Sunday, May 26, 2013

Group Pictures from London

These are all the group pictures that were on my phone.

Day 12: Free Day and Travel home

It was sad waking up and realizing that it was my last day in London. Today was packed with stuff to do. Danny, Steph, Dana and I went to the Tower of London. It was really cool. They had tons of historical items and the Crown Jewels. It was really cool to see armor and swords from the early 1300s all the way to the weapons and armor we use today. We went into a room that had all of the medals that were handed out to soliders all throughout british history. We then went and saw the Crown Jewels. It was amazing how many diamonds were inside the crown. I think if I remeber right they said that the crown adds 2.5 pounds to the Queens head when she wears it. The scepter was also outstanding, pretty sure it was the biggest dimond i have ever seen. Before we left the Tower we went to the Bloody tower. The bloody tower has a very strange history. Two princes lived in there and went missing. No one is too sure what happened, but there are a few conspiracy theories. They did find two small bodies in the  castle during renovation. So i suspect fowl play..... Dana and I took the tube to Hyde Park Corner and got out and saw the edge of Hyde Park. It sucked because it was raining, so we did not get to see much. It was what I expected walkways the lead into open grassy areas and tree filled areas for shade on a sunny day. It is an area for people who live in the city to escape the city life an relax. I was really hoping to see the Serpentine, because that is where the Marathon swimming was held for the olympics; but the weather did not really coorperate. We hopped back on the tube and got off on Leicester square and walked to the National Portrait Gallery, baiscally because it was the only art gallery i could remeber being mentioned. It's what can be expected from a portrait gallery; it was pictures of people. Some of Kings and Queens, and other of famous people around the world. I looked at their website the other day and saw that they had a Native American display while we were there but we did not walk around enough to see it. We only spent like a half-hour in there, mainly because we have been seeing portraits all week, and were crushed for time because we still needed to go to Harrods and Camden town. I think next time I will definitly go and check out the National Gallery. I like landscape artwork better than portratits. should have thought that one through...... So we got back on the tube and back tracked to Harrods. It was a ridiculous store filled with tons of brand name items. We never made it to look at all the cheese, (sorry Dr. King), but we were able to find some wine to take home to Dana's mom. We then hopped on the tube for one last journey to Camden Town. It was not as bad as the first time, and we were able to get all of our souvenirs.  Dana and I went back to the hotel so we could get ready to go see Phantom of the Opera. We got ready and went to dinner with the group before the musical. We had Pizza Hut, which for the record is not as good as American Pizza Hut. Phantom of the Opera was outstanding and I really did enjoy it, but I think I liked Wicked better. The musical finished around 10 and we went back to the hotel to pack. I finished packing about midnight and slept for about 3 hours. We left the hotel at about 4 in the morning. The flight was much better than the first one. We actually got to choose what we wanted watch. We were delayed in Chicago cause the plane had some issues, but once they got that solved we were on our way home. In Rapid City Dana and I stopped at Best Buy so I could get a keyboard for my iPad. We finally made it home at 730 and I was asleep by 9. I miss London but I'm glad to be home. 

Here is some Pictures from friday.

 Traitors Gate at the Tower of London.
 A dragon sculpture from inside the Tower of London.
 The only picture we were able to get of the Crown Jewels.
This last picture is Steph trying to lift up a back pack from the military.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 11: The Legal walk

The royal corts of justice
Today we went on the Legal Walk of London. This gave us a chance to see where the top lawyers (barristers) train. There are four inns which are kind of like colleges. They apply and must must attend the inns twelve times before taking their bar exam. The for inns are called Inner Temple inn, Middle Temple inn, Lincoln inn, and the Grey's inn. After we saw the inns we went to the Royal Courts of Justice; which is their main court if appeal. There we got to sit in at a trial. We came in at the end of one where the judge was giving the opinion (decision). Then we saw the start of a second case before leaving. It's kind of hard to explain what happened because I got confused in the first one, and the second one the judges told the appellants lawyer they were prepared to rule in their case. After we left the court we went and saw the Metropolitan Police Museum. It was really cool. We got to see a lot of artifacts from the early policing days. London was the first city to have a uniformed police in the early 1800s. They also showed us a copy of the investigation if Jack the Ripper. It was also the last time we would get to see Constable Richard. I would like to thank him for everything that he did for us while we were here. Our day spent with Constable Richard and Phil last week was my favorite day. After that we went back and I relaxed till Dana got back. She got back about 8 and we went and grabbed some dinner. Tomorrow is our last free day and then we will be home!!!!!
These are the wigs that the barristers and judges have to buy. They only cost about 600 pounds.

