Saturday, May 21, 2011

2nd Trip to London

On our second tour of London, we looked at parks and public spaces, mainly in Westminster and the West End. London was behind much of Europe at planning public spaces for the people of London. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the construction of many squares around London, especially in the more affluent areas. Westminster, which used to be a separate city farther west on the Thames, and the West End were areas inhabited mainly by the wealthy in those centuries, which is why they got some of the best building and planning. The idea of city parks came a bit later. London was essentially the first city to put parks in the middle of the city. A couple centuries ago, England was really into landscape architecture, and those ideas migrated from the countryside estates to London. New York, San Francisco, and pretty much every other city with public parks can thank London for that idea.

After the tour, Elizabeth, Kendra, Aileen, and I went to the British Museum for about 25 minutes before we had to head back to Oxford. I will be back soon and spend more time there.

View of the Buckingham Palace from St. James's Park

View of the Horse Guards at St James's Park (view is 180 degrees from the view above)

Lawn chairs to rent at St. James's Park

Aileen petting a pelican

Carleton House Terrace

The Royal Arcade - the first covered market in London

221 Baker Street - where Sherlock Holmes lived in the books

Regent's Park

Regent's Park. Note how it's really really big. To the right you can see the group, with Geoffrey Tyack about to explain something awesome.

Outside the British Museum. L to R: Elizabeth, Kendra, Aileen, Me

The Rosetta Stone! I had actually seen this before.

Aileen, Kendra, and I spent 25 minutes quickly running through the Egypt and Assyrian sections of the museum.

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