13 January 2013

london!

Boarded a red double-decker bus in Headington right outside of Oxford and headed into London via the Oxford Tube (a bus line). We arrived and walked straight into Grovesner Square, an elitist neighborhood with a strong American presence.
"I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delecate, exotic fruit. Touch it, and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did it would prove a serious threat to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square." Lady Bracknell, Importance of Being Earnest


We then headed through a lovely green space park and came to the gates of Buckingham palace. I don't think I'll ever get used to running into things like this.


As we passed by, they were changing the guard. Unfortunately, this is as much as we saw because of the masses of people there. The policemen get quite upset if you don't keep moving in the walking bit. Perhaps we'll get to go back on a Monday or some such so we can actually see it.


We then toodled through another park. They used to be hunting grounds for the royals but one by one they were given to the city as parks. The majority of them were given after the civil war as appeasement to the people. Behind me and across the river is another angle at Buckingham palace.


We then went through the parliamentary section of the city...


...and found ourselves confronted with this beautiful sight when we turned around the corner. The bottom edge here shows the buildings of parliament.


This is as close as we were able to get to Westminster Abbey, though I am quite sure that we will be going on a tour of it for our British Landscapes Course which takes place the last four weeks that we're here taking classes. Next to the Abbey is more government buildings, the furthest of which is an embassy. The London Eye is there in the bottom picture. I haven't gotten to ride it, but I hope to at some point.


Next we came through Trafalgar Square over which Lord Nelson resides in high estate upon his tower. The National Gallery also makes up a side of the square. The relief is at the bottom of Nelson's tower and is made of melted-down canons that were used against the French during Nelson's time.


We then traversed the Underground which is a lovely system that isn't as hard to learn as I thought it would be.


We came back up again at Monument where we climbed said monument in honor of the London Fire. From the top we had gorgeous views of the whole city. It's one of the best views and it's only £2. When you're about half way up the tower, your legs are hurting so badly that you don't think it's worth it but once you get to the top, it really is. I promise.



We then headed towards the city center and passed views of the Shard as well as Tower Bridge (not London Bridge...that's in the United States) and the Tower of London.


Then it was the simple matter of walking another two or so miles to arrive at Saint Paul's Cathedral in time for Evensong. After having already walked about eight it didn't seem an imposition at all. And of course I had to get a picture of the steps after growing up to with Mary Poppins as my hero. One can definitely do worse for heroes, in my opinion.


I then went with a group of girls who broke off of the main group and headed to Her Majesty's Theatre to watch Phantom of the Opera! I'd never seen it on stage before. Gorgeous, to say the least. I would love to watch it from ground level at some point rather than getting the helicopter view, but I am so glad that I went. We then walked through Piccadilly Circus, found a lovely little restaurant, and sat in the warmth for awhile.


All in all it was a whirlwind. Thank goodness I took pictures or most of it would have slipped through my memory. However, while it did go by so fast, I've now seen what I really wanted to see and I also know what I want to go back to.

Cheers!

4 comments :

Jonathan said...

Wow. Was that all really in one day? Amazing & great!

Katie Beth said...

Yup. All in one day. About ten miles of walking.

Hannah! said...

The *second* that I read Grovesner Square, you immediately followed it with exactly what was going through my head. Heehee :D

I absolutely love reading your blog. I'm so excited to see all of the beautiful and new things you get to experience. Love you! Miss you! <3

Elisabeth Hooker said...

This was so lovely! I'm SO happy you're having such a lovely time! We miss you :). Love you! ~ Elisabeth

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