Sunday, July 14, 2013
The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bath and Stonehenge!
This week in school I was with 7-8 Elementary. By our standards, elementary is considered to be
Our trip for the week was to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I've been here before to visit a friend who works in the museum so I was very excited to go back. I felt that it was a really interesting museum. But, with our focus for the week being on clothes, naturally we spent the entire day in the fashion room. This room had displays of London fashion through the years that provided the museum goer to see how drastically fashion has changed. While for the more advanced group this was very interesting, my group had a little bit of trouble with the clothes. For example, there was a very fancy evening dress in one of the display cases, but trying to explain the difference between a day dress and an evening dress was utterly lost on them. We had a lot of time in the museum so we had them draw a lot of what they saw and label their drawings. It worked quite well, and took up the allotted time for the field trip. We broke for lunch and got to eat in the garden of the museum which is beautiful. We had a nice day for it as well, so the kids got to run around in the warm weather a bit when they finished eating. The trip went pretty well, I want to try and make it back to the museum. There are a few exhibitions that I am really interested in seeing!
After our tour, we went into the Roman Baths. We had a limited amount of time, but we loved getting
Stonehenge is without question one of the most mesmerizing sights in England. The stones that stand there just scream that they are there for a reason, but that reason has been completely lost to us. The audio guide I listened to speculated that there was some significance to the way it was built as a calendar. Each month the sun shines through a different archway. The audio guide also mentioned that the majority of the rocks that went into building Stonehenge are underground making it harder to interpret the meaning behind this English Heritage site. Being before these stones was truely breathtaking. I can't even begin to explain the feeling you get when standing
Today I went on a walking tour the "The Square Mile" with our Panrimo coordinator, Geoff. The square mile is the original city of London. And technically, the major sites like, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the like, are really in the city of Westminster, and not the City of London. The city of London has been built and rebuilt since the time of the Romans. It was first burnt to the ground when an English queen, Boudicca, watched her husband be murdered by a Roman who then whipped her publicly, took revenge by burning down every major city she could get to in England. She was opposing the roman rule and is thought of as one of the strongest English women that ever lived. She was to be sent to Rome as a slave as punishment, but instead took poison to avoid her fate. It is said that she is buried below platform 9 of King's Cross. It is rumored that J.K. Rowling has the Hogwarts train leave from platform 9 3/4 to pay homage to one of the greatest British women in history.
The city was rebuilt and was again destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. It was started by a
baker who's fires hadn't gone out at curfew. With the way the wind typically blew, the fire that was started would have burnt itself out very quickly, however, the wind that day came from a different direction which caused the fire to spread uncontrollably. It is said to have destroyed 13,200 houses and 87 parish churches. The fire devastated the city. The need to rebuild came quickly and an idea was presented to the King to rebuild the city in a grid-like pattern, the King loved the idea, but the people of London are stubborn and wanted their houses exactly as they had been before. Which is why, the streets have absolutely no pattern whatsoever. There are some streets here that just appear out of nowhere an alley's that you can only see if you make sure not to blink. I found it quite amusing that the city could have had structure, but because of the stubbornness of the population, it is the confusing mess we have today.
With only 13 days left, I have a lot to do! I'll keep you updated as I pack the rest of the beautiful city of London as well as the surrounding area into the next two weeks!