Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009: London by Bus

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” - Henry Miller
Sunday, the study center had arranged for all the students at the center (65 of us) to take a quick tour of London via "coach" also known as a tour bus. Our guide was, Hugh, a Blue Badge guide, who is a fount of knowledge about London and Great Britain.
Our first stop was at St. Paul's Cathedral, where many of us began looking for the bird lady, singing "Tuppence a Bag." But, alas, it was not to be. It was difficult to get a good picture of St. Paul because there wasn't enough room to back up to get a full shot. St. Paul's is surrounded by office buildings and busy streets.
Our next stop was on the Riverwalk alongside the River Thames. We walked to the quay which used to be the busiest port in England, where a battleship is now available for touring. We got a wonderful view of the Tower Bridge (which we crossed) as well as the Tower of London.
All along the way, Hugh told us of the history of London and pointed out places such as where the Great London Fire started. We ended the meat of the tour at Buckingham Palace, where we were just in time to see the pageantry of the changing of the guard.
The weather has been cooperative, and in fact, the British term it a "heat wave." Being from Florida, however, we scoff at their declarations, and since they are so polite, they agree that perhaps we do have it somewhat worse than they do.
One of the most fun moments of the day is when everyone breaks out his or her "mascot" (I use two -- my puppy dog Marvin as well as my "Flat Stanley" of my eight grandchildren. At first some were reluctant, but we are all into it now, and the photos are very clever. If you are on Facebook, check out the FSU Multimedia Summer 2009 site, click on "Notes" and find the list of all the blogs. Many feature their mascots in front of world famous sites.

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