Sunday, September 8, 2013

Big Times & Big Ben (London Part I)

   I apologize for my long absence. I've missed you! Last week I had several pressing assignments due for school & this week I've been traveling around the UK with my Aunt & Uncle. But now I will tell you all about our adventures! 
   On Friday, the 30th of August, we went to London!

   Friday morning we hopped on a (rather full) train and rode to Town. I love riding trains, but this one was less enjoyable since it was so full. I will describe a much pleasanter train ride in detail soon. 
   We came into King's Cross Station, which is where platform 9 3/4 is in Harry Potter! Unfortunately we did not have time to find the 9 3/4 sign, but hopefully we will next time. 

   We then walked to our hotel to meet up with my Aunt Kim & Uncle David! It was great fun to have them in England with us. 
   We grabbed lunch and then hopped on a double decker bus for a tour of the city. We saw some fun sights, but we didn't get many good pictures since we were moving, there were lots of tourists about, and the sun was harsh. But I'll show you our few decent ones.

Photo Credit: Dad
Photo Credit: Dad
Trafalgar Square!

We also got to see the BBC headquarters! =D

   After we got a feel for the city (mostly a feel of how big it is) we went to The British Museum. Again, glass & tourists got in the way of many good pictures. Ah well.

   We  saw the Rosetta Stone! There are three different sections of text, all saying basically the same thing, but in three different languages. The top portion is Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics, the middle is Demotic, & the bottom is Ancient Greek. When it was found at the beginning of the 1800s it allowed  translators to use their knowledge of the Greek text to decipher Hieroglyphics for the first time! 

P.S. I tried to read a word in Greek, but it didn't work out.

   I also enjoyed the Ancient Greek statutes. I've always found stone carving to be so impressive since it's a very unforgiving art.

   My favorite room was the clock room. I found the development of clocks & watches fascinating. The pocket watches were especially exquisite.  

   This was my favorite pocket watch. The plaque below it said it is set with ninety-two diamonds. What can I say, I have good taste.

 We also got to see a birthday invitation which is one of the oldest hand written documents surviving today.

Pretty old books!

   Then that night we went to Harrods. It's the biggest & fanciest store ever. It's the biggest department store in Europe with over one-million square feet of store space. When we first walked in we were in the purse department. We're talking Gucci & Burberry. Then we found the Food Hall. We're talking chandeliers and fruit on silver platers. And there was even a Chocolate Room. A Chocolate Room. Mum bought each of us girls a piece. I didn't even know how to pick, their were millions of options. 
   You're not allowed to take pictures inside Harrods, which is probably a good thing since I would have been wandering around snapping pictures & running into displays. But I found a few images online to give you a taste of the grandeur. 

   We ate a lovely supper on the top floor. Mum & I split fish & chips! 
Photo Credit: Dad

   After supper us girls needed to use the loo (posh English for "bathroom"). The only word to describe that loo was . . . elegant. There was a wooden vanity in the middle of the room with perfume for you to use. And a lady worked in there to make sure no one needed anything, & she would gesture to the stall you should go in. It was . . . intimidatingly fancy?  

We also got a picture with some of the Harrods bears.

Photo Credit: Dad

   Needless to say, Harrods was quite the experience! I loved all the gorgeous decor and eye candy displays. I couldn't afford to buy a sandwich there (the cheapest one was probably thirty dollars) but it was great fun anyways! 
   Our first day in London was a success, if very full. Day two coming soon!

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