London 2013 : day 5 – 6

Day 5

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Today ( 26th of May ) we had a really good breakfast at the the place right next to our flat, The Breakfast Club to start out Kaelyns birthday. Then we headed to the National Gallery Art Museum. Most of the state sponsored museums in London are free to enter and charge only for maps ( one pound ). We visited some famous paintings by artists such as Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Botticelli, Monet, and Van Gogh. The National Gallery has an amazing collection of art, and considering it was a bank holiday weekend ( 3 day weekend ) it was relatively uncrowded. More info on the National Gallery here : http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/collection-overview/

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After looking through all the rooms in the National Gallery we headed to lunch at a crypt below St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Then we headed to the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone and relics of ancient civilizations. The Rosetta Stone is a large stone which was used to translate hieroglyphs to Demotic and ancient Greek. This stone helped historians and archaeologists decipher the hieroglyphs and understand their meaning.

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This museum was very busy today with tourists of every nationality. Some of the highlights are the exhibits on ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, and ancient Middle East ( Assyrian, Babylonian and Sumerian antiquities ).

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Once we had seen everything we had intended to see at the museum we headed back out into the sunlight to Covent Garden Market. What a beautiful day it was, I took a whole bunch of city pictures while we walked.

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Once we arrived at the Covent Garden Market we wandered about and searched for a good place to sit and rest for a bit. Unfortunately there were so many people out and about that nearly everything in the area was packed and the streets were extremely crowded. Hannah, Grandma Grace, and I decided our feet were tired and headed back to the flat for some much needed rest.

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For dinner we went to a Turkish restaurant called Tas which was very tasty, I was excited to have some hummus and bread – yum yum. After dinner we headed back to the flat and promptly went to sleep.

Day 6

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Today ( 27th of May ) we headed out to the London Eye, which is a gigantic ferris wheel located across the Thames river from Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Somehow we lucked out again with our third sunny day in a row, I have been told this is very rare. There was some kind of foot race today in London so the Westminster Bridge ( the bridge in front of Big Ben ) was closed along with some other roads along the Thames river.

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The London Eye was really cool to see and ride on, it resembles a bicycle wheel and stands at 443 feet off of the ground. We had purchased our tickets on-line and showed up right around 10 am which helped expedite our waiting time. I took many pictures from the London Eye, but here are a few of the best.

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After the London Eye we ventured to the Globe theatre which was built very close to the location of the original Globe theatre from the time of Shakespeare. The original Globe theatre opened in 1599 then was burned down 1613 by a fire caused by pyrotechnics in the play Henry VIII. The next year (1614) the theatre was reconstructed and reopened. Eventually the Globe theatre was closed down by the Puritans in 1642.

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In 1970 an American actor by the name of Sam Wanamaker founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust with the objective of rebuilding the original globe theatre about 750 ft from the location of the original Globe. In 1997 the Globe was reopened and during the summer they put on many Shakespeare plays. The modern Globe was created using classical construction methods as it would have been made in the 1600’s and is the same scale as the old Globe.

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After the globe we ventured across the millennium bridge ( the one the death eaters destroy in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince ). Here are a couple of pictures from the bridge.

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Next we headed to the V&A museum of art and design. Where Hannah and I strolled around for a bit then our feet begged us to return to the flat for a rest. We plan on revisiting the V&A museum before we head home.