As you can probably tell from my Led Zeppelin reference, we traveled far today. Where you ask? To Glastonbury! On what? A tour bus! We were off at eight in the morning and listened to our tour guide, Chris, as he told us histories behind the East end where our university is located. This is the area where Jack the Ripper roamed looking for his next victim, where the crime family the Krays committed crimes at the Blind Beggar pub and where Winston Chruchill went to the trial of the anarchists who did the Siege of Sidney Street. We continued to the Magnus Martyr, the place mentioned in T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, and the place where John Quincy Adams was married. We traveled under the bridges of London, where Chris mentioned the Waterloo Bridge, also known as the “Ladies’ Bridge” because it was built by women, and the Blackfriars Bridge, which was the site of a murder of an Italian banker for the Vatican.
Then we went deep into the countryside of England with the sheep, cows, bulls, horses and pigs. We passed by the Stonehenge and heard a brief history of it. As he told us the truths and legends behind King Arthur, we rode into Shrewtown, where they had a old-fashioned jail called the Cooler because they believed that a criminal had hot blood and so a cool stream of water flowed under the jail to cool them down while they were in there. Also, we passed by another town, a German one formed during the Cold War. The classed learned about the origins of the rhyme, Jack Horner, which was about a man named Thomas Horner who received deeds to manors made of lead, a metal with a latin name, Plumbum, hence the plum in the rhyme.
When we arrived to Glastonbury, we climbed a VERY HIGH holy hill, or tor, that was worst that climbing the 311 steps of the Monument and on the way met some sheep and a lot of feces. However, the view at the top, next to the St. Michael’s tower, was beautiful, even in the fog. Back down the hill, we went to the Chalice well, which was said to hold the Holy Grail. I drank from the water, which tasted like pennies. After that, we walked around the neighborhood and basically the people in Glastobury are “new age” types of people, aka hippies. They have a Glastonbury festival every year, which is comparable to Woodstock. At the end of the day, the bus passed London’s Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Harrods. So, today was a really productive day! Now for sleep!