Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wonderful Windsor and Tantalizing Tate

Can't have too many photos of Windsor Castle... it is a beauty... and
from the 11 freakin hundreds (commissioned by William the Conquerer
originally as a defense stronghold... then turned into a prison... and now
funny enough is the Queen Mother's current weekend residence.
We took a 30 or so minute train to Windsor Castle (only 4.25 pounds- YESS). I gotta say, it was one of my fav destinations so far, perhaps helped along by the too-good-to-be-true weather (60's and sunny and a toucha breeze).

Monday, May 30, 2011

Edinburgh (edin-bud-ah) and surrounding cities Trip, Long overdue

Being without accessible internet wrecks havoc on the ole blog! I gotta admit, it's daunting to blog about 5 entire days of skipping around England and Scotland... I'm a bit nervous to see if I can stuff it all in. (Ifn you wanna take a look at my good friend Shelisa'a blog, you'll see that her blog is real detailed! Maybe she put in something I missed...) But get ready for the longest post you'll probably ever read (lets be real, you may have to take an intermission to get through it all)

So, on to our trip. All 50 of us (41 students, 2 professors and their spouses, and their 5 kids who are a treat) bussed out of London Monday at around 7:30am to head out.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

WALKING TOUR #7 Bankside/ Southwark

Definitely a topnotch walk. It was on the other side of the Thames then I'm used to, so it was neat to be in a new place. We crossed over Blackfriars Bridge and turned left towards the Tate Modern Museum (a power station turned modern art museum, so the space is huge and is kind of art itself). We saw the Globe as it is now and also the original location of the Globe which was destroyed by the 1666 fire I believe (ps that fire is mentioned all the time! It changed a lot of things for London- building regulations, historical buildings, and the like).

We stepped on the bank of the Thames for a moment... though we couldn't walk along it because the tide was too high.

My favorite part was the Southwark Cathedral. We walked in, and Dulwich College (a rather expensive private school, according to one of the Cathedral Ushers) was practicing for their classical concert that night. So, there was a 20 or so person orchestra right under the Nave or center of the church playing this quite powerful number. I gotta say, Shelisa and I picked the PERFECT time to go in, the music provided a perfect backdrop to our little exploration of the church. The cathedral was very beautiful and had a fabulous ceiling, all crisscrossed and lovely.
Outside of Southwark Cathedral
We also got to cross over the Tower Bridge finally, though we didn't go in to see the Tower itself yet. We are supposed to do that as a group, but I hope its soon or we'll run outta time! Those crown jewels are calling my name...
Shelisa and I hangin out on Tower Bridge

Saturday, May 28, 2011

WALKING TOUR #6 Westminster

Fab photo of the Abbey by Shelisa 
The Westminster Walk was a bit new for me. I had never been all the way around the Abbey, nor had I gone to the Horse Guards building and its grounds, and St. James' Palace was a new face for me too. The weather was great and breezy (we've sure had good luck with the weather this whole time. Barely ever rainy...)
Kaylee, Shelisa, Tara, and I
St. James Palace, commissioned to be built
by Henry VIII (what didn't he commission :)
We also got to see the horse guards outside of the Horse Guards Building (I haven't seen any other name for it, though it does seem a little too obvious a title). Everybody wanted to take a picture with them! Yikes. That would get so annoying. But of course, we wanted one too...

WALKING TOUR #5 Inns of Court

I was a tad confused by what a court actually was... here's what the Tour Book said to describe our walk:

"This is a walk through the heart of legal London featuring the capital's four ancient Inn of Court where barristers (i.e. advocates) first train and then practice. These four inns are Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple and Inner Temple. Apart from the inns and their old courts and quiet gardens, features of the walk include the law courts in the Strand, Lincoln's Inn Fields, and Chancery Lane."

It was a quiet walk for sure, but pretty! Here's a photo or two to keep ya entertained:
Shelisa, Amy, and I in front of Lincoln's Inn

WALKING TOUR #4 Central Park

The Central Parks walk went a bit... off the plan. Macy and I went on it (starts at the Westminster Tube Station, goes through the parks St. James, Green, and Hyde and ends at the High St. Kensington Tube stop near the Centre). As other students had previously done, we wanted to bike the walk through the park paths. London has an awesome bike rental system called Barclays. Throughout the city, there are bike stations with around 20 or so bikes parked in stalls. You swipe your plastic and rent a bike for 24 hours for a pound. You can dock your bike at any station in the city when you get to your destination.

