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I was hoping to post earlier on my trip to London, but I was a little tired when I got back from London on Sunday. I am back to normal now and I have a day off today.
On Wednesday, February 6, 2008 I flew out of Fresno and arrived in London the next morning at about 7am. (With San Francisco the only stop)
I took the tube
(subway) from London Heathrow and arrived in London central at the Piccadilly Circus
stop. My final destination for the morning was not this stop, but a few miles away. I decided to get off here and walk the rest of the way because I had some time to kill before I was meeting my friend. From Piccadilly Circus I walked throughout a number of different areas of central London and eventually found my way to the British Museum
and Russell Square
. I only had a tube map in my possession, and this is actually a little more difficult than it might seem to navigate a huge city with only a subway map.
I went into the British Museum and checked out some of the art and ancient artifacts that are housed here including the Rosetta Stone.
I didn't spend too many hours in the British Museum because I had been there before and I was to soon meet my friend out front. I still had about one half hour to kill before Maddie would be out of class, so I walked outside a bit, taking pictures (including the one above). As I was walking on the sidewalk across the street, two Bobbies (London Metropolitan Police
Officers) stopped me an told me they were going to conduct a search
of my bag and my person. I was pretty tired at this point, as I had almost been awake for 20 hours, and had flown half-way around the world. My first instinct was to tell them they had no right to search my belongings without a warrant or at least reasonable cause, but I quickly remembered I was no longer in the United States, so I complied. They were very courteous, and gave me a little handbill about what the search was about (to prevent terrorism acts) and what my rights were, etc. It was very interesting, as I had never been stopped before for something like this. They obviously didn't find anything dangerous or illegal on me, as I had my luggage searched before I flew on the plane.
Shortly after this I met up with Maddie, and we headed back to her flat to unload my backpack and meet her flatmates. We hung out at her flat for a bit with her flatmates, watched some British television, and made some dinner. After dinner we headed out to the V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum
as well as The Science Museum
The following picture is a piece of art at the V&A in the "Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft" exhibition by Anne Wilson. It is intricately woven thread that makes a number of interesting designs. This piece of art was part of an exhibition that "brings together the work of eight contemporary artists who place craft at the heart of their practice." It was a very interesting exhibition of modern art that you could actually sit and look at for a long time and see new stuff all the time.
This picture is of one of the large halls in The Science Museum.
The next day we took a field trip with Maddie's semester abroad group to Rochester and Canterbury, both south and east of London. We visited the Rochester castle
and then the Canterbury cathedral
A view from inside the Rochester castle.
A model of the Rochester castle as it looked many hundreds of years ago. The Rochester castle is almost 1000 years old.
A view of the side of Canterbury cathedral. It was pretty big, and really nowhere to stand to get the entire cathedral in one picture.
In Canterbury we also tried out this little place called the Shake Shed (milkshakes). Milkshakes in Britain are apparently a lot different than in North America. A milkshake there is milk in a blender with some kind of "topping" blended in. It's not thick at all.
The third day, which was my last full day in London, was full of exploring and a lot of walking. We went to St. Paul's cathedral
, the Millennium Bridge
, the Tate Modern
, Tower of London
, as well as the Camden Market
. When we went to Camden Market we met up with another friend of mine, Andrew E. who is also studying in England right now.
St. Paul's Cathedral
The Millenium Bridge (wth the Tate Modern in the background)
Inside the Tate Modern in the "Turbine Hall" a piece of art of a large crack runs the entire length of this huge room.
The other direction and a good view of one part of the crack.
The Tower of London, we didn't go inside, but we did walk around the entire fortress.
I requested we stop at a pub for lunch and have Fish & Chips, so here they are!
I always try and take pictures of the places I eat, as well as the food I eat when I go traveling. This is the pub we stopped at for lunch on the Saturday for Fish & Chips. I believe they also had a football match on the tele at the time.
My last day was spent eating breakfast and making my way back to London Heathrow and then obviously flying home to Fresno. There were a number of delays on the tube that morning, and I ended up back tracking and having to find an alternate route to the airport. It was a little stressful, but I enjoy adventures like that. My return flights were London to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Fresno, so a little longer and more flying than to London.
I made it to London all safe and sound. Walked around London and checked out the British Museum before I met up with Maddie. While I was waiting for Maddie outside the British Museum I got stopped by the Police and underwent a search to make sure I wasn't a terrorist. It was pretty interesting. The officers were nice and made it seem like it was pretty routine.
Tomorrow I'm off to Canterbury and Rochester for a fieldtrip!
My flight leaves from Fresno tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10am pst for my trip to London!
I'm really excited, and just finishing packing now.
I'll be back Sunday night, and hopefully be awake enough to share all sorts of stories and pictures.