Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Greenwich (pronounced "Gren-itch")
Why does Greenwich sound/look familiar? It's the time zone place! The Prime Meridian goes smack dab through the city and look who got a feet picture on it?
Oh, that's us.
The Royal Old Naval College Chapel:
The Royal Old Naval College Painted Hall (these pictures do not do it justice. It is so beautiful)
In the center of the picture is the Queen's House (another Inigo Jones. I think he put everybody else out of work when he was in business)
Here is a closer view of it. The Queen''s house was built for a Queen (Henrietta Maria) but barely used by royalty. It has the coolest history. First it was an asylum (or an orphanage) and then it became a school for boys who wanted to join the Navy. It is now a Maritime Museum. And it's beautiful. The tulip staircase was gorgeous. Legend has it that when the building housed royalty a maid threw herself from the tulip staircase "for love" and her ghost haunts it to this very day... or at least that's what they told the new comers at the Naval Academy.
General Wolfe statue
Me attempting to "be in two places at once" ... except this woman apparently wanted to be in a picture with me? Or she just wanted a picture by the statue and didn't care who was in it. She was weird. Obviously you can tell I wasn't flustered by finding her inches from me at all.
This is a sundial at the Royal Observatory. The shadow of the tails show what minute it is.
It's been a while. London is still great - I have been gone 1 month today. Nuts! This week we went to Scotland, Edinburgh. It was rad - pictures to come. Last night we went to Macbeth at the Globe theater. HO. LY. CRAP. O. LEE. I really liked it. It was easily the darkest, most disturbing play that I have seen, but it was masterfully done. Incredible. Let me see if I can find pictures of Macbeth and Malcolm... because I think all my female readers would appreciate this.
Yes, hello, this is Macbeth. Yeah. He was extremely hot. And extremely built. Just sayin'.
However, I was kind of a sucker for Malcolm... I cannot find any pictures of him. Rats. Just know he was Scottish and goooood-lookin'.
I liked Macbeth a lot - I kind of want to see the James McAvoy movie now...
Pictures to come.
This was my walk through "Londinium" the parts of the city that date back to the Roman settlement. Now it's kind of the business district.
The Huge Sundial. We were looking for the sun because it was definitely not out.
This is part of the wall that surrounded Londinium.
This is Emperor Trajan, and me pulling a "Megara."
Monument to the Merchant Seamen killed in the "14-18" war.
The St. Olave Church - the only one to survive the fires of 1616.
Me and the Monks on Crutched Friars Street.
So, back in a darker time, Jews and other minorities (such as Indians) were only allowed to live in certain places. For example, Jews on Jewry street and those from India on India Street.
Also no this walk was Bedlem - or the Bethlem Hospital - an infamous place for it's treatment and containment of those who were insane. So if you've ever heard the expression "it was bedlam!" I'm fairly certain that this where that comes from.
Okay, so here's a cool story. The picture on the left there is me in front of what I thought was the only church to survive the Blitz... but not so. That would be the tower in the picture to the right.
Londinium was cool because of all of this remainder wall that I found everywhere. This has been in place since the time of the Romans can you believe it??
I took a walk through Chelsea. It was pretty darn beautiful and historic.
This is the Michelin Building, constructed in 1910. Yes, that is a stained glass window of the Michelin Man.
Nell Gwyn House - where the rich and famous live.
This is Number 7 St. Leonard's Terrace. Home of Sir Laurence Olivier and 007. Yes, this is where Mr. Bond hangs his hat after he saves the world.
So, our book says that Bram Stoker (author of Dracula which I just read and actually liked pretty well) lived in Number 19. But the plaque was on the building next door. Curious. I think the red door is more Mr. Stoker's style.
So there is scaffolding all over the city. I thought this was just weird, black construction area. But no, it is the army barracks.
This is Chelsea Pensioners Hospital. Cool windows, I thought.
This is Chelsea Bridge. Very Busy.
We tried to find Oscar Wilde's house, but it has evaporated. So no cigar, but he lived around here apparently.
Isn't this just beautiful? The walk took us along the Thames for a minute, and this is a pagoda which I should know the name of, but don't remember. I love the Thames.
This is the home of Thomas Carlyle - the Sage of Chelsea.
This is Sir Thomas Moore. Evita-ed. This is the church that he wished to be buried at. His body might possibly be here, but his head is at Canterbury. Nice, huh?
Also, Henry VIII - the more I hear of you, the grosser, weirder, more horrible and awful I think you are - was married to Jane Seymour here. She was beheaded later. Know before you go, Jane, poor soul.
This week we went on a 3 day trip. It was pretty awesome but I need a weekend in which I do not step foot inside a cathedral.
Some things from the trip:
I have lost all faith in Stuart. [Stuart is our bus driver] Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The back seat of the bus is the best seat of the bus.
Exeter smells bad.
Monday we went to the British Museum - for the record it has not lost it's charm. It is the raddest baddest. There is so much to see. It's immense.
