Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 3 - Wesley Church and then some murder and mayhem...

Day 3

Today, June 30, was an interesting day.  I started my day by getting up and going with a small group to Wesley Chapel for a Methodist service.  Due to unforeseen challenges, we missed the service, but we got the chance to look around the chapel and the graveyard across the street.  Several famous people were buried there, such as Daniel Defoe.

The chapel itself was quite beautiful.  John Wesley is the father of Methodism.  We visited the chapel and got a tour of his graveyard and house.  My friend Kate and I also went through the museum that was in the basement under the church.  Very nice.  

After venturing back to the dorms, I went on a tour with a large group to learn about Death, Mayhem, and Westminster.  This was a very long and arduous journey through the streets of London.  There was a lot of history involved discussing the various kings of England.  We stopped and heard about Big Ben, which is actually just the bell in the clock tower, Parliament, and some history about Westminster Abbey.  Violent deaths of kings was the topic when we stopped to sit and hear stories.  We stopped to have pictures taken with the guards and saw 10 Downing Street through a fence.

It was a long day but a really good day.  I then went and had dinner with some classmates at The Coal Hole.  We were literally in the coal hole because they called it the jail.  It was fun.  Dinner was fabulous.  

I will soon try to upload a bunch of pictures to facebook so be on the lookout.  

Day 2 - Historic pubs and more...

Day 2

Today was a busy day (Saturday, June 29).  We met as a class for the first time and had orientation.  I have a very busy schedule and will try my best to post as much information and pictures as I can.  After orientation I went with a few girls over to a lovely little bakery.  Delicious treats were all around.  The quiche I had made a nice lunch before the walking tour in the afternoon.

Historic Pubs in London - We discussed several different pubs around London.  Each one has its own unique story to tell.  We began our journey down the South Bank of the Thames.  One of the first pubs we went to was The Black Friar.  This little pub is shaped like a triangle or wedge and used to be the site of a monastery.  From here we ventured down Fleet Street.  And NO I did not run into Sweeney Todd or any demons.  :)  Although we did pass by the pub that stands in the place where Sweeney Todd's barber shop and Mrs. Lovett's pie shop were supposed to be located.... more on that in a minute.  After the Black Friar we ventured down Fleet Street and came across The Old Cock Tavern.  This pub was a favorite of Charles Dickens.  It is beautifully restored after being destroyed in the fire of London.  As we move down Fleet Street we come to The Tipperary.  This is London's first Irish pub.  Continuing on we came to The Old Bell.  This pub's sign was literally an old bell.  It sits behind St. Brides's Church.  Just down from The Old Bell is The Punch Tavern.  This little pub is home to Punch magazine and is where the inspiration for the Punch & Judy shows came from.  It was originally called the Crown &
Sugar Loaf before Punch magazine staff started hanging there.  Further on down Fleet Street is Ye Olde Chesire Cheese.  This pub is actually down in the cellars and used to be a monastery.  This particular pub is mentioned in Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities.  We ended just a little further down as Fleet Street turn into The Strand at the Old Bank of England Pub.  This is the pub that is the site of Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.

As our walking tour of historic pubs ended, some of us broke off into smaller groups and decided to go have a pint in a couple of these pubs. My group, 5 girls and a guy, hit The Old Cock Tavern, Ye Olde Chesire Cheese, and ended at The Black Friar.  After some food and drink we ventured over to Trafalgar Square where the Pride of London was happening.  After some dancing and interesting people watching we headed over to The Sherlock Holmes Pub.  This is an amazing pub with lots of memorabilia from the stories and the old movies and TV shows.  I probably could have sat in there all night looking at everything on the walls. 

On our walk back to the dorms we stopped along the bridge and took some pictures of the London Eye all lit up in rainbow colors.  Big Ben is in the background.  It was really a beautiful site.

Day 1 - Arrival (June 28)

Day 1

After a long and delayed flight, I have made it to London, England.  I have already begun to take lots of pictures which will soon be posted either here or on my Facebook page.  Yesterday, June 28, was  very long day.  After settling in at the dorms at Kings College, we (my class) met up and went on a walk with Dr. Welsh.  I discovered where to buy groceries and other necessities. And the nearest pub is next to the store a few blocks from the dorms. On the walk I saw several landmarks. We walked through Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, saw Big Ben and Parliament, as well as a few other things. We had dinner on the south bank of the Thames at this cute little gourmet pizza place. I finally got back to the dorms and was so exhausted I passed out and slept surprisingly well.

That is all for now. More to come...