Friday, July 16, 2010

Newton's School, Buckingham Palace, and the Crown of Thorns

Brett and I agree--today's been the best day yet on this European adventure.

We started our day by doing something very touristy, but it was totally worth it:  we took a tour of London via a tour boat on the Thames.  We not only saw several landmarks of London but also learned a lot of history and random facts.  We saw St. Paul's Cathedral, the London Bridge, the Globe Theatre, the old fish market, and--my personal favorite--both the old and new City of London School for Boys, where Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Daniel Radcliffe all attended!

Afterwards, we walked through St. James Park, one of London's eight Royal Parks, to see Buckingham Palace, which, by the way, is not the official residence of the Queen of England.  And then we headed back to the British Museum and successfully found the Rosetta Stone (which is even bigger than I imagined) and the Ancient Iranian Room.  Both were very impressive.  The coolest thing we saw though (and we found this by complete accident) was what is believed to be a thorn from Jesus' Crown of Thorns.  The crown was carried from Jerusalem to Constantinople and then Louis IX bought it for nearly half of France's annual income in the late 14th century.  It is encased by a beautiful reliquary.

We're just relaxing a bit right now.  In a couple hours we're headed off to see Les Miserables, a musical I've been wanting to see for years and that has only been shown in London recently (but it's coming to the States next year, so keep an eye out for it)!

Here are more pictures!


St. Paul's Cathedral


Getting ready for our Boat Tour (with the Tower Bridge behind us)



Can you see the thorn there in the middle?  It's on top of the sapphire.

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