Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Excursion!

So one of my most favorite parts of our program is the fact that every Wednesday we go on a group trip, I like to call them excursions because excursion is a cooler word. So today's trip was to Cambridge and on the way we stopped in St. Alban to see St. Alban's Cathedral and the remains of an old Roman city that was named something Verulamium. The remains of the city were way cool! The people who lived there and who had built it did a lot with mosaics in their decorating and they were so amazing. Whenever I see something like that I can't help but think of all the work that went into making them and I just have to be amazed so today was no exception.
This is an example of the mosaics that were used by the people who inhabited this ancient city, this was the floor of an ancient roman bath that they had warm water in by using a hypocaust- pretty smart.

So we went to St. Alban's Cathedral and we walked there from the museum that we were at. It was a perfect England day today with fog so dense you could barely see in front of your face. It kind of reminded me of Pride and Prejudice for some reason, it was really cool. Here is an example of the fog, it was hardcore... See if you can see the building in the picture, I promise there is one!

The Cathedral was pretty incredible. It was built in honor of Alban who was one of the earliest converts to Christianity and was then killed for the fact that he decided to convert so he is noted as England's first martyr- that warrants a Cathedral in my opinion. The magnitude of the buildings here really impresses me. When I think about them being built with mostly people and tools, no machinery or anything fancy it just makes me feel so impressed. The intricacies that are involved in these buildings lie the carvings and the stain glass are so incredible to look at, I LOVE IT!!! I can feel something special in these old churches like the people that were building them knew they were doing something important and they built it with that in mind.
This is the front of the Cathedral, pretty awesome, it was so big that I had trouble fitting it in the picture, I am not as good as Rodg :)
This is Me and Maddie- it's a Cathedral, we are praying of course!
This is just one of many example of the beautiful stain glass that is all over this Cathedral and pretty much every cathedral in Europe but I thought I would share

So on our way from St. Alban's to Cambridge we stopped at the American World War II memorial cemetery. This cemetery was given to America by the British due to the high number of people who died there. There are approximately 3000 people buried there, men women and children, soldiers and civilians. There is a white marble cross for each body. They each have a name and an origin and what service they were inscribed upon it except for the unknowns that are buried there. It is a sobering experience to look across the field and to see all of the crosses and to realize the sacrifice that was made. There is also a long wall that contains over 5000 names of people who were declared missing after the fighting in this area. This was a pretty humbling experience.
This is a shot of the cemetery to try and convey just how many crosses there are.
I thought this would be one of the few places in England I would see an American flag so I took a picture.

Ok so we finally got to Cambridge and were given the opportunity to just wander- my favorite thing!!!! We visited the Fitzwilliam Art Museum, I have come to realize that I really like museums, who knew? After the museum, Maddie and I began to do what we do best and that is simply walk around. It was so cool to walk around Cambridge and to see all the old buildings and to see all the colleges. Important Fact!!! Cambridge University is not simply one university. Cambridge is made up of 32 different colleges and hence, it does not have school colours because each college has its own colors and insignia. Remember this is you are ever there and want to buy a shirt that is the school colors of Cambridge, it will save you an embarrassing question. We were able to go see Evensong sung at King's Chapel. This was a really cool experience. The singing was incredible, the acoustics in the chapel were amazing! The kneeling and talking and amen-ing was hard to keep up with but I gave it my best shot. I am just glad that we don't stand up and sit down and recite things in our church that often, I would probably have to practice.
This is the front of King's College- Pretty impressive!
This is me and Maddie in front of the quad at King's College. P.S you cannot walk on the grass unless you are accompanied by a senior member of the college... just to let you know.

Since this was the longest post of life I am going to end it by saying that it was really nice to get back to to the center and eat some real good left overs for dinner!!! Life is great! It is bed time in London for sure!!!


  1. You're pictures are awesome, Mary. You're definitely catching up to your father.
    Love you,