View from the London Eye

View from the London Eye
Panoramic View from the London Eye

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cats, Cathedrals, and Emergency Toilet Breaks

So today one of our assignments is to post a 5 picture story.  When we were visiting the Salisbury Cathedral today there was a cat sitting in one of the cloisters.  I took its picture but it seemed to be camera shy and wouldnt sit still for anymore pictures so I just documented its walk out of the church:

A little more about Salisbury later.  I need to catch you up on yesterday! 

Yesterday we went to the Museum of London.  The exhibits in the museum document the history of London back to prehistoric times.
London Timeline
Ancient Roman Wall outside of the Museum

We were able to see artifacts dating back before the Roman occupation of Britain and the remains of the Roman Wall that was once built around the city.  There were exhibits of early books, dioramas showing how people used
Early Books Containing Writings of Sir. Thomas More
to live, short videos explaining the horror that was the Black Death, the tragedy of the Great Fire of 1666, and the terrible blitzes from World War II, and finally it also included more modern exhibits, such as, a history of street photography in London.  It was a really amazing museum with well organized exhibits.  It was a lot of history to see in such a short time!

Our next stop was St. Paul's Cathedral.  St. Paul's is actually the fifth cathedral that has stood on this site since 604 A.D.
St. Paul's from the Side
St. Paul's from the Front
This cathedral was built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.  It was designed by the famous architect Sir. Christopher Wren who built many other churches in and around London.  St. Paul's, though, was his crowning achievement, with its massive archways and its huge dome that sits atop the church.  Since it is a working church there are no photographs allowed inside but if you visit St. Paul's make sure to see the amazing mosaics that adorn the ceiling and attempt to walk up 500 + stairs to the galleries that are outside the dome to take pictures of the city.  I only made it up to the first gallery, called the whispering gallery, because if you sit on one side and whisper into the wall, a person sitting on the other side will be able to hear you : ) ...whisper...hello...whisper

Today our first stop before Salisbury was the mysterious Stonehenge.  It is estimated that Stonehenge was built in 3100 B.C.  It was built in three stages.  The first stage would have seen the building of the ditch and bank around the site.  The second stage was the arrival of the smaller bluestones, there are 82 of them in all.
The final stage of the building of Stonehenge in 2000B.C. brought the arrival of the Sarsen stones, the huge
Zane posing with Stonehenge
stones that you can see in these pictures that make up most of Stonehenge. 

We still do not know the true purpose of Stonehenge.  It could be that each group to utilize the stones had a different purpose but it is probably a mystery that will remain for the foreseeable future (unless someone invents a time machine and we are able to travel back to 3100B.C. and ask :).

Our final stop today was the Salisbury Cathedral.  The building of this cathedral began in 1220 and was completed in just 38 years.  Not only is
Salisbury Cathedral
Our Blue Badge Guide, Sean
this church in amazing condition for being almost 800 years old, it is also the home to one of the four remaining Magna Carta documents, which was completed and sealed in 1215.

After visiting the cathedral, we walked around the quaint town of Salisbury, had lunch, took a look around the street market, and had a pint in the Lazy Cow pub.  This lead to, probably, the most important lesson I have learn since my time began here in London...dont drink a pint of beer before a 2 and a half hour bus ride!!!
Pints at the Lazy Cow Pub

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