Sunday, March 30, 2008

Of Pubs, Churches, and Pubs in Churches

Friday's walkabout started out with the rain coming at us from all sides. Umbrellas were futile and taking notes were impossible. Professor Buckroyd planned our tour to be as indoor as possible. This meant touring a lot of old churches. I think God was paying attention to our accidental devotion, because halfway through the day, it stopped raining.

The first church we visited was the Temple Church, made famous by The Da Vinci Code. Due to its sudden popularity, the city closed the church on most days of the week. Our professor has tried for four years to tour it on the right day at the right time. We were very lucky.

If you look at the bottom left corner, you can see the facades of the Knights Templar.

The next church we toured was St. Brides's. At one point in history, this church stood next to a bakery. The baker used to look at the steeple every day, and one day decided that it would make a great shape for a cake. Thus, the tiered wedding cake was born!

The next church we toured has been used for both Four Weddings and a Funeral (although our professor called it Four To-Do's and a Funeral, which I found endearing) and Shakespeare in Love. I didn't recognize it from either film, though. [Disclaimer: For some reason, Photoshop won't open on my computer, and Preview won't save edits I make to photos. So if you really want to see this church, turn your head sideways.]

That night, like any good student studying abroad in the UK, a group of us went out to a pub. We decided on The Elephant's Head, a packed pub that played oldies music and featured everyone from the 17 year-old Brazilian student who came with us to an elderly biker sporting tattoos, a leather vest, and a very, very long beard.

A couple of us are living in East Finchley, and decided the following would be the gang sign for the East Finchley Homestays:

Last night, Jenny, Caroline and I met Jenny's friend James at O'Neil's, a pub inside of an old church. I didn't take any pictures because it was packed with young'uns, trendies, and tourists, and somehow didn't seem appropriate. Just imagine any old God's house (but one of God's larger, older, more imposing houses), bedecked with flyers advertising every type of Irish beer and Live Music Sundays.

Today's view is of Muswell Hill (right next to East Finchley) from the upper level of the 102 bus (or coach, as they call them here).

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