Tuesday, May 19, 2015


As today marks the day we return to the states, here is a flashback to some of our favorite places on this #TakeMeBackTuesday. 

Baily: Dublin, Ireland

Mikayla: Wicklow Mountains
Julia: Wicklow Mountains

 Michaela: Wicklow Mountains
Elizabeth: Wicklow Mountains 
 Sara: Edinburgh, Scotland
Amanda: Edinburgh, Scotland
Mariama: Hampton Court Palace

Professor Wolfe: Hampton Court Palace

Chelesa: Westminster Abbey

Lilly: The 72nd floor of The Shard

Sami: The Arsenal Game

Monday, May 18, 2015


Since today was our last official full day in London, what better way to end the travel course then to see a view of the city we have explored, researched, and learned so much about.

The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass is a 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, London, that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. The Shard's construction began in March 2009 and it was topped out on March 30th, 2012 and officially inaugurated on July 5th, 2012.

Standing 309.6 metres, or 1,016 feet, high, the Shard is currently the tallest building in the European Union. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station. 
 The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 802 ft. It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-story office block built on the site in 1975. The Shard was developed by Sellar Property on behalf of LBQ Ltd and is jointly owned by Sellar Property and the State of Qatar.

The View from The Shard, was opened to the public on February 1st, 2013.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


This morning, our class attended the 10 am Westminster Abbey. We viewed this service to immerse ourselves in the United Kingdom's culture. 

The life of Westminster Abbey revolves around the daily pattern of worship; Morning Prayer, Evensong, and the Eucharist. These services are open to the public and our congregations include people from all over the world. 
The Dean and Chapter is responsible for worship at the Abbey, for the care of the building and for running a world famous visitor attraction.
 Westminster Abbey became a popular venue for Royal weddings when Princess Patricia of Connaught chose it for her marriage to the Honourable Alexander Ramsay in 1919. It was the first time for 650 years that the Abbey had been used for a Royal wedding. Most recently, on April 29, 2011 Prince William married Miss Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


As the name suggests, today is #SailingSaturday where our class took a boat trip from the Westminster Pier to Greenwich. Along the way we were guided by the crewmen of our ship, the Millennium Dawn. This journey down the Tames provided new information about London and some spectacular photo opportunities!

The London Eye generates approximately £2.5 million per year! 
 Although the London Shard may look incomplete, this is the intentional design of the building. It is meant to look like a broken piece of glass, this is where the name "Shard" came from.
It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea.
 When London Bridge was built it was originally the only bridge crossing over the Thames. Over 50 designs were submitted to be considered for the winning design. The build of the bridge took 8 years to build with 432 construction workers. Before 1977 the bridge was brown until it was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The bridge featured in publicity for the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London and commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. 
Fun Fact: A London bus driver once had to jump between the two raising ‘bascules’ when his number 78 bus was caught on the bridge as it rose. 

Friday, May 15, 2015


Being that it is #FlashbackFriday, we wanted to recreate an old picture from the 1940's. The children above are looking out to the Thames and below the class is overlooking Trafalgar's Square in Central London.

Also going along with todays theme, outside of The National Gallery stands a statue of George Washington. Washington was originally working for the British military, but ended up fighting against them when the people in the U.S. rebelled when they wanted to stop paying high taxes to the British. As we know, he went on to become the first ever President of the United States of America.
The bronze statue is a replica of Jean Antoine Houdon's marble statue in Richmond, Virginia, and was given to the Nation in 1921 by the 'Commonwealth of Virginia'.
Fun Fact: Washington apparently said, "I will never set foot in London again!" so dirt was brought from Virginia and that's what he's standing on.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


The Thames is a tidal river, rising and falling as much as 26ft between high and low tides. Although it was once the source of London's "Great Stink," in 1858, today the Thames is one of the cleanest rivers in Europe. The River Thames is 215 miles long and has been an important trade route throughout its history.

By the mid 17th century the river was so crowded with ships waiting to unload, in many cases up to several weeks, that it was said to be almost possible to walk from shore to shore across the boats. 

To ease this burden, in 1661 the first dock was constructed below Tower Bridge, over the next 200 years, to meet the ever expanding demand, docks grew in number and size, culminating with the Albert dock in 1880. 

London's trade with the continent and the rest of the World steadily increased, along the banks of the Thames shipbuilding flourished and London prospered.

The name ‘Thames’, from Middle English Temese, is derived from the Celtic name for the river, Tamesas, recorded in Latin as Tamesis and underlying modern Welsh Tafwys "Thames" - the name probably meant "dark".

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


 On May 2nd, 2015 Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor was born. The citizen of the United Kingdom had been awaiting this day for weeks. We decided to highlight Charlotte, and go into detail about her official title and her possible ascension to the throne. Below you will see pictures of the novelty items released to commemorate the princesses birth.

 Kate and William have chosen to name the baby after The Queen and William's late mother, the Princess of Wales. Her name announced by Kensington Palace Guards two days after the princess's birth - she was born on Saturday morning. Charlotte, which is French in origin, is feminine version of Charles, a nod to her grandfather, the Prince of Wales.

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge is the younger child and only daughter of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She is fourth in line to succeed her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the first female in line.

Princess Charlotte is, from birth, a British princess entitled to the style of Royal Highness under letters patent issued by Queen Elizabeth II on 31 December 2012, which gave the title and style to all children of the Prince of Wales' eldest son. Her official title and style is Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. The princess is fourth in line to succeed the Queen, after her grandfather, father, and elder brother. Because of the changes to succession law effected in 2015, she cannot be displaced in the line of succession by any younger brothers.