London — British Library, Candlemas, Lion King

Yesterday was our first trip to London.  We started at the British Library, which is pretty close to heaven for a nerd like me.

You can’t take pictures in the exhibits, but in the “treasures” gallery there are things like the Magna Carta, a napkin the Beatles wrote on, Jane Austen’s writing desk, John Milton’s Commomplace book, a score of Handel’s Messiah, a handwritten poem by Wordsworth…

Since we’ve been reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the girls loved getting to listen to an except and see pages from Dodgson’s (aka Lewis Carroll) diary, as well as many manifestations of Alice over the years.

There was a great exhibit on Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which had lots of fascinating original documents from Coleridge.

And we enjoyed some treats there, too.

From there, we took a quick driving tour of London — narrated by the amazing coach driver, David.  Here’s Tower Bridge, from London Bridge

The London Eye, the Thames, clock tower that houses Big Ben

Random note — if you’ll notice it’s 4:25 and already pretty dark

Then we headed to Westminster Abbey for Candlemas, which celebrates the Christ child’s presentation at the temple — 40 days after Christmas.  We lined the nave of the abbey holding unlit candles, and after calling the service to order and singing, the choir and clergy file through us as our candles are lit.  Then we went in the sanctuary for the service.  One of the most amazing moments of my life.

Sadly, there’s no photography inside, but if the snow day has you bored here’s a great interactive map of the chapel with fabulous history and pictures.

Bill and the rest of the students went to a premier league football match — Newcastle v. Fulham.  But since that’s not exactly a g-rated event, the girls, Allye (a fabulously fun student), and I hopped in one of these really cute taxis, and headed to the Lion King.

And in honor of Paddington, we tried out the opera glasses

Today, we mainly just recovered from getting in at midnight.

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4 responses to “London — British Library, Candlemas, Lion King

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