Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 6 London

Last day in London and the group today again split up into groups. Mrs Vial took us to Madame Tussauds where we made our way through as a group.  When I first walked in I was impressed as to the delicate detail of the wax figures.  First room we walked into was the A List room where figures of Helen Mirren and Leonardo Di Caprio were.  We were tricked because there was a girl taking a photo who looked real, but was actually made of wax.  Many of the boys were apologising for walking in front of her, but when we realised this we had a good laugh.  Madame Tussauds took about two hours to walk through, this included a 4D movie and a theme park style ride.

Next we went to the famous 221B Baker street; the home of Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. Watson.  It was a 3 story building made up to look like it would have in 1881. Outside to usher us in was a man dressed as a London Bobby, as well as many other people in period dress to make the experience more authentic.  This took us approximately half an hour.  We then made our way on to the London Underground (England’s Public Transport System – which is FANTASTIC by the way) Some people though (Dylan) have a little trouble navigating through it though.

We got off at London Bridge stop and made our way to The London Dungeon.  This is a walk through Ghost Train that “delve into 1000 years of the Capitals most blood-curdling history”.  This was a funny/scary/engaging experience.  First of all we were ushered through by some very ‘made up’ actors. Their make up was done so as to depict the living dead.  This tour was approximately two hours long, not that you would notice the time, because you were either too scared, or laughing at the people who were scared.  I was burned at the stake, being a heretic. This was after Jack the Ripper had tried to attack me.  I ran scared into my brother William, who was running scared into Troy.  

I have had such a great  time here in London, as well as travelling into York and down to Stratford.  I really don’t want to leave.  I can’t wait to come back and see the things that I haven’t had time to see this time around. 

Tomorrow we have to get up early, get on the bus at 7:30am, yuck! But we are travelling to France so that is the good part.  Our days are jam packed and we don’t even have time to breathe.  I assure everyone out there reading this that EVERYONE is having a ball, getting along and very grateful for this once in a life time opportunity.

Jordan Marschallek

The British Museum
Today the British Museum was on the agenda for all of those who had a desire to study the greatest and best that has been produced, invented and created by the mind of humans.
However we first went to see St Pauls Cathedral. We were able to listen to the singing from the congregation in a magnificent and vaulted building. The thousands of blue and gold tiles that decorate the dome and ceiling of this building reflect the sweet and powerful music back down upon the heads of those below.

The British Museum is one of the great collections of artefacts and displays of the words best of everything. It is important to remember that during the days of the British Empire Britain was the most powerful and richest country in the world. It saw it as its right to collect everything its citizens discovered in any part of the world. As a result the place is full of wonders.
The first thing we looked at was the most important single discovery that advanced the understanding of Ancient Egypt. The Rosetta Stone!

The photo does not do it justice. It is very hard to photograph through the glass. Napoleon Bonaparte’s army invaded Egypt as the Emperor of France tried to extend his power. Along with the soldiers many scientists also went along, and the discovered this grey stone near the town of Rosetta. It contained writing in 3 different scripts. One was ancient Greek and the other 2 were types of hieroglyphs. A young scholar, Champollion, managed to decipher the code, and thus allow us to read all of the writings of Egypt.
We saw the Eglin Marbles, the carvings that were once around the top of the Parthenon. There was also an entire Greek temple.

The group marvelled at how a culture like Egypt managed to carve Black Granite without the use of any iron tools. They had to do it chipping away with Bronze chisels and by pounding the surface with other lumps of Granite.

The silent sentinel of Christmas Island stood and stared back at the group. So we decided to have a picture with DUM DUM. (Refer to the movie “Night at the Museum”) Wonder which one is the statue?

We also found a crystal skull! Once thought to be made by the Aztecs, but has since proven to be a fake. Where is Indiana Jones when you need him?

Finally the Neolithic (Bronze Age) Britons were not mindless savages who lived a basic life without culture or beauty. They had a great level of sophistication and artistic ability. What we see here is a pure gold shoulder covering, made for ceremonial activities and buried with a woman of substance over 2000 years ago. The boys found it hard to believe how ancient Gold can be so bright. Gold, of course, does not tarnish to the same degree as other metals!

Jordan at the entrance of Madame Tussauds

The London Dungeon

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