The only issue was... it took me and Macy 30 min to find a Barclays station near Westminster! Ridiculous. I think we were both a bit bitter and were having a few issues with the local's advised directions to the nearest station... and my skills with maps were having issues as well to be perfectly honest...

While searching for bikes, we did pass by the War Cabinet Rooms where Churchill debated during WW2. Very cool... though slightly shadowed by our frustrated search...

But, we did indeed find a station (riiight when I was at the end of my stick) and rented our Barclays right behind Buckingham Palace. Mace showed me up biking through traffic (she whizzed through while I was puzzling over what side of the street to be on) but we finally got to Hyde Park. We biked along the "Serpentine Path" which was a real treat (though it turned out NOT to be the right path... surprised? gotta say no...) but indeed crossed over the bridge of the Serpentine, so it turned out alright in the end.
Macy and I, the only two on the walk, at the round pond
in Hyde Park. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Schedule for this week

We are goin on a little outing this week! So I won't be posting anything until Friday... here is the tentative schedule (our travel agent for the program likes to do things last minute...) for this week:

Mon: leave for York at 7:30am on a bus
              Check out Lincoln Castle

Tues: Travel to Edinburgh
              Take a look at the York Minstrel

Wed: Still in Edinburgh
         Tour Edinburgh Castle (ooo pumped)

Thurs: Travel to Windermere
          Go to Lake District and check out the Potter Museum (Not Harry Potter, mind you, something else)
Fri: Return Home
      On the way home, hike the Goldsworthy Holme Fell Quarries.. not quite sure what they are!

Hopefully its an adventure! xo

The Grass is Greener on the Other side of the Pond

Granny, your comments were perfect. I will try and go on those walks especially, that will be sweet. And I will get you those notecards! Remind me, too just in case!

Also... disclaimer: blogspot is having a tad difficulty uploading pics so those will come a bit later!

Here are a few extra tidbits from the Globe Tour. The Globe was actually the second theatre on that side of the Thames. At first, a smaller theatre was built called the Rose and the Globe was built across the street for competition and became better because, of course, a certain William Shakespeare wrote plays specifically for the Globe. At the moment, the Rose theatre is under water to maintain preservation! Cool, eh?

The Rose Theatre was where Docter Faustus (play by Christopher Marlowe) was first shown...
                 Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships 
                    And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
                 Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.

At church today, sat beside this lady.. got to talking... and she said she was going to SLC in a few. Why, I asked? She is playing Mary, the mother of Jesus in the LDS' church new video of the New Testament. I was floored! How did she come by such a thing? The church held world wide auditions she said, and around 4,000 people took part, and she got it. I was flabbergasted. She sure was beautiful though.

Also at church, there was a little munch and mingle afterwards. I was talkin to a little tyke, Bradley, about 8 or so. He said to me, "You like living in America better, huh? Everybody is rich." 

No NO NO! not true! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Got a question for you, Granny

Hey Grandma! I have a lil question for you and I figured this was the best place to ask you (ps I adore all your comments). When I go to Norwich, I wanna visit your old haunts! I loved that you and Grandpa had gone into Kings Chapel at Cambridge. That was awesome to know I had been in the same place... so maybe if you know
-the address of your childhood church
-graveyards where your family is buried
-where the dance hall was at where you met Grandpa's brother... just maybe its still there
-places where you and Pinky went or places that you think are cool

Love you!

I'll post more a bit later about today... but some friends and I took a train to Oxford University. Thought we'd make this week college week, with a visit to Cambridge already under our belt. Here is a small pic of something we saw...

Part of the Oxford Library... this particular part is called
the Radcliffe Camera, the first rotunda library built in Britain.
Another first for Britain. They are pretty good at that :)
Photo credit here
We had to pay a pound to get into this one room. It was beautiful, though.
It is the the oldest teaching room at the University and is called the Divinity School.
Nowadays, they just use it for fancy parties, a ceremonial robe dressing room, and for
Harry Potter :)
Photo credit given to an account on Flikr, account Classicalmania, here
The room above was used in the Harry Potter films as the infirmary and the classroom in the Goblet of Fire movie where the students are taught how to dance for the Yule ball. I was trying to find a good pic, but this is the best I can find. But you can see the same windows on the side and the arches in the back!

the dancing lesson... photo via here

Friday, May 20, 2011

We walk around the Globe

Had our tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre today. Preettyy interesting... there will be more later... but we got to see a tech rehearsal for an upcoming play, Much Ado About Nothing which made me feel like an insider! One of the actor's even said, "Line, please," like you hear on TV or whatever when they forget their lines and someone yelled it out to him.

