The past two weeks in London
28.01.2011 - 28.01.2011 -2 °C
I have been in London for 9 days now, and it is almost the end of January. I want to keep my promise of writing blogs about my travels, at least on a monthly basis. Today, I had a wonderful excursion around the famous town where the Meridian Line belongs, Greenwich. Backtrack a little bit.
When we began our life in London together last Wednesday, everything seemed so brand new and uncomfortable, exciting yet nerve-wrecking. I am living with my PCT sisters, all four of us living in one spacious high-ceiling room. I truly appreciate how accommodating and kind everyone is. We have become not only sisters in name but also sisters sharing the same living space and the common goal of enjoying all of England and Europe! Our roommate agreement made sure that our lifestyles, though distinct, would converge in harmony. I have no doubt we will all learn so much from this completely novel experience. As the only child for my life, I am finally in a place where I could easily find three close companions whenever I need.
Greenwich 28 January, 2011
Early in the morning, we gathered around Westminster Pier and boarded the boat for an hour-long tour of the Thames. On the boat, I made friends with two classmates from English Novel course - much harder than I imagined but I will stick it through.
Ingrid and Mallory
Gloomy skies hide not the grandeur of the Big Ben and the towers
Our walking tour guide coincidentally was the same gentleman who led us through Camden Town the night before. The most impressive historic buildings we beheld in our eyes was the Greenwich Hospital. The former was the first Navy charity built back in 1694 by Queen Mary and King William for serving and retired seamen. It served its charity purpose from 1705 to 1869, more than 150 years!
The breathtaking domes of the Greenwich Hospital.
The original Greenwich Hospital was built by London's legendary Christopher Wren. It took Wren close to 50 years to complete the construction of this unparalleled architectural feat, which also marked the last of his contributions to London's "cityscape". No one today could or would replicate this level of dedication and artistry. Due to later fire, the interior was redecorated with coad stones. Today, the details of the sculpted walls, painted ceilings, and magnificent golden organ together make the former hospital an architectural treasure.
The organ is still in use after so many years
Across the pavement road stands the other half of the Greenwich Hospital, which was built with the original purpose as a dining hall for the seamen. However, the gorgeous paintings and grand arched windows attracted the nobles' attention and the seamen were eventually sent down to the basement to have their meals, while the nobles regaled in the beautiful court.
Being a part of the timeless painting
Next stop was the Royal Observatory, home to Time and Longitude, as they like to call it.
Yup, we are here
Guess I am striding THE Meridian Line
My Proud Stance
Our last destination on our Greenwich excursion was the Queen's home. History tells us that King James I loved to go hunting in Greenwich, but one day he accidentally shot Queen Anne of Denmark's beloved canine friend. To compensate the Queen, he commissioned one of the most sought after architect, Inigo Jones, to design a house for her, exactly where the dog received the fatal shot. The Queen's House was the first building in England to embody Italian architectural influences, thanks to Inigo's learning on his grand tour.
With the last ray of sunlight, the Queen's House looked gentle with a soft tone.
The famous tulip staircase. The rails were shaped like tulips, signs of regality and nobility.
The students crouching to listen to Professor O'Looney speak about the architectural beauty of the interior. I would love to join this wonderful class.
Professor O'Looney's gorgeous sketchbook.
The British accent is a very peculiar, attractive, and sometimes incomprehensible. I have yet to meet more locals to pick up some British accent myself, to impress my folks at home.