The Europe Trip: London (Days 10-13)

Thursday was my first day with no teaching or international travel. I took advantage of my time off to visit Hampton Court Palace, built in the early 1500s by (soon-to-be Cardinal) Thomas Wolsey, then taken over soon after by King Henry VIII.

Hampton Court is where King Henry VIII wrote the Pope (in 1530) threatening a break with the Papacy, and it’s where (in 1604) King James I commissioned the King James Bible (“KJV”). Much later, in 1944, General (and soon-to-be President) Eisenhower planned the Normandy landings in neighboring Bushy Park.

Lying on the banks of the River Thames, it’s a magnificent estate, with a castle, palace, and beautiful grounds. I normally prefer raw nature to orderly plantings, but I have to admit, these formal gardens were outstanding (though the huge unnaturally-shaped trees were also a little freaky).

The palace sports what Ernest Law called “the most famous Maze in the history of the world.” It is the oldest surviving usable hedge maze, and it was the first maze to feature wrong paths and dead-ends.

I returned to London by boat. Most of the 3-hour journey along the Thames was relaxing, if a little dull, but approaching the Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben) by boat was lovely.

On Friday the rain forced me inside, so I went to the British Museum.

And on Saturday, after presenting in Finchley, I spent a bit of time in the London suburb of Muswell Hill, which overlooks downtown London.

Muswell Hill
Muswell Hill



On Sunday I had to leave. But before departing for the airport, I managed to fit in a quick visit to a school in Wimbledon, where I guest taught 6th graders. The school was bubbling with joy, laughter, and learning, and it left me with a sweet taste as I headed off to the airport to return to New York.

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2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Eurostar Biathlon, about how I just barely managed not to miss my train; Reflections on London; London, which includes photos of Hampton Court Palace and more; and Coming Home to JFK, which isn’t [...]

  2. [...] like teaching about Bible translation to a group of non-native English speakers in Amsterdam; and London, which has some photos of Hampton Court Palace (where the KJV was commissioned), among others. More [...]

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