Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Dickens, Hardy & London

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Great Views From Historic Sites

P. Campbell Robbins ’09 - Today was our designated “science day,” as we traveled to Greenwich to straddle the Prime Meridian. Before we climbed up the steep hill to the Royal Observatory, Professor Porter gave us a highly informative lecture on longitude and the many excruciating and lengthy years spent trying to precisely determine the location of the Prime Meridian. Once on top of the hill, we found ourselves with a magnificent view of London.  We spent about an hour visiting exhibits where early telescopes and other such instruments are encased.

Following lunch, we traveled to Hampstead. There, Dr. Tobey Herzog led us on a walking tour off the town (including the flat where he and his family lived in 1984). Among the sites we saw were the poet John Keats’ home and a restaurant that George Orwell frequented. From the town, Dr. Herzog led us to Hampstead Heath, which soon became one of my favorite parts of our trip. We walked all along and through the massive green lands all the way up to Parliament Hill, where, once again, we were treated to a gorgeous view of London.  

Dr. Herzog informed us that Charles Dickens would often walk up to Parliament Hill from his house in London. The weather was rainy and muddy, but the beautiful green heath along with the gorgeous view certainly made up for the weather.  

By the end of the day, we had once again received our fair share of exercise. I, for one, definitely built up quite an appetite from the day’s excursion and was more than enthused to have our group Thanksgiving meal at a wonderful Italian restaurant.  \There was a general consensus among the group that the only thing missing was AMERICAN football.

In photos: Top right, the Royal Observatory. At lower left, Robbins checks out a plague outside the Prime Ministers.