In addition, the Butler from the TV show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Geoffrey) is in the play! So we got to see him onstage doin his thing.

Also got to walk over the Tower Bridge today.
Photo by Josep Maria Alegre
But didn't quite have time to stop and see the jewels and the decapitating block! Will come back soon, not to worry.

Saw the Royal Courts of Justice building. Gotta be honest, I'm not quite sure what goes on there... wasn't able to go inside either.. but it was beautiful on the outside for sure.
Kinda looks like Disney Land, eh? beautiful photo from here
Another gorgeous view for ya. Kinda makes ya drool...
beautiful photo by Dan Chung from here

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The British Museum has not lost its charm

Took the Tube today to the British Museum, home of the Rosetta stone! May be that I am just ignorant, but I did not realize how big it is! It is no pebble or small tablet... it is huge! Like about 3 1/2 or 4 feet tall and maybe a man's hand or so thickness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pretty things at Cambridge

We all took an hour train to Cambridge University today and spent the day there. Fabulous? Yes, why yes it was. Did I feel smarter and more sophisticated while on its campus? Uh-huh.

A few photos for you... The first of the Bridge of Sighs in St. John's College. Cambridge is kinda funky as the University is separated into 31 colleges that each have their own little community with a chapel, hall, and dormitories. Though, the colleges didn't have like similar majors or anything... it just seemed they were there to form lil communities... kinda like in Harry Potter how they have houses like Gryffindor and Slythern (don't laugh at my juvenile comparison). Anyway, the bridge below is in St. Johns College and normally they are closed to the public but we had a student take us in with her little badge, which was just fabulous.

We were told it was called the Bridge of Sighs because people on death
row were lead over it back in the day to die on the other side, and based on the
view from the bridge, they would breath their last sigh. Sad, eh? Photo via Flikr.
The view inside the bridge. Breathtaking? yep.
Photo via here

Kings College had Evensong at their chapel that we were able to attend. Just so fabulous. Here's the inside of the chapel...
We sat just on the right side there behind the roped off section. Inside of
King's College Chapel, photo via here
The choir was the King's College Choir and they sang the whole time A Capella. So deep and rich, the tones were all multi layered and echoed so beautifully.

You know, I don't get why the choir doesn't face the audience. In this chapel as in all the others I have seen so far, the choir benches are on two sides and face each other and sometimes are a bit of a distance from the congregation seats. Curious. The choir had such great tones and echoed so nicely it wasn't a huge deal, though. Just loved reading the service words in the program that was handed out while the choir's voices wafted around. The verse below was repeated several times and gives ya a little shiver of awesome, and the quote after that was in the beginning of the printed program:

                       Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and
                      to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning,
                  is now, and ever shall be, world with out end. Amen.

                 "In the tradition, there are, along with what is strange,
                 strong expressions of our basic feelings about ourselves
                  and God. And it is precisely the cool and ancient order
                 of the services which gives us a space and a frame, as
                  well as cues, for reflections on our regrets and hopes
                                            and gratitudes."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why I love the Brits

Speaking the same language as the Brits blinded me just a tad to all the differences in England. Yes. There are quite a few. I'll just start off with a few of my observances.
1. It is quite the fashion for girls to wear black tights here... with everything... or just as pants. The tights with shorts thing just has not been quite as popular in the states. To top it off, sometimes you can see the darker control top below the hemline! my my, unusual fashion. see example:
super short cutoffs + tights = london girls
think they're hot stuff
2. Hosiery in general! I have seen many a lady AND teenager in nude panty hose under skirts/dresses! In UT, I rarely see someone at BYU with panty hose. Rarely? Like around one time.. in my three years there...
3. Do drug stores have hydrogen peroxide in Londy town? No, friends, they have Surgical Spirits. Peroxide unfortunately was nowhere to be found for my heel blister... 
4. "Water Closet" or "Toilet" = bathroom
    And water closet is too long most times, so in abbreviation you see "WC" on toilet doors!
5. "Waiting in the queue" = waiting in line. This goes for grocery stores, clothing shoppes, street festivals. Anywhere you think line, they think queue. 
6. Cookies or candy?? No, no, no. "Biscuits" and "sweets". 
7. Overheard this one from a phone convo on the tube. "Up in a spout" = in uproar, disheveled
8. At Theatre events... programs are NEVER free! Either they don't want you to know who's performing, or they're low on paper, or they don't wanna pick up the litter after the show, or most people throw em away anyway... ok. Maybe the Brit way is better...