Lincoln's inn

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 10: free day

Today was a pretty relaxing day. Dana left at 530 for Scotland. So I had the day to choose what I wanted to do. Danny and I decided to go to Westfield mall, it was probably the biggest mall I have been to. We walked around it for prolly about 3 hours and even had Burger King lol. I miss the fatty American food lol. Burger king even tasted like the ones in America. We then went to covent garden mall which was kind of like an outlet mall and street vendors. I wish I would have snagged a picture, but there were these "street preformers" who sat in mid air and appeared to be flying. It brought a whole new meaning to illusion cause these guys were like three to four feet of the ground. We also went and found platform 9 3/4 so we can take the girls there Friday. There was a really long line so I did not get my chance to push the cart..... I'm exhausted from walking so I think heading to bed. Tomorrow we do the London legal walk. 

Free day: Paris trip

Yesterday we had a free day so we used it to go to Paris. Honestly Paris is not as great as I thought it would be. It seemed to be really dirty, but that is how most big cities are I guess. New York is the same way. It also was cold and rainy which did not help. We saw Norte Dame first which was pretty cool. It was different from some of the other cathedrals because inside was not filled with light; but instead really dark. Next we saw the Arc De Triomphe which is a massive monument for the soldiers of the French Revolution. It also creates the worlds biggest round about. Which has eight lanes depending on how people are driving.
After that we saw the Eiffel Tower. It was pretty cool but we were not able to get in it because it was a 45 minute wait just to get tickets, and well I'm not a big fan of hieghts either.  

We then were going to go to the Louvre, but it's closed on Tuesdays for some reason. 
So we walked back to Notre Dame and had dinner. When we got back to Notre Dame it was surrounded by police. Apparently someone went up to the alter and committed suicide. It was a sad situation, but from what I read in the news it was apparently a political suicide.  
Danny, Steph, Dana, and I went and had some authentic French food. I did try snails but just a small bite. I didn't really like them and I think I'll pass next time they are offered. Danny on the other hand stuffed down four and thought they were delicious. 
One last thing about yesterday; we went to a McDonald's and I used the restroom there, but instead of using a toilet we had to pee on a wall. And it went down the wall into a drain. It was really strange. Today we have another free day and are probably going to take some time to relax. 

P.S. this is what the Hangover is called in France. 


Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 8: Old Bailey Crown Court & lecture from King's College Professor: Dr. Thomas MacManus

We left the hotel at 830 this morning and headed to the Old Bailey Crown Court. We met our guide and he gave us a short history if the court. It used to be a prison as well as an area were people were publicly executed. After he finished we went in and watched a case. It was different them the magistrates court that we saw last Tuesday. The lawyers and judge wore wigs, but not the huge ones. They were very small and flat. We listened to a rape case but it was going really slow and we were not to sure what was going in in the case. 
After we left we went to the international studies abroad office for a lecture from Dr. Thomas MacManus. He discussed with us some of the differences between law in the U.K. and U.S. for example the U.K. does not have a constitution that they follow. They kind of just follow tradition. The other interesting thing he told us was that citizens have the power of arrest (citizens arrest) and the power to prosecute that person. There is much more but it would be a lot to type on my phone. I have most of what he said saved in my phone so i can use it when I write my reflection paper. Tomorrow we go to Paris!!!! Should be exciting!!!! Sorry there is no pictures we were not able have cameras with us today.

Photo I stole from google of the Old Baily Crown Court. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 7: Stonehenge and the Roman Bath

Today was a day filled with travel. We left the at 8 and headed to see Stonehenge. We got their around 930. Dana and I did not plan to go in and do the tour, but it only cost 8 pounds so we did it. It was about what I expected. Last year we did a lot of discussion on Stonehenge in my Art Appreciation  and Intro to Humanities classes so I knew a lot about the area. They have different theories of how it was created but I still think it was aliens ha ha. 

After that we went to Bath which is named after the Roman baths. It was a nice city with tons architecture from the Roman Empire. We entered into the Baths later in the afternoon, and it was really cool. They just happened to find the baths under the floor, and have done a nice job presenting them to the public. They kind of look like giant swimming pools. The difference is that these baths come from water that us heated way below the earths surface and rise to the surface; kind of like hot springs. One if the most interesting things is that you are still able to see the ruins from the old roman village. There is not much left but the objects they found are quite astounding. The only sad part about today was we only had an hour to go through the baths, I could have spent another hour our two in there listening to the audio tour. 

We got back in time for dinner and bed. Tomorrow we go to Old Bailey Crown Court.