Tuesday we boarded the coach. I still believed in Stuart. Still loved him. We went to Chawton, which is where Jane Austen lived when she wrote her novels. I maybe had to buy a book there. Maybe it's Emma.
As this was the table she allegedly wrote on, I was pretty excited about it. It kind of felt like a pilgrimage or something like that. Something pretty reverential for an reader like yours truly.
From there we went to Winchester Cathedral + the Great Hall. The Great Hall is where there is a huge wooden painting of the "Knights of the Round".
We went to Bath from there. Bath is pronounced "B - ah(like you're scared) - th" if you are American and "B- ahh(like you just got into a hot tub) - th" if you're from England. We just sound weirdy if we try and say "Yeah, I went to Bahhth today."
This is a street in Bath.
At Bath we saw the Roman Bath's - they are so cool! There are all these chambers for sauna's and then the main pool which was so beautiful. All of these places are so overwhelming back to back to back, but if I can try to imagine what life was like when the Roman Bath was used in it's original sense I am in love. I love all of the history I am finding.
There was also the Royal Crescent which was beautiful. I will find my hard -core picture and put it up here.
Then we went to our Youth Hostel. I had never stayed at a hostel before, so I was really apprehensive and the pillows and mattress .. I just could not even think about. Because ew.
We all stayed up and smashed in one of the little halls and were clamorous, had a massage train, and told stories.
Wednesday we got on the road and headed to Glastonbury Cathedral and the Tor. The Cathedral was in ruins and our Priest was kind of weirdy but it was neat. The TOR, tho! Ah, the Tor was so cool. It was the longest hike ever to get there, but the view was spectacular. You can see for miles in every direction. The Tor is apparently where st. Michael slayed... slew? whatever... killed a dragon.
Then we went to Wells Cathedral. This has been my favorite so far. The ceiling was painted, it was gorgeous. The bathrooms were so rad and the water in the sinks was really warm. This is a luxury because all the Cathedrals are so cold.
That night we were in Ilfracombe, a town on the shore. It was here that I had the BEST Italian food of my life - at Giovanni and Luca's. Ooooooh my. If you're ever in Ilfracombe, drop by. Say hi to Luca for me.
There views from Ilfracombe are phenom.
Thursday, the next morning, we had the grossest breakfast of all time - poor people who eat "traditional english breakfast" I was not pleased with it. BUT on the way over, total creeper called me "ginger"!! I wish it had not been smelly old man, but I am soooo glad I've been called "ginger". It was one of my goals for the whole excursion.
We left Ilfracombe and went to Tintagel (the ruins of an old Castle on the Cliffs). If I thought Ilfracombe's views were incredible, I don't know what to call the views from Tintagel. Merlin's cave is on the beach, and they think this is where King Arthur was born.
(don't believe it, everything King Arthur is totally fabricated)
From Tintagel we went to Exeter. As we drove into town there was the nastiest smell. It was not only on the bus because we looked outside and the people on the street had their shirt cuffs over their mouths as well. It was nast, just trust me.
The Cathedral was pretty, and the shopping in Exeter was great! If you ever want to go to a town with history and modernity, check out Exeter. The Cathedral had a lot of patrons, a lot of old women and a few old men. I will never forget the old English woman sitting the Quire. She was the sweetest, saddest creature.
We then had a four and a half hour bus ride. We got to be really good friends. (Fish love poop, something that I did not know until yesterday).
When we finally got home, though, it felt like home. I was so relieved. I am exhausted, but I've got to get going. Time feels weird here. It feels like I've always been here, but also like I just barely got here. I am feeling blessed and grateful lately, people. I am happy here. I really love the people I'm around.
LOVE from London
P.S. You might have noticed that there are few pictures. Yeah my camera died right after the Jane Austen House. I will be stealing others' pictures, not to worry.
I got you a present today! From Portabello Market. It's the raddest baddest.
Oh my gosh I loved Portabello Market. I'm going back every Saturday - for sure.
I found Hummingbird Cafe. (Cupcake - gone in 60 seconds. maybe 90. i'm serious)
On the way back I saw Poe, the Peg-legged Pigeon. He had a peg-leg (hence the name) and I thought it was so sad. Seriously, I couldn't look at him.
Okay, readers - there is only one person whose present is stumping me.
This is my awesome brotha, Jamesy. James - what do you want?? I have ideas of what to get you, but they all get shot down. Maybe I will just bring you a thousand pounds of English chocolate/toffee/etc. Sound good?
Let me just say how much I love blogging. There is a grand, vast community out there of people like me who love to express themselves by writing words. And I am strengthened by reading your stories and relating to them.
I am having a great time. It has not been sunshine and roses the whole time - I hesitate to say - but that's okay because I do not want a life of sunshine and roses. Can you imagine how hot and thick-with-florals the air would be all the time? I want a life with everything in it.
I have decided to make some goals for my life: 1. touch more 2. trust more 3. seize everything
This grand sweeping post is mostly due to this awesome girl (whose entire blog I read tonight)
4. make this my motto 5. simplify, breathe, relax, and keep it in perspective.
*what would you dream about tonight if you could choose?