I am sure I'll have more for you as time goes on :) Also, something new to me, at the library the lady upon finding out my study abroad status asked me, "So, what do you like about London anyway?" I was aghast! Need that even be a question? I guess it is easy to take things for granted after a while. Perhaps I'll go on a tourist tour in Utah, see what all the fuss is about.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mutt Post

I've got a little bit of everything to say, so its a bit jumbled! First thing... We were able to go to Les Miserables the musical tonight. The singers were just fabulous. I just wish the "I Dreamed a Dream" song had just a teensy bit less vibrato, but who's complaining? John Val John (how do you even spell that?) was a big A+ though.
Laura, I, Bri from Idaho, Cara from Hawaii
Was also able to go the National Portrait Gallery yesterday. This Gallery showcases portraits of all the monarchy from the Tudor era back in the 1400's. Cool stuff. Henry VIII though, what an absolute crazy. The portraits that he commissioned of himself.... he sure did think very highly of his figure. I have this love/hate/fascination with their family. The 6 marriages (really. why Henry? just work it out with at least one of em). Lady Jane Grey only ruling for 9 days and being decapitated for basically no reason (that I could see, anyways). Edward VI having all these power hungry advisors. Yikes, the Tudor Era is like an involved Soap Opera.
Painting of Will and Harry in the
National Portrait Gallery. Don't they
look just so dashing and genuine? I think I would
like to meet them.
a little photo of the gang at Tintern Abbey in Wales. Not Whales...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

an extra little treat

I thought I would just add these two pictures so y'all can see how cool our Program Directors are. The first is off Prof Shawn Miller who is our History teacher, and his cutie cute cute 4 year old Esme. The second is of his wife Kelly.

In Chipping Camden, near The Cotswolds, which is near the Wales border!

As you can see, Henge provides a great background for some entertainment. Here Kelly shows us her skills
jumping over 5 students. No person was harmed during the taking of this photograph.

Durdle Door

The last day of our outing, we went to Durdle Door Beach in Dorset, England. We had to hike a bit to get the the Durdle Door itself mind you, but if you take a look at the picture, you'll see the gorgeous view we had while we were hiking was stellar.

Durdle door itself! Photo (and most of the rest!)
 via the guy in our study abroad group
 with the awesome camera, Jason Hamilton.
This was our view on the hike there. Nope,
not joking. There's a group of us on the path there.
The arch is on the other side of that first outcropping
into the ocean.
Here we are a bit closer to the Door. Thats the outcropping
we saw in the previous photo!
And to prove it wasn't all a dream, here we are frolicking on the beach!
I believe I am the third from the left standing up, in the black long
sleeve and jean get up... but no promises.
Normally, I would have been all about swimming. However, the water was frigid! We stuck our toes in but that is all we could handle! Though, here's something a bit crazy.... If you look at the second to last photo you will see a baby, baby size rock island on the left side. A bit more left than that was a bigger rock island and it had around 30 people on it in wetsuits. They must have been training for the army, or coast guard, or out of their minds... which ever :) But we saw them all get in the water in their suits and swim the 50 or so yards to shore!

We went to Stonehenge also, that was our first stop. It. was. cool. There were sheep grazing on the next hill over, and I just thought... do those sheep know what a first class view they have over their dinner?! And, I am  not lying to you when I say that there were two bunnies hopping among the stones in Stonehenge. No big deal, just bunnies hopping on through these crazy old stones as they have been for centuries!

P.S. the photo below isn't very good of me... but forget about me, take a look at the henge! it is a beauty for sure. And no, that second photo is not googled, it was taken by Jason!! He's good, huh?
There I am, to the right of the blonde boy in back, Scott.  But really,
just pay attention to Stonehenge. Those Druids would probably have
a good laugh if they knew how fascinated we were with their
stones centuries later!

Friday, May 13, 2011

To bathe in Bath?

