So, this week one the student life planner emailed the international students at Regent's with a great deal she found for tickets to the Royal Ascot. The Royal Ascot is one of the largest horse races in the world that is an old English tradition--it's a huge event! Seriously, tickets go for 100 pounds and we get our train ride there and back PLUS tickets to the race for 25 pounds. So like 12 of us at the last minute decide to take this once in a lifetime opportunity.
A few things to know about the Royal Ascot: 1. The men who sit in the Grand Stands are required to wear coatails and tophats 2. The women wear hats and feather fascinators, or some sort of large thing in their heads 3. The Royal family is presented
So after we got our tickets finalized, the girls ran around town searching for hats and feather fascinators. The day of the race, a few of us had class at the National Gallery--which is absolutely amazing! We took chairs around with us and sat in front of paintings, discussing their significance--I could definitely do this forever. We left class a little be early to catch our train to Ascot at Waterloo station and to grab lunch beforehand. As we were waiting to board our train, we saw men and women of all sorts dressed in their best coattails and hats---we were jumping out of our skins, itching to get to the race!
Upon our arrival, we go straight to the betting booths! What an experience, let me tell ya! Haha, I had no clue what I was doing, but I ended up betting for a horse in the Prince of Wales betting race which was neat because the Royal Highnesses presented the trophy for that race. My horse ended up getting fourth or something, so I didn't get any money (which I only bet 2 pounds so I wouldn't have won much anyways).
The stands we were in were next to the Grand Stands (where the boxes are and where Royal family sits) and we had our own seperate stands, but also a huge lawn to set up tables and chairs to have picnics and what not. There were benches all around for people to stand on during the race as well. For the first race we sat in the stands, but moved to the fence to sit up close on the grass. As for beverages, we had some Pimm's, which was the best I've had in London so far! If you haven't had Pimm's its a yummy liquor (kind of) with mint leaves, cucumber, and lemons! The fruit varies...Anyways, this was by far my favorite experience in England yet!
After we left the Royal Ascot, we met the rest of our Auburn group as well as the professors and went to watch Henry IV at the Globe Theatre! This was a great cultural experience that I reccomend anyone who goes to London to do! The Globe is still set up as it was when Shakespeare was around, which etails floor standing and seats all around. To stand, it's 5 pounds, and seats are 10 pounds. It's really neat to be in such an interactive audience!
So that day I left my dorm at 9:30 and didn't get back until almost midnight...it was a packed day. Oh yeah and I had a paper and a book to read for class the next day---oops. This weekend we are off to Dublin, and then it is our last week in the Beautiful London. Cheerio!