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  • Monday, December 8, 2014

    My Second Last Day in London

    I had every intention of leaving London when I left the hostel. I peddled away in the direction of Down House, home of Charles Darwin, about 20 miles south. I had a hard time letting my sightseeing tour of London come to an end, so I looked at a route that would take me to a few more sights along the way. This is Shakespeare's Globe Theater, a replica of original Elizabethan theater, which shows Shakespeare plays.

    And this is Western Europe's tallest building, called The Shard

    I wanted to see London Bridge, but when I got there it was the most plain looking bridge imaginable, then I realized what I thought was London Bridge was actually the next bridge, Tower Bridge.

    I couldn't leave London without riding across, right?

    This is the view of downtown London from Tower Bridge. I love architects who seem to despise 90-degree angles. 


    After riding across the famous bridge, I went to see the Tower of London. With the £22 ($34) ticket price, I decided seeing it from the outside had to be good enough.

    Here is Tower Bridge from the other side of the River Thames
    Next stop was the Royal Observatory

    This is the oldest thing I have ever touched, the Gibeon Meteorite, 4.5 billion years old.

    This is a second edition copy of Isaac Newton's PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the most important mathematical text ever written. In it, he explains his theory of gravity, a breakthrough that still underpins our view of the universe today. This particular copy is significant because it is supposedly bound in leather from Newton's own chair.
    I love seeing the equipment used to make major scientific discoveries. They have been my favorite things in London. Around the start of the 19th century, William Herschel used this lens and these thermometers to measure the heat produced by different colors of light. He used the lens to concentrate sunlight into a prism to split the light into the different colors of the spectrum. He discovered that each color had a different temperature, the red on the left being warmest and the blue on the right being the coldest. The major discovery came when he discovered that the control thermometer sitting outside the visible light to the left of the red, showed an even warmer temperature. This was the accidental discovery of infrared light and that there was light that we cannot see. 

    And this is one of William Herschel's telescopes. Although since it was difficult to operate, it didn't actually get used very much.  

    In this picture of me cheesing like a complete idiot, I have one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the western hemisphere.The Royal Observatory is located on the Prime Meridian, where the Longitude of the Earth is at 0 degrees. 

    From the Observatory on the hill, I could see the Maritime Museum, and I thought maybe some artifacts of another one of my favorite English scientists, Edmund Halley. As the museum was about to close and it was another cold rainy night, I found a hostel for £10, so I could continue trying to leave London the next day. but not until seeing the Maritime Museum and searching for the grave of Edmund Halley. I went back across the River Thames, but this time by going underneath it in the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.