Wednesday, January 14, 2009

September 18, 2004

Hi, all,

The last three days have been busy around here. On Wednesday morning I spent three hours walking around the Charing Cross area and browsing in old book shops. Exhausting but fun, fun, fun.

Early Wednesday evening Patrick (one of the Maryland students) and I spent another five hours getting lost and found in the city. Our wanderings led (as they usually do) to interesting places. At one point we stumbled upon a park, decided to go in, discovered a restaurant with a heated (yes, it’s finally getting chilly here) patio and had a half pint and a bowl of chips. We thought we were in Jubilee Park, but the hostess told us it was St. James Park.

This is really funny if you look at a map of London, because they are on opposite sides of the river. Some time later, we turned a corner to find the Westminster clock tower looming and dramatically lighted just as Big Ben chimed the half hour.

While walking up some street, we heard swishing noises and whistles, turned to look down the street, and were faced with hundreds of rollerbladers traveling en masse.

In between all that, we went to Trafalgar Square and the real Jubilee Park (home of the Eye),
crossing the Thames twice.

Thursday Dr. Hall took both of his science classes by coach to Oxford. We had five hours in town; it wasn’t nearly enough time. Exploring Christ’s Church College (see photo)...

--A little aside here. In order to get this photo, I had to go into the center of the quad, ignoring temporary barriers and production assistants (I really didn't see them, as I was drawn to this fountain), because the latest Harry Potter movie was being filmed. Yikes. Now, where was I?--

Exploring Christ’s Church College could easily have filled it, but my group stayed on the go. We visited the botanical garden, a couple of book stores, the museum, and Pembroke College as well. Tara wanted to see the last, because she read that Lewis Carroll was inspired by its gardens. It was closed to the public, but posing as potential students allowed us access. In our defense, we did pick up some admissions information while we were snooping around.

Finally, we stopped in at a punk pub for a drink before gathering for the return trip.

That night it was back to Imperial College for a drink, then laundry, etc.

--to be continued

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