Just got back from a great trip to Bath, The Cotswolds, Stonehenge, and some other places! Thought I'd give a couple teaser pictures before I spill the whole story...
Stairs we went down to Durdle Door, in Dorset, England. 
Tintern Abbey ruins in Wales, just across the west border of England.
Roman Bath House in Bath... what gave the city its name... sourced by
a natural spring under the city that puts forth natural mineral
water at about 48 C, or like 120 F, something ridiculous like that
Note: Photos are not my own

Monday, May 9, 2011

Abbey Road

look similar at all? :)
Our group is off tomorrow to Bath, which may or may not have wifi! So I may be missing in action for a few days! Love to all. xo

P.S. I did not get to go to Phantom the other night as planned due to the theatre not having student discounts! Therefore instead I was able to go see Wicked. dang... it was good. will post a few pics in a bit.


3. The City Walk
This walk was chock full of beautiful buildings to see. The Mansion House, Bank of England, and the Lloyds building to name a few. I did post a small touch about this before, but this is the official blog post for our London Walks class. Shelisa and I led and completed the walk on our own, and though we did get a bit lost, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was rather empty around town, as the walk was done in the city a bit later at night (7 or 8 or so) and on the Bank Holiday. There were a few alleys to go down and just a bit of an awkward encounter with a lone policeman and us two girls down an otherwise deserted street. But great fun all the same.
All the buildings were getting similar as we walked
around, so I'm holding up a sign that says Bank! This
building, obviously, was the Bank of England. It was
Huge! and beautiful. And had its own museum attached.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

WALKING TOUR #2 St. Paul's

Walk number 2 was around St. Paul's Cathedral. Loved this one. Lovely photos via Kaylee (in the purple jacket)
Here's St Pauls himself... though the south side
as opposed to the west front.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

WALKING TOUR rundown for class

For class we are required to blog about the walks that we go on. Here it is!
1. Regents Park
We walked along the canals to get to Primrose Hill in Regents Park. The weather was sa-weet. And the view from the hill was awesome too. Primrose Hill is marked by a star on this map and the view from the hill you can see too!

Friday, May 6, 2011

pulled a classic hannah

I slept through my alarm. Believe me, nothing new. On Tuesday, our group was scheduled to meet all together at 9am to go to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (on the other side of the Thames river, so extra trains and ferry rides were needed).
Front of National Maritime Museum, photo via Flickr

Cool Propeller displayed in museum, photo here
I woke up and it was 10:04am. Ran downstairs... nobody. Nobody! Except for the sweet lady, Natalia, that cleans our kitchen, all were long gone. I was in a slight fret. Made some toast and got goin. I took the underground, no sweat, to the right station.. but then I had to switch to the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) which I had never done. Took a few tries and a few unnecessary getting off the trains at what I thought was the right stop and then having to wait to get right back on it. But I did finally arrive.

The museum was cool. All the intricate instruments used for the navigation were crazy (and a tad confusing) and the boat models were legit. They also had this contraption with a mini sailboat and a fan so you could see how changing the sails position affected how it sailed (which I have always been a bit curious about. you need which sail to what degree where and that makes the boat do what?)

After about 30 min, the fire alarm went off. It wasn't too loud or annoying and there had been ship sounds going off earlier.. so I thought it was some sort of boat simulation. But when the usher yelled and pointed down the stairs I got the picture. I never could find out what happened!

Lion King Musical, photo here
Wednesday a whole lot of us went to see Lion King. Blew. My. Mind. The animals were comin though the audience, the costumes were very clever, the lighting phenomenal, the live drummers awesome, the dancing was perfectly tribal, and the overall mood was just on the edge of its seat! And the thing was, I wasn't expecting too much so it totally blew me away! All the actors had british accents too, which was neat. Though its interesting that the accent doesn't show up as much during the singing...

Next week, Bath and Stonehenge are on the schedule. Boy am I pumped! England, you are too good to me, too good!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the meat missing from last post

Inside of St. Paul's Dome. The view from where I was sitting.
 Really, what a beaut. Photo found here
I posted a few pictures of St. Paul's Cathedral in my last post... after we took the tour throughout the chapel and cyrpt, I found out there was a Sung Eucharist taking place at five! Naturally I wanted to attend. For those of us who are ignorant (me included) the Eucharist ceremony is the sacrament ceremony where bread (though they used the wafer...) is broken and wine (dang I forgot to find out if they used wine/grape juice/water...) is drunk. Normally, the service is spoken but for this occasion they had the St. Paul's choir boys (they looked around 7-13 or so) sing several passages and parts of prayers. It is now on my top three fav memories in the motherland. The service was fabulous.

