Posts Tagged With: photography

Salisbury Cathedral, The Magna Carta, and my Favorite Picture Ever

On our way back from Stonehenge we stopped at the Salisbury Cathedral, which houses one copy of the Magna Carta. It was just as magnificent as you’ve been led to believe.

…if you’ve never heard of it, then, well, that’s what my pictures are for!

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Inside the main sanctuary (Nave? Guys I don’t know the names for rooms in churches.) was a miniature replica of the cathedral being built.

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We got a free tour of the Cethedral to the sound of the children’s choir practicing. It was really nice.

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People are prohibited from taking photos inside the room housing the Magna Carta, but I snuck this picture of the ceiling. It’s a really pretty ceiling. If you want to look at the Magna Carta go google it or something. There were guards.

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The Cathedral has helpfully installed skylights so that you can see the magnificence from all angles. This one is in a nook in the hallway.

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Back in the big room (Someone tell me what it’s called, please. Is it the Nave?) I found a few more angles to capture, myself.

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I believe this is the North Transept.

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In the center aisle of the main room is a fountain. It’s very pretty on its own; all smooth stone, hidden drains, and perfectly flat surface. But when you get up close, you realize that the true beauty of the fountain is not the structure, but what it shows.

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And here, finally, is my absolute favorite picture of this blog:

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P.S. — Woodhenge

This is not a joke. Woodhenge is right down the road from Stonehenge. There’s nothing actually left of the original structure except for holes in the ground, which have been helpfully filled with concrete columns to represent the original wooden poles that would have stood there. It seems to have followed a similar pattern to Stonehenge but is not very well known (probably because there’s not much left). It took us less than half an hour to stop, read the signs, and look around, and it made a very cool addition to the trip.

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Stonehenge (It rocks!)

After London (jeez, finally, amiright?) we went to Stonehenge. Unbeknownst to me, the Stonehenge visitor’s center has a whole lot more than just a bunch of big rocks. It begins with a nice-sized museum, which empties out into an outdoor section of experiential learning. There’s a replica of one of the sarsen stones (a particular type of standing stone) that would have taken one hundred strong men to transport. You can pull on it yourself to see how many ancient rock-pullers you count as. My dad counted as five. I barely counted as one, so I’m not showing you that picture.

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Just past the rock-pulling monument to my physical ineptitude are some recreations of the types of dwellings that those rock-pullers and their associates would have lived in. Also everyone else at the time.

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(The monkey is not historically correct. It does, however, have it’s own travel blog.)

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 After the museum, we hopped on the tram over to Stonehenge. No, you can’t walk right up to the stones, but you can get pretty close. And it was a beautiful day, perfect for taking all the pictures my photo-happy heart desired.

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I’ll leave you with this beauty: it’s one of the remaining standing stones that marked the entrance to Stonehenge, back when it was being used for events other than tours.

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London: The Ultimate Drawn-Out Adventure (Part 4)

We met up with the ‘rents in London (yep, still in London) and went to Borough Market. It had a lot of great food to buy, stalls to wander through, and weird vegetables to look at. Some of them, like this fractal-y cauliflower thing, were just too cool not to take pictures of.

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And then there was the food, most beautiful of which was the German sausage and Indian food.

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“In Dublin’s Fair City…”

In Dublin’s Fair City
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheel’d her wheel barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!


Molly Malone is one of the most famous residents of Dublin — though some would argue that she’s not there, and never has been. Molly is one of the city’s great myths and the subject of Dublin’s unofficial anthem; a poor fishmonger who died of a fever, and whose ghost continued to hawk her goods long after her death. Some historians say she may have lived in 1600s Dublin, and while there is no definitive proof that the song was written about a specific Molly, there were certainly many women with similar life stories. Today Molly Malone stands on Suffolk Street, still waiting for someone to buy her goods.


After hanging out with Molly, we took a stroll down through Temple Bar. Now, to be clear, Temple Bar is the name of a specific bar, as well as the street it stands on, and the district containing that street. The district is known around the world for it’s fabulous night life, and the bar itself pays homage to the original Temple family owners with a couple of neat plaques.



But Temple Bar isn’t the only place with nice signage. This next sign is possibly my favorite for it’s sheer practicality.



This next one takes the cake for awkwardness. I don’t know who chose the name of this drug, but they may want to reconsider.



We took a quick stop to watch a street artist…



…and then it was off to bed.


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Lookout Point

Belfast city center has a lovely little look-out point at the top of Victoria mall (inside). After climbing up approximately fifty-bajillion stairs (read: about six staircases), you read the viewing platform. Of course, if you’re lazy, you can take the elevator.


Some of the surrounding roofs are “green roofs,” meaning they use sustainable methods to lower their environmental impact. The ones below have grass planted on the roof to absorb runoff and add insulation. In other cases they might be covered in solar panels.


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Paris: First Up, the Eiffel Tower

As all good tourists must, we spent our first real morning in Paris checking out the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower is situated on one end of a long green. At the other end is a monument to Peace, with glass panels inscribed with that key word in a few different languages. Sadly, a few of the panels had been smashed, and barriers had been put up to prevent further damage. The irony someone trying to destroy a literal sign for peace was not lost on me.


The Eiffel Tower itself is pretty cool from a distance, and gets progressively less pretty but more interesting-looking the closer you get.


If you look closely you can see other tourists posing with their arms up as if to support the Tower.


What can I say? We tried.

IMG_0225IMG_0230IMG_0229 IMG_0241 IMG_0235We didn’t actually go up the Eiffel Tower, because we didn’t really feel like waiting the two and a half hours in line. But we took a lot of cool pictures, and then had enough time to go to the Louvre!

On the way over we found these old-timey bicycles to play with.

IMG_0248 IMG_0262There was also this candied nut seller. They smelled good, but I didn’t have cash, and the person with cash wouldn’t buy them. (you know who you are. *grr*)

IMG_0266We found another nice photo-op while crossing the Seine.

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I finally got a good picture of the fireworks! At night! When the camera can actually pick them up!




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It’s a phone! It’s a computer! It’s SUPER TEACHER!

I pulled out my tablet right before class started because it has my best Chinese-English dictionary on it, and I needed to check a word. The students freaked out. Their reactions went something like this;

Students: (“Woooooah”)

Students: “Teacher! What is it?”

Students: “Teacher! Is it your phone?”

Me: “It’s my computer.”

Students: “Wooooah”

So I did what any self-respecting, responsible teacher would do. I turned on my tablet’s camera. These are some of the pictures I got:





At this point they started climbing on the desks.

At this point they started climbing on desks.


I did tell them to get off their desks at this point. Pictures are one thing–I refuse to to have a student get a concussion in my class. It’s not allowed.


And then, of course, I just had to flip the camera around so they would see themselves. it may have backfired. In a ridiculously, hilariously adorable way, of course.



I’m pretty sure the tablet will never get old for the students.

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