View from the London Eye

View from the London Eye
Panoramic View from the London Eye

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Royal Palaces and Farewells

For the past two days my class has spent time exploring a few of the palaces in and around London.  Yesterday we took a short time outside the city to visit Hampton Court.
Hampton Court Palace
Wine Fountain
Hampton Court Palace is best known for being the residence of King Henry VIII and his 6 wives.  The complex was huge.  The areas that were open to the public were set up to look like they did when King Henry lived there.  Characters in costume walked around the palace reenacting events that also took place during this time period.  The palace was opulent; staircases adorned with massive paintings, fountains made to flow with wine during celebrations, and grand halls filled with expensive tapestries were all common place in this palace.

Painting around and above a staircase
Great Hall

Today we took a tour around Buckingham Palace, currently the residence and offices of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  This palace, like Hampton Court, is home to many priceless art pieces, expensive furniture, and historical objects.
Buckingham Palace
Backside of Buckingham Palace

On display today was the family's collection of Faberge pieces, including a few of the famous eggs.  Also, available to see was an exhibit on the recent royal wedding of Prince William and his bride Kate.  We were able to see her wedding dress, bouquet, and even their wedding cake.

When you walk through these palaces, especially if you are using the audio tours that are available at both locations, you feel like you are being invited into the homes of the royal families.  At Hampton Court the audio tour is played like you are a guest to Henry VIII's wedding to Katherine Parr, his 6th and final wife.

After visiting Buckingham Palace we took a trip to another type of historical landmark, the original Hard Rock cafe here in London.  Here we said our farewells and took time to reflect on our time here in London.  It has been an amazing three weeks and it seems like it went by so fast!!  I will miss everyone that I have met here so much but, for me, the trip is not over yet.  Tomorrow I fly of to Dublin, Ireland where I will be spending some time with my mom, aunt and uncle!  I will continue posting while I am there but it may be a bit more sporadic then while I was here in London.  I hope that you all have enjoyed reading about my adventures on this side of the Atlantic!  

Farewell will be missed! : (

Zane at the Hard Rock Cafe


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