After an exciting week in Washington DC with the other eight US/ICOMOS interns with a great orientation provided by Don Jones. I was off on a seven hour flight to my summer internship with INTO in London. After the long flight filled with movies and no sleep, I landed at Heathrow Airport. The quick walk to the border and grilling by border control were a necessary part of the experience, and I was finally admitted to the UK.
My ever gracious host, Catherine, met me at the airport. In order to stay awake the rest of the day, Catherine’s family and I took an outing to Winchester. In Winchester, we visited the heritage sites, and I got to go to my first National Trust Site: The Mill at Winchester. While it is a small site compared to the grand country houses, it was quite fun. The day was lovely, so we got picnic food and sat in front of the cathedral. After being informed that the time was in fact only 1pm and not 5pm like a assumed, our outing ended and I succumbed to jet lag.
After a long period of sleep, I woke refreshed on Monday to start the day off at Heelis Headquarters. Catherine showed me around headquarters and set me up with all the important things to know as well as the important people. I am slowly learning the workings of INTO, and Day 1 at the office was a great orientation! It was great to meet all the staff and volunteers that work with INTO, and I look forward to working with them more this summer. The day was full of meetings and planning for the summer, so I am excited for the rest of the summer and the work that must be done!
I have only ever been to the cities of the UK, so it is quite exciting to be spending time in the country. It is incredibly beautiful, some places even look like fairy tale – with the flowers and ducklings and cottages. It is perfectly quaint. When Catherine and I went to Alfresford to meet with the INTO financial advisor, not only did I have the opportunity to walk the watercress trail, but also see the heritage train center with a real steam engine. The train looked so much like the Hogwarts Express, the inner nerd in me jumped for joy. The best thing about the English countryside is the walks you can take. Where I am staying is near the Grange, an English Heritage site, that is used as an opera house. So it is pleasant afternoon walk to end up in front a beautiful country home and hear the opera practice (that is a very bougie thing to say).
By Wednesday, Catherine and I were headed to London to meet with David Bond, who is the creator behind the movie Project Wild Thing. If you have not seen this documentary movie, I highly recommend it, it is brillant! We met with David at the National Trust Office in Groversnor Gardens in London. We also toured the office, as I will be “hotdesking” there next week to work on upcoming case studies of INTO projects. After the day at the London office, Catherine led me on a foot tour of London were I got to witness some royal pomp and circumstance with the Beat Retreat. The Duke of Edinburgh was present, but no Queen. However, it was still exciting to see.
Our week closed in Cambridge for a meeting about the INTO Conference 2015 that is being hosted by the National Trust. I was an early morning, but worth out because of delicious pastries. The meeting was interesting and important items were completed. As an intern, it is amazing to see how these meetings unfold and how INTO and Trust work together to create an conference on Cultural Heritage. After the meeting, I was given free-reign to explore Cambridge, as most things were closed due to exams, I took a pundit boat ride down the River Cam.
This first week as been amazing and very informative, and I am sure the rest of the summer will also be! Thanks for reading 🙂