Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cathedrals, Museums, & Queen Victoria

CATHEDRALS. Today was an excellent day! We woke up and all went as a group on the "Super Tour" of St. Paul's Cathedral. It was spectacular! Soo beautiful inside and out! It is the second biggest cathedral in the world next to St. Peter's in Vatican City. Wow!

My favorite things about it were the ceilings. They were all mosaics and were absolutely incredible. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, so unfortunately, if you would like to see them you will have to make the trip for yourself. There were also so many infamous and influential people buried in the crypt of St. Paul's, and it's so interesting to see their monuments.

The most memorable thing about St. Paul's was the stairs. Not because they were ornate, or historical, or anything like that. They are memorable because there are simply so many! We climbed the 500 or so stairs all the way to the top of the dome. But it was well worth it! You can see all of London from the top of that dome, and it's beautiful!

In case you haven't ever been to St. Paul's and experienced the stairs first hand, let me paint a little picture for you. At first, the stairs aren't bad, they are wide and low to the ground. You think, "Huh, I could do 500 of these no problem!" But then, they suddenly change to steep, narrow cement stairs that wind and wind up and up and up. Here you are thinking, "Phew! I'm starting to get a little tired...and claustrophobic!" But you keep on going. Then, the stairs change again. Now they are not only steep and narrow, but they are those wirey type stairs and just have a hand rail between you and death. These stairs go up and up and up even more! By now you are thinking, "Man, I hope I get there alive!" Then finally, you go through a little narrow tunnel about 2 ft wide and 4 and a half feet tall and you have made it!

These stairs actually are famous. They are used in lots of films such as Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes!

See! Narrow!

This is while we were climbing up the stairs, there is this tiny window where you can see the cathedral right below you...we are reeeeally high up!

MUSEUMS. After the visit to St. Paul's, we went over to the Museum of London. This was a way cool museum. It had basically the entire history of London since prehistoric dates. Some of my favorite things here were the more modern stuff from the 18th and 19th centuries. They had period clothing and hats and stuff that were really cool to look at. They also had a really neat video about the Blitz during WWII. It had displays all the way up until today!

QUEEN VICTORIA. So tonight we had a movie night. It started out as wanting to watch Sherlock Holmes, because ever since I have got here I have had such a craving for it! We were going to do it before, but it just hasn't worked out. So I asked one of the professors if we could watch it tonight on the screen in the classroom and I was told to ask the director. So we asked him (and by this time somehow everyone knew me as the girl who wanted to watch Sherlock Holmes really bad because I had asked a couple times!). He said yes, so he came to help figure out how to hook it up. Well, my Mac wouldn't hook up just right so I needed a certain cord. i found the cord from another Professor and thought I was set. We invited everyone and when I went to hook it up the cord didn't fit my style of Mac!

So we ended up watching Young Victoria instead. But it was still a great movie experience!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Championships at Wimbledon 2010

So have you ever had one of those days were you woke up and were like, "Hmm...maybe today I should go to Wimbledon!" Me too. It happened today. AND IT WAS AWESOME!

We rode the tube which goes straight to the little town of Wimbledon. Then we got off and asked the cute little man how we get there, so we had to take a cab (only 2.50!) alllll the way around to the other side. We went through the queue and purchased tickets to get onto the grounds for 17 pounds. With that we got to wander all around the courts except Court 1 and Centre Court.

Then there is a line you can get in to buy people's tickets who have left their seats for 5 pounds! We got in to excellent seats in Court 1 watching the match between Petra Kvitova and Kaia Kanepi. It was an excellent match! Kvitova won. She lost the first set, won the 2nd in a tie break, and won the 3rd 8 to 6!

So next time you wake up and think, "Hmm...maybe today I should go to Wimbledon," I would highly recommend it!

Me by the lawn where you can sit and watch the large screen

On the Grounds!

Here is the chart they track everything with!

My roommate, Niki, and I on the tube to go to Wimbledon!

