May 8: London


Doug and I were back in London, and there were still many things to see.

The British Library had an interesting collection of historic books and documents including the Magna Carta, old maps, Newton's personal letters, Nelson's log book, and music sheets from Mozart and the Beatles.

Afterwards we checked out the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, and then headed to the Tower of London where we saw the Crown Jewels, the royal armoury, and learned about the Guy Fawkes conspiracy.  The line to see the Crown Jewels was very long.  To keep it going they make tourists stand on a moving walkway so you only get about 5 seconds to admire each item before you're swept away.  In the end, it was just long enough for me; there's only so much jewelry I can stand without getting bored.

I did, however, enjoy the royal armoury.  By far the most impressive armour was that of King Henry VIII, with groin protection extending out so far it was practically a weapon of its own.  "Now that's intimidating armour!" laughed Doug.  There were also amusing miniature suits of armour meant for the royal children.


Day-pass tube

National Gallery donation 2.00
British Library donation 2.00
Tower of London student admission 12.00
Food 7.00


The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, London*



Tower of London, London*


Armour of King Henry VIII, Tower of London, London*



May 9: Oxford


A loud yell in the dead of the night awoke everyone in our hostel room. "NO, NO, NOOO! No, no, no, NO! ............ Where am I?"  A roommate was having nightmares. This was followed by a long moment of silence maintained by everyone in the room (all obviously awake but pretending not to be), and by the yeller who must have been too ashamed to even exhale.  My laughter was stifled by my pillow.  The next morning, the roommate apologized to us: he was sleeping in the top bunk and, in a semi-conscious haze, believed the ceiling was falling onto him!  I can only imagine how terrifying that must feel, but can't help but laugh at how long it took him to realize the roof was not in fact coming down...

Today, the plan was to do a day trip of Oxford.  Wandering aimlessly between Oxford's numerous historic colleges turned out to be extremely relaxing.  I found Oxford a very charming and pleasant town.

Surprisingly, the highlight for me was the Ashmolean Museum, my favourite museum in England.  I was not expecting such a great collection in the unlikely town of Oxford.  The museum showcased an astounding number of ancient artifacts in an intimate and personal setting - I especially enjoyed the Greek sculptures and the huge carved Egyptian wall.

Later that night I said goodbye to Doug who was flying home the next day.  From now on, I would be on my own.


Round trip train to Oxford

Christ Church College admission 2.00
Ashmolean Museum donation 3.00
Food 10.20



Christ Church College, Oxford



Exeter College, Oxford*


*photo by Doug