It took place just under the dome of the Cathedral in the nave. At the start, the organ was playing (that organ is just magnificent. more in a bit...) and the Ministers and choir walked in, led by a man swinging incense which wafted around beautifully. The Ministers involved the President (a lady in this case) and 2 or 3 Deacons also. This part was just lovely. I was thoroughly entranced by the incense swinging, it looked so official and ceremonious. Plus, the choir boy uniforms were just pitch perfect. White robes with a little ruffled collar poking out at the top... those boys were darling.
An example of those little ruffles! Photo taken from here
As the service progressed, I couldn't help but get a tad teary! but just a touch...But I just had to pinch myself as I looked around at the golden mosaics on the ceiling and the grand spaces of the cathedral and feel overwhelmed by God. And by man's tribute to him. I could see the evening sun slanting through the windows and lighting up the smoke from the incense just so, and hear the organ fill up all the open space around the whole cathedral with such a power... and a reverence, too.

I did feel a bit silly though... when we exchanged our signs of peace (a new term for me the novice) this sweet man in front of me shook my hand and said 'Peace be with you' and I just said 'Thank you' and I forgot to return the peace back to him! I felt a fool!

Also, it was new to me to have to go up and take of the sacrament rather than having it passed around. The Virgers (or herders as I referred to them) led the participants up in a line right under the dome and the Deacons at the head of the line would give the person a piece of wafer or hold the cup up to the mouth of the partaker (and then nicely wipe the lip with a napkin before the next person!). I wonder if the Deacon ever accidentally pushes the cup a touch too much... and water ends up on the face! I'm sure it does- but not at St. Paul's of course...

I was thinking that having the congregation stand up to receive the Eucharist... besides being a wake up call for the snoozers!... acts as a sort of symbol that we stand for Christ and are willing to walk up to Him to partake of his gospel. Thought that was kinda nice.

St. Paul's. I love it. Don't think I would mind too much if we had church in there every Sunday, would you? Or do you think its too much, maybe a distraction for what is really important? I cannot decide... more a hindrance or a help to point your thoughts in His direction.

Was also able to go to a ballet Tuesday night. At the Royal Opera House... again. London you have been too good to me. Tamara Rojo as Cindi and... some guy... haha, as the prince were the cast for tonight. Tamara was just great. Perfectly on pointe, just so placed up there. She was solid. The man was good too.... though I'm a bit embarrassed I can't remember his name.
Not Tamara, but another girl from Royal Ballet in their production of Cinderella.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a crypt and choir boys

Just have time to upload the pics of things I've seen. I'll fill in with the meat later... if only I didn't have homework, that'd be great.

Inside of St. Bride's church.
 As soon as we walked in and said hello to the caretaker, he immediately started on a 10 min history of the church! what a sweetie
St. Bride's church, designed by the same architect as St. Paul's (Christopher Wren. what  a stud.) What's crazy about it is when they were laying the foundations for the building, they found remains of a Roman structure that musta been built there before. They preserved some of the walls of the original Roman structure (which they think was a burial site as they found body remains too) and they date back to the 11th century.
Yep. back in 1000. No biggie.
St Paul's Cathedral. Look at that dome. 2nd largest traditionally constructed dome in the world (according to Peter, our adorable tour guide). The biggest? St. Peter's Basilica. This beautiful photo is from here
Inside of St. Paul's Cathedral, from here

Monday, May 2, 2011

got a bit lost in London

I did get quite lost today in London town. No bother though, cause we saw all sorts of cool things while finding the right way. I'll give you a little sampling...
from Wikipedia
Yep. Passed by that crazy building while lost. It was crazy, like something out of Willy Wonka. And it was surrounded by several old churches and old old architecture. Turns out its the place of residence for a very large insurance company called Lloyds. Who knew.

And then, St. Paul's Cathedral just popped its lil head over the skyline. Almost wet myself.
Taken from sweet girl Bri's blog here
Also, the Somerset House (pictured below) is an art museum and was featuring a lovely exhibit that showcased the winners of the SONY photograph competition. Oh man, it was stunning. The photographs were just fabulous. Expensive cameras can do such nice things these days! Also stunning was the Somerset House itself. From the street it just looks like another fancy building with some arches you walk into. But when you walk through the arches, man. I was blown. It was a whole courtyard and full freakin palace that was there. You can see below the view that greeted me when I walked through.