Trip Start Jan 05, 2006
Trip End Apr 13, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Saturday, January 14, 2006

So, last week... I mean, today - I went to London with the SCIO group. It was strange not being impressed with the buildings after St. Albans. After about an hour coach-ride (bus), we got off near the American Embassy (pictured) - maybe the ugliest building in London, I don't know. :) It has its own square with statues of Eisenhower, FDR, and a bald eagle. We traipsed through some side streets until we reached Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace - just in time for the changing of the guard. Got some really good film of this, so if you have the patience, take a look. You can hear the military band and everything (quiz question: what Disney film features the song they're playing? It's an Animated Classic ;). We then went down Park Place to Trafalgar Square where everyone else saw the National Gallery. The Russian Winter Festival was going on and the police wouldn't let any glass containers or alcohol through. No problem right? Wrong! I had a bottle of Plymouth gin (apparently the best kind and only available in England) in my rucksack (backpack). I'm a silly, silly person and bought it to send to, yes it's true, Ellen DeGeneres for her birthday on Jan. 26th. I'd already planned on mailing it in London, so I ran around for about an hour finding packing materials and the Post Office, and got it off in time to meet up with everyone else. SO - if you want to help me out and see if she got it, watch the Ellen DeGeneres show this Thursday (the 26th). Check for local listings. Right. My friend Rachel and I went to Portabello Rd. to shop a bit whilst everyone else went to the Tower of London and the Thames. Got a very nice leather wallet, an antiquarian leather-bound art book, and a hemp purse for not that much. We then met up at St. Paul's cathedral for evensong - the highlight of the day. I wish they had allowed photography inside - it was the most cavernous, intricately detailed cathedral I've ever been to, and the boy's choir was very good. Ugh - just remembering it makes me want to go back. The highest ceilings, angelic notes echoing throughout... it was wordlessly amazing. Then we came back. I have my first football match with the Queen's college women's team today, so I have to run. Expect pictures in the next day or so. Much love!
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