Jolly Old England

Monday, November 07, 2005

London Weekend

So I spent the weekend in London with the Butler program. On Friday, they had a dinner for us. Then, Saturday, they had a riverboat cruise in the evening. Finally, this morning they had a brunch.

The dinner had really small portions, but it was good food. I was on the bus with several other Butler kids, and we were almost late, as the bus was way behind schedule. That's apparently fairly common. We made it though. The riverboat cruise was fun. There was good food and I spent some time chatting with people (mainly Alex, who is really cool and a smart fellow as well). The brunch had good food.

In all the free time I had the last two days, I toured London. I took part of the Big Bus tour, went to the National Art Gallery, took more of the Big Bus tour, went to St. Paul's Cathedral...

St. Paul's Cathedral was amazing. It totally tops the one in Oxford, obviously. During World War II, Winston Churchill said it was a symbol of hope and that it must be saved from the bombing at all costs. A whole lot of volunteers kept watch, putting out fires... Speaking of fires... It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, a famous British architect. He was commissioned to renovate the existing cathedral. He recommended tearing it down and starting over. His recommendations were not well received. However, "6 days later, the London fire did it for them" (quote from the recorded audio tour on the Big Bus). He's buried in the crypt underneat the cathedral.

The cathedral is really really tall. I went up to the top. I've gotten better with heights, but I still wasn't a fan of that part of it. Still, I had to press on, given that I'm not likely to be back there soon, if ever. I took some pictures of the view from the top. Picture taking was not allowed inside the cathedral.

I went to the Sherlock Holmes museum this morning. I visited it yesterday, but only the shop, not the museum portion. It was interesting... It's weird in that I know Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, so none of the item they have can be real, but they put serious effort into creating objects from the various stories.

After the brunch, I went to the Tower of London. It's actually a castle made up of many towers. I didn't get to see everything, as this country shuts down rediculously early, but I saw several hours worth anyway, which was enough.

I also checked out the Tower Bridge. It would have been interesting to go way up and check out the view, but they were closed. I can't imagine it'd be that different from St. Paul's though.

Pictures are available by clicking here and then choosing 11-4, 11-5, or 11-6, for each of the days.

Pictures of interest:
0482 - A "trouser" press, in our hotel room. Yeah, I totally pressed my trousers.
0486 - National Bank of Kuwait International (I found it funny, with both the national and international parts...)
0487 - Recyling advertisement on the side of the bus, using parts of words from various products.
0494 - There are four of these giant lions. Apparently, the British captured a whole bunch of Napolean's cannons and melted them down. The whole area is Trafalgar Square, commemorating the big victory.
0523 - The guy in front of me squeezing through a narrow passageway up to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral.
0562 - The best shower I've had the entire trip.
0577 - "Dr. Watson" He's real (and knows a couple phrases in a whole bunch of languages). The rest of the "people" in the Sherlock Holmes museum are wax.
0588 - Yes, a police warning about orange peels. I wonder if that's real...
0640 - The giant armor is for someone 6" 9'. The smaller armor is either for a dwarf, or not real. Nobody is sure if it was actually worn by a real person.
0641 - King's Heads -- They're just replicas, don't worry. ;)
0644 - The London fire was pretty hot. There were several examples of warped metal on display.

Random Thought:

I had several confusing experience with the Tube this weekend. I had to change trains more than I thought I would've had to, got on the wrong train a couple times, and such. Obviously, you just hop off at the next stop and re-plan, so it wasn't a big deal.

P.S. Even though I know you're not reading this... To the guy who posted a comment about selling used college books. I hope you have a horrible, horrible day. You write one blog about stopping spam and at the same time you spam people's blogs with advertisements for your used books. You're a bad, bad man.


  • Hey Richie, I here some guy was selling stuff off your website,that's mean.Good luck at school.

    By Anonymous kyle, at 6:20 PM  

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