:: Friday, August 05, 2005 ::
So much has happened, and I haven't had much time to write about it! We have a lot of reading to do each night, and I want to make the most of my time here in England doing sightseeing when I have free time, so I haven't been updating. Plus, it was a bad start that I didn't get my internet access working in my room until three days into the program.
In my first week in Oxford, my classmates and I went out often to socialize. There are a lot of pubs around here, and they are great social gathering places. We were taken on a grand walking tour of Oxford and saw a bunch of the colleges that make up Oxford University. They are so grand, and it was neat to see how the setup and traditions of the colleges here influenced some US universities, like Harvard or Princeton.
On Friday, we went to Cambridge to visit Cambridge University. We got a great tour from the author of one of the Darwin biographies we read, and he took us around the city, pointing out sights Darwin would have seen. We saw the pub where Watson and Crick realized the double helix structure of DNA, as well as Charles Darwin's residence and college dorm. It was neat to see where Darwin lived as an undergraduate in college.
On Wednesday, we went to London. It was the first time I've ever visited London (not counting being there briefly when arriving in England two weeks ago). The city is so busy! It reminded me of being in New York, where the cars are loud, the people crowd the streets, and everything you could ever want is available.
We visited the Geological Society, where we saw a famous map that charted the geological features of England. We then went to the Linnean Society, where we saw the actual collection of Carl Linnaeus, known as the "father of taxonomy" for creating the organizational system for animals that scientists still use today. It was neat seeing his personal books and collected specimens of fish, insects, and plants, all nicely preserved.
We finished in the late afternoon and were welcome to stay in the city for the rest of the evening, so a couple of my classmates and I decided to see a show in the West End, London's version of Broadway. We had some time before the show, so we walked in London's famous Hyde Park. It's an amazing park. The pond is so beautiful and the gardens are flowering during the summertime. There are a lot of birds and squirrels, too, interacting with the people who are enjoying a stroll in the nice weather. At the end of the park, we saw Buckingham Palace. The guards are really cool, especially with their big furry hats.
In the evening, we went to see the musical Guys and Dolls, which is currently starring Ewan McGregor. He's a great singer, and was as good live as he was in the movie Moulin Rouge. The show was really funny and lively. The cast members were energetic and really got into their parts. It's great that a show from a while ago can still be as entertaining today.
Quote of the Day: "Trivial Pursuit?!? Is that a sex game!?!"
:: SL 1:59 PM [+] ::