Friday, June 10, 2011
The Fabulous Londinium
HELLO WORLD! It has been another ridiculously long absence, but summer is here and I am officially unemployed, not enrolled in any classes, and living back at home, so I am free as a bird (sort of). I just got back from an awesome trip to London as well! I went with my mom, just the two of us. I had never been to England before (or Europe, for that matter), so it was just amazing. I have a ton of pictures... so I will only put about a quarter ton on here... :p heheh.
Jet lag means waking up at three in the morning and having a cup of tea, looking out through the windows at the dark London streets and wondering what the hours of sunlight will hold.
The first day, we set out at 8 AM for the Royal London Morning tour, via red bus.
The Underground! I loved the tube. It was really clean and fast. Not like BART at all. Thank god.
We took a clipper boat across the Thames to go to the tower of London. Prior to this, an old man on the tour fell down and hit his head, and had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. It was really sad, and we ended up missing all of the rest of the appointed tour groups for the day and the day turned into sort of a mess.
The clipper boat! I really liked the polka dots.
Really liked them a lot.
The Eye of London- a huge Ferris wheel like machine that has views of the entire city- which we were supposed to go on later in the week, but didn't because I was feeling really nauseous :( sorry Mom.
The ravens of the Tower are rather famous. "At least six ravens are kept at the Tower at all times, in accordance with the belief that if they are absent, the kingdom will fall."
These residences were constructed as living quarters for Anne Boleyn. She never got to live in them before she was executed.
Originally the ravens were drawn to the tower by the rotting carcasses in the moat that surrounded the tower. Since the moat has been dry since the early 1900s, the ravens are now kept in the tower by having their wings clipped.
So, we had a really hard day because of the man falling, waiting for 40 minutes on the dock and feeling nauseous and jet lagged, missing the royal beefeater tour due to ambulance earlier, and getting dropped off in the middle of nowhere by tour bus... and on the way home there was a double rainbow. It was a perfect arch in the sky, and it was lovely.
Tribute to the falcon headed god, Horus. "Horus served many functions in the Egyptian pantheon, most notably being the god of the Sky, god of War and god of Protection." Mythology nerd what whaaat!
We were shocked by how many fantastic Egyptian artifacts there were at the British museum, and even more shocked when they told us we were allowed to take pictures! It was overwhelmingly cool.
"According to ancient Egyptian myths, the sun (Ra) rolls across the sky each day and transforms bodies and souls. Modeled upon the Scarabaeidae family dung beetle, which rolls dung into a ball for the purposes of eating and laying eggs that are later transformed into larva, the scarab was seen as an earthly symbol of this heavenly cycle."
My patron goddess... Athena. LOVE this bust.
Cute London shops!! <3
Sort of bright happy colors for an occult shop, but hey, what do I know?
On the third day, we went to Kew Gardens. It. was. amazing.
I felt like Alice, exploring a magical garden of huge, strange flowers, lost in another world.
Heraldic beast statues in front of the Palm House- Gryphon and the Mock Turtle anyone?
BABY GEESE d'awww. They're so cute before they turn into frightening, grown up geese monsters.
A bumbling bee
The waterlily pond was something from another world.
Please explain to me how these lily pads are real.
Temple to Aeolus, god of the wind. The garden had a couple of these temple buildings, known as follies, all over the gardens. They are called follies because they have no purpose.
A wisteria folly. I wanted to stay here forever.
Yummy cakes and things which I did not eat at lunch. I wanted to.. but they were expensive and they were sugary treats so I passed them up.
BUT THEY LOOKED SO GOOD. sigh.
I did have some delicious sparkling orange beveragey thing though. Yummers.
This is what a chocolate plant looks like! I was surprised, I had never seen one before.
They also had a random aquarium showing the denizens of one of the water lily pools. I expected minnows or something, but they had a puffer fish! So cute :)
More cute little British shops!
Me crocheting in the Tate museum! I am working on another Juliana Shawl for my mom's birthday. (It already passed, so this isn't really a surprise)
Delicious looking roadside fruit stand!
For anyone who thinks that British food isn't tasty- it really is! I got tired of the sandwiches pretty fast, and I always miss Mexican food almost instantly when I go abroad, but this brunch was fantastic!
May all your journeys be so sweet as this one of mine has been!