Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cambridge and Brighton Beach

Yesterday, we took a train to Cambridge, which is a rival college to Oxford. The atmosphere is much more relaxed and laid back than in Oxford. There were many students laying out tanning in the lawn of the college! We went punting down a river, which was awesome! Punting is basically using a long pole to steer a small, shallow boat that looks somewhat like a canoe. It's amazing how many bicycles there are, people young and old just fly down the street on the bike.
Today, we went to Brighton beach by train. When we got there, we were so cold because we had worn shorts and were ready to lay out in the sun. It did warm up after about an hour after we got there and it made things much more enjoyable. They had a pier with rides, shops, and huge arcade that we spent several hours on. Sara and I got temporary tattoos of the UK's flag. The beach was really crowded and a lady ran into me and smeared my tattoo before it was completely dry, so that put a damper on things for a bit, but you can't be upset when your in such a beautiful place with friends! We only have one more day in London, then on Monday it's back to America!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oxford and London

On Wednesday we went to Oxford. It is a famous university here in England that is composed of many colleges. We got to go into some of them. Every building there seems to have history behind it. Oxford is about an hour and twenty minutes away from London, via high speed rail. The countryside is really pretty. Some of the scenes from Harry Potter were filmed here, because many of the places look similar to things you would find at Hogwarts, haha. We also went by the Eagle and Child, which is a place where C.S. Lewis and Tolkien would discuss their books with one another and exchange ideas.

Today we went back into London. The first thing we did was got to Buckingham Palace. There we took pictures and witnessed the changing of the guard. That was pretty cool. After that, we went back to Parliament, where we actually got to go inside for awhile. We weren't aloud to take pictures though. We also went on a cruise down the Thames River, a river that runs through some London.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Liverpool- Home of the Fab Four

Today we got up early and took a two hour train ride to Liverpool (home of the Beatles.) On the way there you can't help but notice all the yellow fields, there are yellow flowers that are just everywhere! We went to two Beatles museums that had original memorabilia such as John Lennon's glasses. They even created a "yellow submarine" for you to walk through. We also went to the Cavern club which was where the Beatles used to play quite frequently. Liverpool is also a dock, and the Titanic sailed away from there and was intended to head to New York. We got our fill of Beatles music and headed back to the train for another two hour ride back to London.
We decided we were ready for dinner and had been craving something American, so we found an old fashion 50's diner with milkshakes, burgers and fries. It was just what we were looking for to end our day!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

London has been super fun! On Friday we went to Trafalgar Square, which is the center of London. There were many cool buildings around the square, including the National Gallery, which we got to go in. The National Gallery is home to many famous paintings and included work from famous painters such as Michelangelo. After that, we went to St Nicholas in the Field, which is a famous church in Trafalgar Square. We listened to a concert there, which was very good! We then went to a section of London called Marble's Arch. It has many shops and a park. We found a particularly good store called Primark. We ended up buying a lot of stuff from there because the items were relatively cheap (not just London cheap, most of the clothes were cheaper then they would be in the US.)

On Saturday we went to the Market on Portobello Road. This was a famous market, that has been in many movies throughout the years. It was really, really big. Shops and stalls lined the road for some distance. They had antiques, new items, food, and clothes. After that, we were able to watch the FA Cup championship in a restaurant here in London. It was crazy because people were wearing jerseys and yelling at the tv. They are really serious about their football!

Today we went to the Tate Modern art museum and viewed Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globbe Theater. The art museum was very cool, it is made from an old power station. It had seven levels of modern art that included artists such as Dali and Picasso. Macbeth was really cool. We stood in front of the stage while the play was going on. Many times the actors would come down here and made people part of the performance. I have had a lot of fun so far! Our trip is about halfway over. We have another week left: it should be fun!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yesterday was Amazing.

