Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Leisure

I've been working on a post with lots of pictures featuring the sites of London, which, between class, outings in London, and other small excursions, has not been completed. However, I hate to leave my family and friends without news of my doings, so I'll update briefly what's been going on, in hopes that I will be able to finish the picture - heavy post soon.

Yesterday was Sunday, and I looked up several churches in the area that held services. Thankfully, the University Chaplaincy, which is part of the University of London, was less than a mile away. I had a lovely morning walk past the British Museum and several college buildings before I found the church. It was very small, held in a small chapel instead of a large church. It was nice that the church was so close to the college, so there were many college students in attendance. Mass was much the same, expect everyone had an accent, and several songs were sung in Latin. At the end of the service, several announcements were made, including one about a church dinner cruise on the Thames. Four hours, complete with dinner, disco music, and a 'cheap bar'. What fun that would be if I were actually a college student at London's University.

After mass, I walked back to the flat and had lunch, while also spending some time reading for our class meeting. At 2, two of my roommates, Jen and Natalie, and I met with part of our class to travel to Brick Lane Market. However, due to heavy construction on the tube, our group was advised to spend the afternoon as we pleased. Since we hadn't been able to fit in a visit to the Tate Modern art museum, Natalie, Jen, and I hopped on the tube and headed to the museum. We were able to visit Saint Paul's on the way to the museum, which was very beautiful.  
This photo doesn't do the cathedral justice.
Neither does this one.....
Or this one, especially since it's so close. We didn't go inside, as their was a service in progress, but just looking upon the splendor was breathtaking. Imagine, this cathedral, surrounded by all sorts of other buildings, some as old, some much newer.

After walking around the cathedral, we crossed the Millennium Bridge, which many Harry Potter fans might recognize as the bridge used in the sixth Harry Potter movie. It looks like this:
No, it didn't shake or collapse as we walked across. However, Dr. G. said that when the bridge was built, the designers purposely made it 'bouncy', so that people walking across the bridge could feel how it moved. However, many people were frightened of the bridge and said it was too bouncy. Measures have been taken to reduce the bounciness, and I for one, was very appreciative.
The bridge is quite popular, as you can see here. Many people coming and going across the Thames. There were also street performers and vendors selling caramelized almonds, which smelled HEAVENLY. Not two pounds heavenly, but free to smell.

We spent a few hours looking through the museum, which was very interesting. I'm not a huge fan of modern art, so some of the displays were lost on me. However, I did see a few displays that were interesting.  Several displays were actually from American artists, or rather, artists who live and work in the U.S.
This piece took up an entire room, where the piece was hung from the ceiling. I was particularly impressed with the detail of the stairwell.
I also really liked this enormous plug hanging from the ceiling. I though it funny since it was obviously American, since the plug in wouldn't work here in the UK. The arrangement of the prongs is all wrong.

There was also an series of pictures documenting American power. The contrast between the American background and the variety of power sources was particularly compelling.

After we took the tube back to the flat, we went out Dr. G.'s favorite pub, The Plough, for some fish and chips.
The fish and chips we had tasted good. We also had fried scallops, which tasted good too. Maybe a little too much fried food, but still good none the less.

Sunday night was spent relaxing, reading for class and watching a couple shows online. It was nice to relax, esepcially since I felt tired by nine. Thankfully, I've been sleeping well. Our window looks to the back, which keeps us from hearing much noise at night, a problem that some of the other students have noted. My only desire at this point would be for a sheet. Comforters are nice and all, but sometimes you need that inbetween sheet, when it's too warm for a comforter and too cool for no covers. Oh well, at least I'm sleeping!

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