London : Trafalgar Square + the National Galleries


On our second day in London, when we were still with our friends, we met them at St. Martin in the Fields that morning.

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Some friends from home had told us about this place.  It has free concerts at lunch time, and a little quiet and reasonable priced cafe in the crypt.  We couldn’t make it to the concert the week we were there.






From there we stopped at the National Gallery for a little while, right on Trafalgar Square.



We decided to go straight to the Impressionist Gallery and we were surprised to see Siena and Lucas’s favorite painting by Monet.  The Japanese Bridge.  And also, one of the paintings of St. Lazarre Train Station, by Monet as well.  What a treat it was.


There were also some by Van Gogh (famous and beautiful sunflowers painting), by Seurat, Renoir, and others we were excited to see in person after looking at them on books and videos.



Trafalgar Square.

DSC_0177-small DSC_0179-small DSC_0656-smallThis new sculpture is sitting on one side of the square.

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DSC_0173-smallNelson’s Column.

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And these four bronze lions guarding the column.  To get to these they had to climb a bit. I wonder if when they made this commemoration they didn’t intend for people to climb the lions.  It’s not easy to get to them, but everyone is up there, and nobody seemed to be making trouble or vandalizing them.  They are beautiful bronze sculptures, I hope it remains that way.

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Our last day in London, we decided what was what we wanted to make sure we saw and visited.  One of the things Lucas and Siena wanted to do, was to go back to the National Gallery and sit in front of the Japanese Bridge painting, and see it again.


So we did.  We went one more time to the museum.

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We were there early, before they opened.  So we waited outside for a bit.  It is such a busy place, that it was fun to just sit there and people watch, look at the crowds, hear all the languages being spoken, and hear music and other artists around.



Our days were filled with new sights, new smells, new sounds, new knowledge, new memories.  All the wonderful things of traveling.

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London : the pubs


The day we arrive in London, the World Cup had started already.  The pubs were showing football games  all day.  They always seem busy, but it was really crazy in the evenings.  When everyone after work seem to go hang out in the pubs.  Pints of beers on little tables, long tables, tall stools, inside and out side the pubs.  Groups people hanging out, talking, having fun.




One evening, when England was playing, we had to walk around to find a family friendly pub.  They were showing the game and they were going to be busier and they expected to be crazier than usual, so no kids were allowed that evening.  But we just walked another couple of blocks, and found one. (That was the game England lost to Uruguay.)

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We tried Ginger Beer (not a beer), and of course, fish and chips.

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We had fun trying new foods.  This time the kids enjoyed it more than in our stay in India, where they found most of the things to be too spicy.  This time, they had fun trying the foods.




It was a great time to catch our breaths, and get some energy back.  Even if it was dinner time.  It’s where we’d read about the places we had talked about visiting, and deciding what we wanted to see and go next.  This book was very helpful we found.  Easily organized and with great descriptions.

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Also a great place to play with the new treasures.


And try new foods.

DSC_0695-smallFish and chips with mushy peas.

DSC_0626-smallBangers and mash.

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I think fish and chips ended up being the favorite London food.


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London : Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey founded in 960 is right across the street from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

DSC_0302-small DSC_0305-small DSC_0312-smallMark and I had been in London before, and with three short days, we had decided to just look at it from the outside.  This time, the kids wanted to visit inside the Abbey.  And I am glad we did.

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It is the coronation church, and we saw the Coronation Chair and the area where it’s done. It has been the place where kings and queens are crowned since 1066 and the place where some of them rest today.

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It is the place where famous people are buried.  Charles Darwin, Elizabeth I, Isaac Newton, and Charles Dickens to mention a few.


Walking through those isles of the abbey, reading about so many important people that are resting in that place, or are honored with a statue or mosaic in the windows.  Sitting in the chairs inside, listening the steps on the floor, the quietness but the busyness make this place one to visit.

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These ten carvings or statues (from 1988) are of martyrs from the 20th century.  It says this plaque, it represents people who have died (and continue to die) in similar circumstances of oppression and persecution.  They are drawn from every continent and many Christian denominations.


Maximilian Kolbe.  Mance Masemola.  Janani Luwam.  Elizabeth of Russia.  Martin Luther King.  Oscar Romero.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Esther John.  Lucian Tapiedi.  Wang Zhiming.DSC_0335-small DSC_0337-small

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Another fun part of our adventure.



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Icons of London

These are the things I knew meant London to me.  And yes, we got to see them all… well, almost all of them.

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Yes. London, England.

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London : Houses of Parliament

DSC_0291-smallDSC_0294-smallDSC_0385-smallRight next to Big Ben, is the Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament.  We saw it as often as we saw Big Ben, of course, though we didn’t go in.

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Such an incredible building.

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London : Big Ben


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We saw Big Ben the second day we were in London.  We went for a walk with our friends Mac and Ros, and they left us at this point for few days to discover on our own.

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Now we have our own Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in our travel notebook.


Besides we also have all these pictures.

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I have to admit.  You would think that there are only so many photos and sides of Big Ben you can take a picture of, but when you have a little guy like mine, who just loved, really loved Big Ben, there were lots of requests of more photos.  And please Mamá, can you make a post on the blog with all of them? I want to see them on the internet when I see your blog.  And maybe you can print them all in the photo book you’ll make too. 

So maybe there is someone else out there who would just love to see lots of photos of Big Ben from different sides and different lights.  Here they are.

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I am so glad I was there with you Lucas, to see your little face every time we went by Big Ben and you smiled.  I smiled too.


And Lucas’s video is the best.  Something we’ll remember for years to come.


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World Unit : England

In getting ready for our trip this summer, we had a Europe unit Study.  We studied France and England.  I’ve written about what we studied in France before.


For some reason I don’t have as many pictures of our unit in England, and we also ran out of time to read about before we had to leave on our trip.  So, we left the books and videos behind, and went on the real, life experiences.  Our own field trip to Europe.  The real life learning.  The best way to learn, I believe.


We read this book, about what was invented or created in England.  we had lots of fun reading about what we have today, or what we use at home or on a daily basis that came from England.  Also, we read the book from the same series, of things that came from France.  Also fun to read and look through.


And of course, there was history.  But there is so much history in this old country, that I know we only brushed the top of the top part.  But we had fun reading about Henry VIII and his six wives.  Really! SIX!  Divorced, decapitated, death, divorced, decapitated, survived.  Crazy!

These are the books we used for this part of our studies this spring:

Websites and other resources:

As always, if you have any other resources you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section. We would love to have them for future reference or if anybody else would like to use them.  Thanks! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for coming to visit.   have a great day!

Posted in England, history + geography, homeschooling | Leave a comment