I didn’t realize that it should take so long to London! Maybe I was too exhausted on the arrival day to count the watch or I just couldn’t wait to embrace the new day.
We arrived at the International Maritime Organization in advance and got half-an-hour free time to wander around. The Westminster bridge was such a great sightseeing stand where you can take the Big Ben and the London Eye in one shot!
Then we entered the headquarter guided by officers of the IMO. Though we were just visitors, we received well-organized and patient explanations. The gentleman in charge of the internship program especially advertised the opportunities to do self-planned researches regarding maritime. Participants will have extensive authorities to retrieve and study the grand database in IMO. Finally, we went upstairs to the top the building to enjoy the panorama along the Thames. You have to admit that the weather in Britain is so changeable – I spent almost all my time on the roof wondering whether it would be pouring water from the enormous piece of dark cloud!
View on the roof of the IMO
In the afternoon, we walked to the Covent Garden for lunch (restaurants and vendor’s stands are everywhere!) and headed for a “Legal Tour”. The guide gave us an explicit introductory “lecture” of modern judicial system in the UK, including the difference between barristers and solicitors. I was particularly impressed by the dining hall where the procurator/prosecution lawyer and the defense lawyer can dine together. Maybe this is how they maintain their harmonious personal relationships outside the court while debating heatedly (or even hostilely) on duty. The story about newcomers’ deliberately smudging their wigs to show experience was also a lot of fun!
Eventually we made it to the Royal Court of Justice. It was the first time after landing when I had to go through a security screening and was forbidden from taking pictures. And you could infer how solemn it should be though this church-like building stands just like those taverns, hotels and souvenir shops along the street. There wasn’t any ongoing court hearing that afternoon so we stepped out quietly after having our last glimpses at those grandeur canvas.
The ride back to Oxford was transient since I was trying to recall and take notes of all the meaningful instants. I didn’t even mind the test tomorrow anymore!