Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentines from London!

The BYU Centre is the place to be on Valentines Day! Yes, I wore my new red pants in honor of St. Valentine. I had class today in the V&A and apparently so did Antonio Banderas. There is a temporary exhibit up "Out of the Ordinary" that I drew in for a few hours, and for Conceptual Art we met on Brick Lane. Brick Lane is full of art shows and expressions on buildings, fences, the street, basically anything outside is fair game to display artwork! Aside from the fact that it was freezing cold, it was fun to venture up there! Plus, I had chicken kerma and nan from Sweet and Spicy, and I liked it!Happy V Day to my pants! Meg and Nicole waiting for class to start in the V&A.A random wall on Brick Lane where the sophisticated art of BYU Conceptual Art students will be spray painted and tagged on this very wall. We'll see how that turns out.Me and Kaitlyn freezing on Brick Lane.My cute roommate Anna made me a Valentine, and the biggest Cadbury egg EVER! It sealed our friendship. This is where we all eat each morning and night, and we decorated for Valentines!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Runnymede, Windsor Castle, and Stoke Podges

It's Wednesday, so that means group trip! Today we went about twenty minutes out of the city and made our first stop at Runnymede, from there we headed to Windsor Castle where I spent most of the day, and finished it off with a stop at Stoke Podges. We crammed a lot in, but it was awesome!When we were first got out at Runnymede, one of the professor's little kids ran out into this huge field, and I thought it looked like a perfect picture opportunity!It would have been nice to know that we were going to be trekking through the mud to get up to a monument. Our shoes and pants got soo muddy!The first group picture we've ever taken! And now I know why...We hiked up to this monument which is dedicated to the British Royal Air Force. Their motto: With difficulty, through the stars.Meg and Sojlaroo at Runnymede!Windsor Castle is huge!! Driving up to it was the best view because it's soo big. Once I was up next to it, it was impossible to see it all together. I got to go inside where I saw how the Kings and Queens used to live and entertain. These days, the Queen comes to stay here usually on the weekends, and she enjoys spending her summer holiday here. While the Queen loves her Windsor Castle, she prefers her Castle in Scotland (I would too, obviously). This is the "backyard" view of Windsor, which overlooks Eton College.Me and Betsy just outside the castle. So excited to be in London!This is Stoke Podges, home of the poet Thomas Gray. He wrote the famous poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, which happens to be about this churchyard! I know it really is so exciting, just take a deep breath. Me, Sarajane, Amanda, Kaitlyn, and Alyssa in Stoke Podges just outside the church. We went on a beautiful walk while we were in Stoke, along the Thames River, a very very calm side of the Thames.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Camden Town

After class today, I decided to venture out on one of London's famous double decker buses. Ann and I got on the 27 to Chalk Farm, where there is supposedly a huge grocery store (one of the biggest in London) and some fun shopping. We were almost there when the bus line was forced to end because of last weekends fire in Camden. I ended up walking all through Camden Town and saw a lot of the damage caused by the fire.Me and Ann on the double.The Tube Station at Camden Town - now under construction after last weekend.
From the LondonTelegraph:

...Police have said that parts of Camden Town, in the north of the city, will be closed for three or four days as engineers inspect buildings in the area for structural damage. It is not known when the market will reopen for business.
The fire raged for three hours before the London Fire Brigade (LFB) declared it had been controlled.
Storage areas for the famous market took the brunt of the fire damage, along with popular local pub the Hawley Arms - a regular haunt for musicians such as Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse....

Damage is estimated at over 50million pounds

If you want cheap food of any cuisine - Camden Town is the place to go.

Several parts of Camden are blocked off for the next week or so, as the details of the fire are worked out. After we wandered through these streets we walked up Chalk Farm road, and didn't see anything too exciting, so we got on the tube and road it over to High Street Kensington. Our original plan turned out to be quite the adventure, and it was so much fun!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hampstead Heath

Today I went to Hampstead Heath! Me, Kristen and Betsy headed north of London, and spent the day in walking in hilly grassland, woodlands, playlands, and in a former stately home. It's a very nice area of London, just 4 miles north of Trafalgar Square. It is said to be one of the best points to overlook the city. Welcome to Hampstead Heath!We walked for the entire green area of this map!"The Heath" as it's known to Londoners, covers over 800 acres. This is the famous Kenwood Estate. If you recognize it, it's because in Notting Hill there is a whole scene on this hill! The house dates back to the early 17th century. Inside there was many paintings by Vermeer which hung throughout the house.Me, Betsy, and Kristen about to eat lunch (a nutella sandwich) on the hill and do some homework.One of the many ponds.There are just over 25 ponds in the Heath, and of those, two are swimming ponds. The men's swimming pond open in 1890, and the ladies' pond opened in 1925. I'm going back when it's a little warmer to experience swimming in a pond!