We got to see a LOT of London during Dave's trip! First off, the British Museum! I had never been there, and that is a pretty unfortunate fail on my part. We did not get to see much of it, as they were closing about an hour after we got there, but we did see the Rosetta Stone! It is much larger than the replica at the UPenn Archaeology museum would have you believe. We also went upstairs to see the Sutton Hoo exhibit. Why? Oh why? WHY did I veer from archaeology? What kind of stupid pills was I taking in undergrad? Sigh. I suppose this is my chance to be a true 19th century scholar- teach myself to be an Egyptologist for fun. In a few months... The point is, the museum was brilliant, and I can not wait to go back and see more of it!
We also took the walk through Westminster Abbey- sadly we were not there at the proper moment for the open-to-the-public prayer service at the tomb of St. Edward the confessor. We also went to Westminster Cathedral, which is just wow and lovely. It is very unfinished on the inside, and rather dark as such. I must say that I am not one for bright, shiny Byzantine style mosaics, but I am sure it will be glisteningly gorgeous when it is finished! Sunday morning we attended Mass at the Brompton Oratory (loooooots of churches this week). It was also lovely, but very different! I am not sure exactly what the style was, but it was less mosaic and more pillar with fancy molding on the ceiling and a million candles! Tres pretty. (That was followed by some really yummy thai food!)
We also met up with Elena and Pete for HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE IN LONDON!!!!! Dressed up, of course. They do not seem to do midnight showings here, and very few people were dressed up. I saw a nifty Bellatrix shirt though. And there was one older woman with a light up witch hat! :-D I personally thought it was the best of the movies since the second one. There were a few changes I would have made, but I am glad that Hermione at least sent the birds after Won-won. Well done Alan Rickman. I also love Jim Broadabent. He is, in my humble opinion, a fantastic actor. And I got to see a Harry Potter movie in London. We went for dinner with Elena and Pete, ended up in Trafalgar Square (sadly, I could not reach any money out of the fountains from where I was) and then for Ice Cream! Yay!
We met up with Natasha for the Tower, which was great, and really not that crowded. (Hint: Go on a Sunday afternoon) We still did not get to see all that we wanted, but we're history dorks, it happens. Some of the areas were really amazing, with intricate carvings done by those who had been imprisoned there. Other parts, like Bloody Tower, were much less so. I want to see the dark, dank cells where two frightened little boys were imprisoned before being murdered, not whitewashed walls and a fun 'Whodunit' display. The Crown jewels on the other hand: SHINY. I meant it when I said that I prefer the Scottish Honours, but still. SHINY! The White Tower housed a display on arms and armour (Dave finally understands why I refer to KH8 as King Henry the Codpiece). They even had old jousting poles!
We tried going to Camden Town after a failed attempt to go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, but we were just too late, and all the shops and stalls had closed. However, I did learn that while by day CT is a haven of strangely dressed people, by night, it becomes the land of no trousers!
P.S.: Dear England: Keeping Ravens whose wings have been clipped in cages at the Tower is CHEATING.
P.P.S.: This is my friend, Stumpy the Chicken Pigeon. We met at the train station and quickly became fast friends.
P.P.P.S.: Um. Well, our food and clothes are tax free. And we have bears in the zoo, and maybe elsewhere? Yay PA, but...WHAT??