The town of Wimbledon

Court No. 1

These are the names of players on June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today we started our classes. *Sigh* A little bit of reality has struck! I am taking a Great War and Modernism class and a Christianity in early England class. Both sound interesting, and the readings are interesting, but there is much more work than any of us here anticipated for them! Hopefully it will calm down.

We also had Simon Gibson come and speak to us today. He did a wonderful job. He is a big CEO from Wales who is involved in a lot of politics and investments around the world. He is a very important man, and also a member of the Church. He came and talked about the pioneer and missionary heritage in England. It was amazing.

He has especially invested in this LDS chapel in Wales that is the first chapel ever owned by the Church! It was completely destroyed when they bought it, and then they fixed it up and it was dedicated by President Hinckley a few years ago. Here is it now:

There was one thing that he said that I wanted to remember. I asked if being a member of the church had any positive or negative affect on his career and dealings with other people. He said that sometimes he gets asked the question, "What does your church believe?" That is a very daunting question, especially when people have certain ideas about Mormons. He said he always replies with 3 points:

1. Jesus Christ came to the earth and established His church.
2. Man changed it over time.
3. It has been restored today through a living prophet.

We only had a couple hours really to get out of the centre and explore, so we went to this cafe we had heard was good called Giraffe. It was quite tastey. I got a sandwich on a baguette with grilled chicken, brie cheese, lettuce, the kinda mayo-like dressing, and tomatoes with fries. It sure hit the spot!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My First Sunday.

Today was the first day I went to church in London. Next week we will each be assigned a ward throughout the London area to go to in small groups, but today we went to the Hyde Park Ward.

I love being able to go thousands of miles away from home but still feeling at home when I see those 9 words on the side of a building, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." It makes me feel so at peace and comforted.

...all the way to...

I love that there is the same Hymns sung

I love that everyone has big smiles as they welcome you in as a visitor

I love how there is always the same old lady who loooves family history

But most of all, I love that there is always a picture of the Savior to remind me what everything is really about

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm Pooped.


Breakfast 8:30 am

Left house to catch the tube at Notting Hill at 9:00 am

Found our way to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard

Went to Harrod's Food Hall - bought a little salad and water; ate it on a stoop outside of Harrod's.

Walked to the National Gallery at Trafalgar's Square (one of the most gorgeous areas yet) and saw the likes of Monet, Manet, van Gogh, Turner, Cezanne, Picasso, Constable,Degas....that was just one wing.

Went to a pub to watch the England vs. Germany game...yeah, it's not until tomorrow.

Went to Covent Gardens to watch street performers - the guy was kinda lame we saw.

Wandered around Jubilee Market and tasted lots of yummy samples of food sold by street vendors - bought some fudge.

Walked to Big Ben, then over the Thames, past the London Eye to eat at Wagamama's. I got Yaki Soba and it was delish'.

Walked to Picadilly Circus to catch the bus which took us though the Regent's St.andOxford St. shopping district (will def be going back there!)

and then finally came home!

Like I said...I'M POOPED!

My roommate/flatmate Nikki and I getting our Oyster Passes for the tube

(L to R) Me, Nikki, and Brittany at Buckingham Palace

Me looking at the yummy bread in the Covent Gardens market

Friday, June 25, 2010

My First Three Days

Yes. It is true. The countdowns can now stop, my talking to everyone about what I'm going to do can stop, EVERYTHING can now stop. Because I am in London!

That's right, I am finally here! I left out of Salt Lake...
Then landed in London! (I would get a picture from the plane in London...but I was in the MIDDLE of the MIDDLE on that flight....yeah, i know.)

I got here a couple of days before everyone else because that was it was cheaper, so I stayed by myself for a couple nights in the Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel. Here's a picture of the street where my hotel was....
Mine was Number 1, so It was down the street a little, but was still equally as cute!

I will now take you on a guided photographic tour of my first few days...

Here is my walk through Notting Hill...

Here are my sights through Kensington Gardens...

Here are a couple views I have from the rooftop of our house...

And, of course, the first of many phonebooth pictures to come...