Friday, July 20, 2007

Tuesday, July 17th

On Tuesday, my class went to visit the St. Paul's Cathedral Library. It felt very much like we were getting a special tour of places normal tourists don't go. The Cathedral is another of Christopher Wren's masterpieces.

The tour started with us walking up the Geometric Staircase, an engineering marvel. The weight of the steps are even divided between those above and below so it 'hangs' off of the wall. For you Harry Potter buffs, the scene in the 4th movie with them coming down from the North Tower was filmed there.

Once we came to the top of the steps, we were offered a pretty impressive birds-eye view of the main floor of the cathedral. Next, we went into the room where the Great Model is held. This model showed how Christopher Wren wanted the cathedral to look like. It was rejected because it looked too much like a Catholic cathedral though he still retained many of the same elements in the finished building. The room where the model is housed was originally supposed to be part of the library because it has huge windows and a ton of natural light and designs on the walls of ink bottles, pens, and books.

Going into the library was like going into your stereotypical image of an old library. Bookshelves on every wall filled with old books with lovely leather bindings. Antique desks piled high with books being worked on. High windows letting in light which picks up the dust swirls. That smell of old books. It was wonderful. Many of the books there date to after the Great Fire of London 1666 which had destroyed many of the original holdings.

After our tour was over, Erika, Stephanie and I went to the Women's Library. They intended to do research there while I went to see the exhibition that was in place. For class, we have to visit three additional places (i.e. not with the class) and write about it in our journal/blog. The exhibition was called, What Women Want, and was very interesting. My favourite part was the wall where people could post their responses to questions from different parts of the exhibit.

After going through the exhibit, I split off from Erika and Stephanie to go to a public library that I had seen on the map. I think I am going to write my small paper on a public library. It was very interesting to go in and see how they had things set up. They use Dewey for the NF collection just in case you were wondering.

After that I went to Harrods to try to meet up with people for high tea. I got there at 4 and completely missed them. They were there and I was there but didn't see them. I was able to pick up some gifts for people, though, so it turned out well.

Again, we come to the part where I shouldn't be allowed to have a map because obviously I can't judge distances. I decided because it was such a nice day I should walk from Harrods to Piccadilly Circus. I was going to Piccadilly Circus so I could pre-order a copy of the new Harry Potter for half price. £8.99 instead of £17.99, I'm totally doing that. Other people had pre-ordered there so we could all go together as a group. Well, it is a far distance. Then I just got stubborn and wouldn't go to any of the tube stations because it would be only one stop away and didn't get on any of the buses for the same reason. But I got to see some nice stuff like this along the way.

After pre-ordering the book, I finally took the tube back to Waterloo and had a quiet evening at Stamford St.

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