Wednesday, March 25, 2009

London's history goes back to its founding by the Romans

It is a pleasure to be back in Heidelberg once again~ I spent the past six days in London and England seeing all that I could with a friend in the little time we had at our disposal. (My “spring break” just before the start of the summer semester!) I had originally harbored hopes of finally seeing St Michael’s Mount in the south east of England, but the combination of the train ride there taking forever, no airports making flights back to Frankfurt Hahn from there, and the cathedral being CLOSED for the days we were traveling caused me to sadly set this hope aside. Instead we did quite a lot more off trains rather than on them, although we did have a few lengthy train sittings as well.

On our first day out, we grabbed a two-our bus to the Frankfurt Hahn airport and then skipped over to London Stansted before finally taking bus, this one with an hour ride, into London. We dropped our things off at our hostel, which was actually the upstairs of a nice local pub before heading out to see what we could of the National Gallery. After that we grabbed some dinner at a pub and promptly returned to our lodgings to die before starting our trip in earnest. We had ordered “London Passes”, which help one avoid lines and can result in a hefty amount of savings. The next morning we hopped onto the underground and sped over to St. Paul’s cathedral before popping by the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the HMS Bismark, AND Southwark Cathedral. We kept ourselves busy. On Saturday we intended to start with seeing Westminster (churches in the morning = PERFECT viewing with the lighting), but underground construction forced us to start with the arch before walking down to Buckingham Palace, where we looked through the Queen’s Gallery (largest collection of unnecessarily gilded things I’ve seen in quite a while! More than a few gorgeous paintings, though) and the changing of the guard. We ended up dropping by Westminster and the British Mueseum before the day was out as well, and I must admit that my feet were beyond dead with aching by the end of it. On the final day of our London Passes (one must use them on consecutive days for however many days one has purchased them for) we headed out to see Windsor Castle, where the queen was hanging out for the weekend. When we came back into the city we walked about and saw the Churchill Museum as well as the Cabinet of War Rooms. The next day, our final true day in the UK, we stopped by the Church of All Hallows before catching our train out to Salisbury. Here we grabbed a tour bus that informs the riders of Salisbury history as well as he history of several other towns and the area before dropping one off at Stonehenge, which I believe is perfectly described by one of OWU’s art history professors- Stonehenge is there on this big field, and right there is the overpass. I did hear that the Heritage Foundation is planning on moving the overpass, though, which would be brilliant. Whose idea was it to put it there in the first place? It was dreadfully windy that day as well, and the cold sliced through everything. We then hopped back onto the bus before stopping off at Old Sarum, another local ruin, before finishing the Salisbury adventures off with Salisbury Cathedral and another local church that has a Medieval doom painting of a uniquely large, complete, and well preserved sort.

German Phrase: Ich bin erledigt! is pretty much saying that you are dead tired and are done for the time being; I definitely was erledigt by the end of my adventures, and now I get to go on the AJY trip to Berlin! I swear the excitement never ends over here.

Some London pics here
and some more here

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