London Alive!

I have been in London for approximately 4 days, and I have already learned so much. This is much in part to the faculty led tours that were cummulatively called, London Alive. The two tours I chose were "Death, Mayhem and Destruction in London" with Dr. Weist and "A River Runs Through It" with Dr. Phillips.

The highlights of the first tour included a walk alongside the south bank of the River Thames, complete with a wide myriad of amazing street performers. There were some Asian guys dressed in a Jordan jerseys with Jordan sneakers who were doing amazing tricks with a basketball, kind of like those commercials that were parodied in one of the Wayans Brothers' classic "Scary Movie". I saw St. Peter's cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. All along the walk, we listened to stories about Walter Cromwell, the English Civil War, King Richard the Lionheart, and the origin of famous phrases like, "toe the line" and "robbing Peter to pay Paul". Next we walked past 10 Downing Street, which was heavily secured and hard to photograph, and now I have a contrast to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but they both pale in comparison to Buckingham Palace. I took a picture with a British soldier and we continued on to Trafalgar Square where I was surprised by own curiosity about naval warfare, I guess all those years of playing "Battleship" did something to me.

The next day we took the City Cruise ship down the River Thames, all the way to Greenwich. Along the way we waved at the people up on the bridges and our clever tour guide pointed out the major attractions. There were a cluster of buildings that were designed to look like French soldiers, the restored version of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the pub where Dickens wrote one of his novels (I forget the name), the O2 arena where Micheal Jackson (RIP) was going to stage his comeback and the historic commercial wherehouses that made the Thames so important to the success of London. In Greenwich, we walked past the Maritime museum and up to the Royal Observatory. This place is special because it houses the original prime meridian, so we had to take a pictures of ourselves standing in two hemispheres at once, very exciting. I had an embarrassing incident with a "porker" (hot dog) and a British bull dog but I recovered eventually. Ask me about it later.

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