Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mind the Gap!

Sorry about the interruption in service. A lot has happened since I last wrote. For one thing, it's snowed nearly every day. Six inches covered the pretty little crocus in the last post. Luckily I wasn't in Austria for most of the snow, because I accompanied Form 7B to London, where it was cold but springlike! Here's Kensington Park and our glorified youth hostel, The Royal Bayswater Hotel, in the background (left).
We were in London for five days and change, and we saw soooo much! We saw Portobello Road on Market day (cue the song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks), Camden Town, Covent Garden, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral (above). We went to the British Museum where I saw the Etruscan sarcophagus of Seianti Hanunia Tlenasa. It was like running into an old friend, because I've taught Seianti in Women in Antiquity and Roman Archaeology for so many years.

We also went to the Tate Modern Museum, and I went to the National Gallery. We spent time at the London Dungeon and at Madame Tussaud's. Here I am with William Shakespeare:

Speaking of Shakespeare, we also went to the Globe Theater, which was one of the highlights of the trip. Here you can see part of the stage, the seating, and the thatched roof (first in London since the Great Fire of 1666):

On Tuesday evening, we all went to one of two musicals. I went to Chicago which was quite entertaining, but then I was familiar with all the songs from high school; the others went to The Phantom of the Opera. We took a river cruise to Greenwich, but a sudden downpour kept us from visiting the prime meridian. marker. An hour later the sun was shining (sunset over Hyde Park)!

On Thursday, I took a day for myself while the students went to Cambridge. The highlight of my trip was cream tea at Fortnum and Mason, a fancy department store in Piccadilly. I was joined by an elderly gentleman who had lived in the U.S. for 15 years and we had a nice chat.

The students were so awesome! No one fought, got in trouble, was injured, went missing. Sometimes they even spoke English! :-) And despite the fact that breakfast was a nightmare (standing room only with only toast, cornflakes and instant coffee), some rooms had no electricity, others had flooded bathrooms, and it took 45 minutes for water to boil on the antiquated stoves in the kitchen area, we still had a marvelous time!

Thanks, 7B, for inviting me to go along! You ROCK!


Rebecca Nazar said...

What a wonderful trip. I'm glad you had such a great time. I'm hoping to vacation there at some point.

Angie Ledbetter said...

J: Sounds like a really wonderful trip. Hope you have many more.

Sara A. said...

J - I followed your link, and it lead me to fond memories of London! I loved all the places you mentioned - I worked ~ 4 blocks from the British Museum and loved to go to all the exhibits. Of course, I read this lovely piece about weather and culture while watching the heavy wet snow fall in Chicago

Julia H said...

i totally agree with you, joey. we had a wounderful london-time! that was definitely the best school trip ever, although the hotel was horrible. but i really enjoyed it!
..and now i'm like really depressed, 'cause i miss the exciting city-life so much..
lg julia

Cora said...

Beautiful pictures, Jones...I was in London for a short time when I went to Spain in 94 but I loved what time I spent.

Wow...Students who behave, don't go walkabout, and who acutally learn something while on a trip..I'm in shock..Glad you had a good time and I WANT THAT SCARF...or one like it...It's beautiful... I'm going to go and read more now...Catch up..