Well, we are back from London and so excited to share about our trip! Yes, it was the ultimate field trip!
Streets of London
"There's Big Ben," Jenny Rose squealed, pointing over the heads around us.
"I think I see the steeple of Westminster Abbey."
"Look! Whitehall is gorgeous! It looks like a cathedral."
"There's a red phone booth! Let's get a picture!"
The bustling streets of London are very much like American cities in so many ways, except that they drive on the opposite side of the road: business men rushed to work, tourists perused the monuments, moms shopped, and schoolchildren walked to school in cute, little uniforms.
Up bright and early our first day, we slipped on our backpacks and headed for the tube station. The first tube arrived and it was jam-packed.
"Let's wait for the next one," I said, my claustrophobia flaring up. We bypassed the next one and the one after that.
"We are going to have to get on one, Mom," my Julianna finally declared.
"It's rush hour," Katie Beth added.
So, I took a deep breath and we were off. (We never left that time of the morning again!) The tube became our home away from home and we took it everywhere. We learned to transfer, follow the "Way Out" signs, and ride the 3-story escalators. We even saw Victoria Station, Paddington Station, and all the others I had read about in novels.
As we wandered underground tube stations, I couldn't help but wonder if there were British citizens taking refuge while bombs fell during World War II,
"There it is! The Rosetta Stone!"
Napoleo n's soldiers found this famous marker in 1799 on the French-Egyptian campaign. Carved in 196 B.C., a group of Egyptian priests wrote on the stone to honor a Pharaoh. It listed his accomplishments in Egyptian and Greek. But here's the neat thing: it was written in 3 different scripts: Hieroglyphics, Demotic Egyptian, and Greek. Scholars used this stone to unfold the mystery of translating hieroglyphics. The stone was a breakthrough for historians and opened the door for us to understand Ancient Egypt.
Historical Monuments & Memorials
Everywhere w e turned, there were monuments to famous people. In front of the Parliment Building, was my hero Oliver Cromwell.
The Wellington Arch commemorates Arthur Wellesley, who won the Battle of Waterloo (against Napoleon), for which he was made the first Duke of Wellington. This monument celebrates his victory!
The Albert Memorial is an absolutely gorgeous display of Victorian architecture, decor, and philosophy, erected in honor of her beloved Prince Albert by Queen Victoria.
The Nelson Column is in the middle of Trafalgar Square commemorating his naval battle victories in the Napoleonic Wars. Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson's battles represented are Cape St. Vincent (1797), Battle of the Nile (1798), Copenhagen (1801), and Trafalgar (1805).
Crying in the Library
The British Library holds the Magna Charta. When I saw it, tears sprang to my eyes. This historical document changed history and was the basis years later for the Mayflower Compact and our U.S.Constitution.
But what re ally brought tears was the hand printed Bibles that had been laboriously copied by devout monks for hours as a service unto the Lord. The first Gutenberg Bible was found in this room too. When the printing press was finally ready to run, it printed Bibles. These Bibles would change history. Now the Word of God could be available to all people. What a blessing!
Our trip to London was a discovery of so much history, architecture, music, art, archeology, culture, and geography. I highly recommend taking a field trip to London.