this was our very last full week in London! craziness. we tried to see and do as much as we could... and it was definitely action packed! without further ado, here it is:
Dover Castle at Dover Beach, famous for its defensive significance in England's history. This site is also featured in Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach" (I wrote a paper about this poem a couple semesters ago... so it was cool to see the actual site!) here are a few lines from the poem:
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay...
St. Augustine Abbey ruins - yet another abbey, yet more ruins! good thing they're all pretty cool, or it would get boring!
our "fearful faces" in Canterbury Cathedral. this was the spot that Thomas Becket was murdered because of a conflict with Henry II. Becket was made a saint, and thousands of people made a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral to honor him.
Hampton Court Palace! Several different British monarchs inhabited this fetching huge palace, and we spent several hours looking through the palace and on the palace grounds.
amazing wall/ceiling paintings in Hampton Court! (honestly, this was huge; the picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice)
Chelsea, Kathryn, Shaina, Kara, Whitney and me on the "tree top walk" at Kew Gardens. First of all, Kew Gardens are amazingly expansive and gorgeously beautiful (how's that for an extended list of adjectives haha). to do the "tree top walk," we climbed up, up, up, up a huge spiral staircase until we were at the level of the tree tops, and we walked around for a few minutes up there. it was fabulous, but we tried not to look down too much! scary!
the lily pond at Kew Gardens - we sat and enjoyed the pond for awhile, and chased some peacocks around :)
Shaina and I went to see Lion King! this was our third attempt (fourth for Shaina, I think) at seeing Lion King - it was a popular show, and always sold out! we were in the upper balconies (no student discount means sitting way far back!) but it ended up being a perfect spot to be.
I went to London to visit the Queen! we happened to be in London for the Trooping the Colours parade... which is the Queens "official" birthday (not her real one... this is a special birthday set aside in the summertime when it's nice outside to have a parade haha). I was really close too - isn't that crazy? that's the Queen of England!!!
even more exciting than seeing the Queen (is that possible?) is seeing the heartthrob heir to the throne, Prince William (sitting in a carriage with his step mum, Camilla). I'm posting this especially for Akayleia - she spent much of her youth completely devoted to Prince Will! I even remember writing a short story about the marriage of Akayleia and William in junior high school. :D
Whit and I wanted to take a picture with one of the statue men in Covent Garden. this guy was a statue with a sense of humor... as you can tell, he's trying hard to make the picture awkward for us by sticking his hand in our ears and playing with our hair... creep-o! we forgave him because he was talented at being a statue. and we even tipped him!
Kathryn and I at the Natural History Museum... I had never seen a dinosaur before! so this museum made me feel like a little kid again :)