 18th century churches and modern architecture of the mid 1970s, 30 St. Mary Axe (lovingly referred to as "the Gherkin") towered over the city of London.  To me, it was the financial district's crowning achievement.  I could not help compare the piece to Chicago's Sears Tower.  Whereas the Sears Tower fixes itself with the rest of the Chicago skyline as typically modern architecture, the post modern elements of the Gherkin seems to show signs of flexibility in the historic city.  It was amazing.

The group ended our walk facing London's Tower Bridge.  Upon looking at the bridge, I could not help think about how the bridge's architecture instills a sense of classic beauty that leads the city of London.  When people think of London architecture, it is the first thing that comes to mind (not London bridge...which is in Arizona...apparently).  In a sense, the old mixes with the new.  With the post modern Gherkin, there is also the Victorian Tower Bridge.  Both wonders of our world.

I am going to miss this city.  I learned so much from Dr. Herzog, as well as so much from personally experiencing the culture.  Was the experience life changing?  I cannot say. Nonetheless, I will return to London one day. I can only promise myself that.


I remember taking this same trip three years ago (I can't believe it's been that long already). It was a fantastic experience, and I have great memories of the week our class spent hustling to keep up with Dr. Herzog's outrageously quick stride. I hope you guys can come away from this trip with the same appreciation for the Dickens-Hardy-Herzog London that we did. That may well be your only comfort as you spend the next several weeks working on that final paper (easily one of the most difficult tasks of my Wabash career).