Friday, February 26, 2010

Steps and St. Paul's

It's Friday morning and I've got about half an hour before class so I thought I'd update.  On Wednesday I only had class in the morning so I had a good deal of time to do some exploring.  I hoped on the Tube and went over to South Kensington to see the Natural History Museum.  The building was incredible.  Seriously, ever single museum I've been in over here is architectually spectacular.  The Brits do museums right.  The museum was filled with fossils and volcanoes and 'how to save the planet by recycling' posters.  It was a really neat museum.  As I was walking around with yet another musical blasting through my ears I started to realize that I really don't like science.  I really appreciated the space and the exhibits but I just wasn't that into it.  Give me an art museum anyday.  After the museum I did a little grocery shopping and came back to get some reading done for class.  It was a pretty peaceful night.

Yesterday was a very busy day.  We started off with class at St. Paul's Cathedral, which yet again, is incredible aesthetically.  We got to see the crypt and a memorial to William Blake (!!) and then our teacher said it was time to head up.  There are 580 steps to the top of St. Paul's with a couple of floors to pause at in between.  Now, I don't consider myself to be afraid of heights, but I am totally afraid of falling.  The first 400 steps or so were fine, but the last 180 were on a steel spiral staircase.  I kept having images of tripping and slipping.  Urgh.. But I was totally determined to make it to the top.  And once I got up there it was breathtaking.  The views were beautiful.  Although every time I see the skyline I notice how few tall buildings there are in this city. It's a far cry from Chicago's skyscrapers.  After taking some photos, we started the descent.  Not going to lie, I was totally shaking all the way down.  I have no idea how someone hasn't killed themselves falling down all those stairs yet.  Reaching solid ground much appreciated.  We grabbed some lunch in the crypt cafe.  Yes, right in the middle of the crypt there's both a cafe and a bookshop.  Can you imagine? Oh yeah, so and so is buried right behind that trashcan over there.  Not exactly a quiet resting place.

We had to rush out of St. Paul's to make it over to see a production of Jeruselem.  This play is totally sold out, a complete hit in London.  The lead actor is one of the best of his generation according to some.  And oh yeah, he's totally from Milwaukee.  Score one for America.  Also in the play was the pirate for Pirates of the Caribbean who keeps losing his eyeball. Remember him? The play was about the degenerates of British society.  It was so different than any other play we've seen so far.  I really really enjoyed it.  It was really funny, really unorthodox, and was a breath of fresh air. 

After the play I headed home, made some dinner with my roommate, and settled in to write a paper about King Lear.  Now, I'm all packed and ready to head off to Sheffield immediately after class this afternoon.  It's about a 3.5 hour bus ride north so I've got a good book and my iphone all charged and ready to go.  For class we're going the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I think it's another art museum. Should be interesting.  Well, I'm off.  Can't wait to see Anna again.

Oh, and on a side note, what is with all of these really sad stories coming out of the Olympics?  An ice skater's mom died, death on the skeleton? So bizarre.

Until next time...

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