Saturday, August 2, 2014

45 Days in London: Day 40


Our oldest son arrived this morning. It was so exciting to greet him at the tube station and wrap my arms around him. This was the first time he has traveled internationally on his own—no small feat. He's joining us for the last ten days of our adventure.

But first he has to take a nap.  :)

Meanwhile, the rest of us explored Hampstead Heath...a huge park with miles of trails winding through acres of woodlands. Keats' house is in desirable section of London. Jeff met Chris Clark (UVU theater prof) and had they enjoyed some fantastic pub food for lunch.
There are also several large ponds. And some are reserved for swimming. How fun is that?!? They even have Women Only and Men only swimming holes. We chose the one that was Mixed. :) Feel free to dive in!

We took Josh on a quick run-through of both the Science Museum and the
V&A (both are spectacular).

We were also excited to show him the city at night. The boys wanted to do something creepy/historical, like a walking ghost tour. We left the flat too late to meet an official tour guide, so we gave them our own version of a historical ghost tour, walking past the Globe theater, and through narrow alleys and brick tunnels near the Borough Market. Very Dickensian. Here we stumbled upon "The Clink" Prison Museum, London's oldest prison, built in the middle ages. This dungeon of sorts is the reason people today still call putting someone in jail "throwing them in the clinker." It got its name because of the constant sound of the blacksmith's hammer pounding on prisoners' irons...clink-clink-clink.

The museum showed actual living conditions of the prisoners (which was appalling), as well as providing stories of actual people--why they were incarcerated (some seemed to be the minutest infractions, including religious differences) and whether they survived or passed away there. I have to say, it was super creepy! There was a horrible spirit there. I was so relieved when we finally finished the tour and got back outside.

The walk across the Millennial Bridge to St. Paul's is always breathtaking at night. But it was especially wonderful and refreshing having just escaped from prison from prison!  :)  The sky alone was to die for. We had the loveliest walk across the Thames in the moonlight.

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