December 29
My first day in London
Renee picked me up at the airport and we took the tube back to Picadilly Circus and to the Captain's Cabin, where she lives and works. We did some touristy things while it was still daylight.

Here's me with Big Ben. (It's really not so big)

Then we went to the Salvador Dali museum. It was mostly sculptures, most of which I hadn't seen before. Though I couldn't take pictures inside, I did take a few of the reproductions outside.

December 30
Sharif arrives today so Renee and I do some more touristing in the morning. We were going to go to the London Dungeons, but the line was terrible. Here's...um...a castle? I forget where this was.

After Sharif got there, we went to our room at the youth hostel. This is a picture of me there.

More to come.... Friday, January 2

Renee and Mark made french toast for breakfast this morning.

We got a rather late start, so we didn't have time to see anything more than the entryway of the V&A before meeting Vida and Vina for lunch. After lunch, we went back to the V&A although Renee had to go back to work. (Hopefully she'll go there sometime.)

This is inside the V&A museum. These are huge plaster casts of Trajan's column which was built in 113AD. It was a very impressive sight as I walked into this room.

In this same room, this is York Minister constructed in the 13th century. It's a plaster cast as well, which is good since it means they didn't actually destroy architecture just to display it here.

This is a replica of the statue of David. This thing is larger than I realized, much larger than to scale.

A large glass hanging sculpture is in the entry way to the museum. It casts really interesting shadows everywhere, but that was very hard to capture.

After leaving the V&A we met up with some of F's friends for supper, and then met Renee after work at 11:30 to go dancing.

Saturday, January 3

This is the exhibit in the large entryway in the Tate Modern museum. The theme for this room is the weather and this is (of course) the sun. You can see the people sitting on the ground at the bottom of the picture for scale. It's actually an entire, but just the bottom half; the top half is its reflection in a large mirror that spans the ceiling.

People like to sit and bask in the sun on the exhibit room floor. Since the ceiling is covered in mirrors, you can see yourself. People lie down and make patterns on the floor. This picture was taken while lying down looking up at the ceiling.

After leaving the Tate Modern, we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. We didn't go in (you had to pay and we couldn't stay long) but we walked around the outside. This is a picture of the front a statue in the front with the building in the background. Yes, it looks fake. That's because it's being rennovated and what you see is actually a tarp painted to look like the front of the cathedral, which is draped over it to cover the construction. Rather interesting.

We had Dim Sum for lunch with Sharif's friend Manuel and then went for dessert at the famous Paul. (Well known to us because Sharif keeps wanting to go there!)

Here, Mark demonstrates how to eat Hula Hoops. They're like potato chips, only pressed into rings. The bag actually says that they're "for fingers".

Sunday, January 4

In the morning, we went to Camden Market. It's a street market with lots of vendors.
We went to the Orangery, near Hyde Park, to meet Liz and Angus for lunch. We then went to the science museum (briefly).

It turns out that today is the last day for the next couple months that the London Eye (a big Ferris Wheel) will be open, so we need to go and take Renee as well on her dinner break from work. The view is great!

This is an image of big ben and the palace at night from the London Eye. The "flight" takes about 1/2 hour, so it's going pretty slowly. It's 135 meters high.

Renee inside the London Eye.

That evening, we moved from Mark's place back into the Oxford Street Youth Hostel.

Monday, January 5

We went to the British Mueseum (or, as sharif calls it, the Booty Museum). This museum is filled with foreign items that "came into the poscession" of the British. For example, these toes were taken from a larger statue. They coudldn't take the whole statue, so they just took the toes.

There is a large ancient Egyption section. Many of the mummies were taken from their burial sites without being identified or marked and burial accoutraments were separated from the bodies. This makes it hard to study them today; these sorts of practices don't still go on though. This sarcophogous has a belly button. *poke*

What is this? Renee and I saw it in a cabinet in the old section of the museum with no explanation or sign by it. It looks like a half-fish half-mammel creature made long ago. Near it, there was a small, old door that kept shaking like someone wanted to get in (or out). Creepy.

Renee and Sharif in the newer section of the museum. Parts of the old building are inside the new one.

After eating lunch at the museum, we went to buy a thank you present for Mark for letting us stay with him so long. We got him trash cans, since he didn't have any. Then we went to the National Gallery, which has a lot of Rennaisance art. I couldn't take any pictures there though.

That evening we went to Brick Lane, the Bengali district of town, for dinner.

This sign says shobar priae chaul. Yes, I can read it. No, I don't know what it means.

We haggled to find the best place to eat dinner. I think we ended up getting 25% off our meals here with free drinks and appetizers. There are restaurants lining the streets and each one has someone trying to get you to go eat there. Pictured are Mark, Lis, Renee, Me (Gennette), Sharif, Maia, and Angus.

I have about 60 pictures from Paris. Putting those up in some organized fashion will be my next task.