Thursday, December 9, 2010

The London Eye

The spindle and hub of the London Eye remind me of an airplane for some reason. The spindle holds the wheel structure and the hub rotates it around the spindle. The spindle is 23 meters tall, which is the same as the size of a church spire. The spindle and the hub together weigh 330 tons--over 20 times heavier than Big Ben!
( for Interesting Facts)

London from 100 meters up!

The view from the top of Parliament, Big Ben, and the Thames River.

This is the view from our capsule from below to another capsule. The capsules need to be able to rotate on their axis in order to move smoothly around the Eye. Otherwise, the people inside would fall over or have to stand on the ceiling!

We had some extra time today since it's so cold here in Salzburg, so I wanted to post some much-overdue pictures from the London Eye. This is a must-do activity in London. It's
135 meters high. On a clear day, you can see for 25 miles around the city. It takes 30 minutes to make a full revolution, or 26 cm per second. That's twice as fast as a turtle sprinting! This way, it's easy for the passengers to step on and off. They don't have to stop the Eye for people to get on or off. If the Eye were completely full, it would carry 800 passengers at once! Wow!
We rode the Eye at night. It was so cool to see the city all lit up! I put up these pictures per request of my students at Robinson Elementary, especially Colby. (

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's up, Pope?

Hello, Rome! I was blown away by the history, art, and architecture that this city holds. I loved exploring it's streets, although I quickly realized how much I missed having my family there for special trips like this. It was weird not sharing this with them. This is also the first BIG traveling that I've done with just myself and some friends. It's weird not having the security of my family right by me. Despite some stressful travel moments and confusion, we still ended up making the most of our two and a half days in Rome and got to see some incredible things. I wasn't able to put up all of the pictures that I wanted to, but here are some highlights from our trip:

Things we experienced-- it makes me tired and so thrilled just thinking about it all!
  • Vatican City
  • listening to the pope give his Sunday blessing from his apartment
  • St. Peter's Basillica
  • climbing to the top of the dome of the Basillica
  • Vatican museum
  • Sistene Chapel
  • Trevvi Fountain
  • Spanish Steps
  • The Colloseum
  • Palatine Hill
  • Roman Forum
  • Piazza Novano and the Fountain of the Four Winds
  • Pantheon
Standing in Vatican City outside St. Peter's Basillica. Absolutely breath-taking!

What's up, Pope? Yeah, I got to hear you Italian and English! Thanks for making an English shout out!

Preparing to climb the Spanish steps with Lauren.

The Trevvi Fountain! So surreal to actually be here. It's something that you see in movies and hear about a lot, and there it was! It was just sitting in the middle of a neighborhood. I think my favorite part of seeing all of these famous things is realizing that they are normal to the people that live there. It's just something that's there...something real. It's no longer a story; seeing these wonders in their context really puts things into perspective.

Seeing the Colloseum and the Vatican were the highlights of the trip. I could have wandered around here for hours! I love to imagine what it would have been like to experience the Colloseum in action. It's crazy to think that those things really happened! It was also amazing to see the level of architecture and skill that went into designing this building that was made so long ago!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pictures from Dublin!

Dublin was absolutely wonderful! I wish I had time to tell you all about it, but I wanted to share a few pictures.
Lisa and I at Trinity College in Dublin. We got to see the Book of Kells here. It's a beautifully ornate copy of the Gospels that was written in 900 AD. Crazy! Notice the snow on the ground...that was the day BEFORE it really fell. It was so cold and icy!

Apparently, this means "Dublin" in their language. Ths was in the main shoping area of the city, O'Connell Street. It was already beautifully decorated for Christmas!

After our day in Dublin, we went out to the cute seaside town of Howth. It was nice to get out of the city and be in the countryside. We even met some new friends...a seal and three walrus just hanging out in the harbor! So cool to see them in the wild. They didn't even mind that there were tons of people staring at them.

More of Howth. So cool to see boats above the snow!

Malahide cool to see this in the Irish countryside!