I woke up this morning and realized that I had in fact seen Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and The London Eye yesterday and no it had not been a dream. I cannot begin to put into words how awesome it was to look inside the Abbey where so many Kings, Queens, and even Charles Darwin are buried in beautiful, ancient tombs. The Abbey has super high ceilings, stain glass windows, and to imagine the different things that took place there so many years before is just mind boggling.
We also took many pictures of Big Ben, but pictures can't really do it any of these things justice. The sheer size of them is enough to stop you in your tracks, until you nearly get ran over by a speeding double decker bus.
We rode the London eye, which gave us a panoramic view of London. The "flight" as they call it took about 30 minutes to go all the way around. I got an ice cream cone from a street vendor afterwords and walked along the Thames river. London has been a whirlwind of experiencing a different culture, like when we asked for silverware the waiter was like "uh I'll get you picks and shovels." :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

London- Day 2

We spent the day touring the British Museum, the British Library, and some of the streets in the city. After waking up from 12 hours of sleep, we got to eat an English Breakfast instead of a Continental Breakfast, which includes Ham, eggs, and baked beans. It was sunny this morning, but now it is cloudy and sprinkles on and off. We used the underground to get to the British Museum. The museum was really cool; we got to see the Rosetta Stone, pieces from the Parthenon, and other things from throughout history. The museum was really large. They had many pieces from ancient Egypt, as well as Ancient Rome and Greece, and Europe.

After eating at the museum we went to walking the streets of London. This is a HUGE city. Everyone is always busy and in a hurry. We went through many shops. A lot of them were souvenior shops but we also went into some electronic stores and clothing stores. We walked for a long time. We decided to go the British Library, which has a lot of historical exhibits. We went through a map exhibit and the histories exhibit. The map exhibit was really cool; it had maps that were really old. Even though the old maps were not as accurate as ours are now, they were surprisingly accurate with what they had to use to make it. The history exhibit had a lot of old documents that the British Library had collected. I saw the Magna Carta, notes from Da Vinci's notebooks, and illuminated manuscripts. We weren't allowed to take pictures there :/.

We went into King's Cross Station and walked around for sometime. That is a famous train station in London. Then we took the underground back to the hotel!!! It has been a really fun day. I'll post some pictures later on!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Post from London!

I'm Kate and I will be updating you about our two week trip in London (May 10-24th.) Jacob will also be blogging, but even though we are on the same trip it's nice to have different perspectives. I'm majoring in Community Counseling and I am a transfer student so that makes me a junior at RSU.
There are 5 students and Dr. Ford who is keeping a good eye on us. We met in Tulsa Monday morning and our plane left at 10:50a.m. central, we arrived at 12:30p.m. in Houston, TX and had a few hour layover. We took off at around 3:45p.m. and were in the air a little over 10 hours which was an hour longer than planned! We arrived at the London Heathrow airport (which by the way is the third busiest airport in the world)at 7:45a.m. London time (which is six hours ahead of central time.)
The plane was very large and each person got there own interactive T.V. screen so that you could play movies, T.V. shows and games. I played pinball for awhile then decided to watch some food shows and the movie "It's Complicated." I then attempted to sleep which lately has been extremely unsuccessful :-/ If I can manage to get over the jet lag it should be smooth sailing or rowing for that matter since I hear we are going to try that in a few days!
We checked into our hotel, it's clean, friendly, and very small, but that's to be expected in the here in England. We rode the underground or what the everyone calls "the tube." I didn't realize there would be small things that I needed to be mindful of such as when you are walking down stairs or the street you always keep to the left. This is exactly opposite of how we do it in the United States!
The people in London seem to be very friendly, but they all are in big rush! There was a man in a nice suit who was in such a hurry, that he fell right in front of us coming around the corner, he got back up and started power walking again!
We got to eat at a pub just a few minutes ago, they serve everything you would imagine they would chips (fries), English peas are a side for a lot of meals except of course they call just them peas. We rode on a red double decker bus and I'm going to upload some pictures from that and just walking down the streets.