Monday, October 20, 2014

What Do You Know About......London???

What we think of as "London" is actually two cities: Westminster City and the City of London. London is the capitol of the United Kingdom. The population of London, including all 32 boroughs that surround it, is more than 8 million people.

                                   London is in the southeastern corner.

It is about 4,000 miles from Minneapolis to London. Flight time is about 8 to 9 hours. London time is normally 5 hours ahead of Minneapolis, except in the summer when it is 6 hours ahead-they observe Daylight Savings Time like lots of other countries in the world.

London was established in about the year 43 A.D.  It covers an area of  about 600 square miles. Through history, its name has been Londinium, Lundenwich, and Lundenburg, depending on which countries had conquered it at the time.

Notice the tiny oval shape right in the center that says "city"---this is the actual town of London which by itself is quite small, with a population of only about 7,000.

London has the 6th largest economy in the world, after Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris.
                                        Hyde Park, London

These men are called the Royal Guards. The hat is called a "bearskin." They guard Buckingham Palace. The guards change every day at 11:30 a.m. They are on duty for two hours and off for four. They need only stand still for 10 minutes at a time, and occasionally then walk around patrolling the area.
                       A full squadron of Royal Guards standing outside Buckingham Palace.

The clock is Big Ben (which weighs 13 tons!), the tower is the St Stephens Tower:

One in three Londoners is from another country. London's population is:

76% White
10% from India, Bangladesh, or Pakistan
5% Black African
5% Black Caribbean
1% Chinese

The climate of London tends to be rainy, but it does not, contrary to common belief, rain every day. The average temperature is 50.8 degrees Fahrenheit-in Europe, they use the metric system, so their temperatures are measured in Celsius. The warmest it usually gets is about 66 degrees F., in July (19 degrees Celsius) and 45 degrees Fahrenheit in winter (7 degrees Celsius). The most rain falls in October, although there is about a 40% chance of rain every day. There is a small amount of snowfall in England in the winter. There are four distinct seasons in London.

The four areas of London have different features: the North of London is more hilly and gives better views of the city; South London includes Greenwich and Wimbledon; the East End includes the docks, heavy industries, and lots of markets. The West end of London includes the most shopping and entertainment venues, as well as the department stores of Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, Covent Gardens, Notting Hill, and Chelsea.

Greenwich ("grennitch") Observatory. This is where the standard for world time begins. *see Triogenius 10-21-2013 for more about Greenwich Mean Time.

In the West End, you'll find lots of theaters....
                        Globe Theater, traditionally home to Shakespeare's plays

                                              Novello Theater

                                                             Lyceum Theater, Interior

London has more live comedy available than any other city in the world.

To get around London, you can go by taxi, which is the most expensive; the "Tube"-their subway, or a bus.

One way to get to France from England is to travel on the the Eurostar, a subway that goes from St. Pancras, under the English Channel, into Europe. This is called the 'Chunnel.'

                                                           Chunnel cars

Also in the West End is the shopping mecca of Picadilly Circus:

Electricity is a different current and outlets use different prongs than in the U.S.; this is true of most European countries--so bring an adapter if you want to use your coffee machine or hair dryer from home.

When expressing how much someone weighs, it's given in stone. A stone is the same as 14 pounds in the U.S. Thus, if you weigh 10-stone, you weigh 140 pounds. Note that it's considered bad manners to ask someone what he or she weighs. See Triogenius 10-14-13 about manners in other countries.

Remember also that in Europe, dates are given as the day of the month, then the month, then the year. So: December 18 would be 'Eighteenth December, 2014,' or 18-12-14.

Road distances in England are given in miles, but everything else is in metric, such as gasoline (or petrol, as they call it) comes in liters, not gallons. In an emergency, you dial '999.'

Do they still have Tea in the afternoons?  This was an old custom that is still observed by some, but most people are at work in the mid-afternoon, when tea was traditionally served. It began because there was such a time interval between the midday meal and the evening meal, which typically was served at about 8:00 p.m.

Food terms:
Cookie = Biscuit
Potato Chips = Crisps
French Fries = Chips
Dessert = Pudding (although there are meat puddings as well)
Candy = Sweets

If you stop into a pub (public house, bar, similar to a sports bar here) you will see a lot of foods on the menu that are similar to what you would see in the U.S.

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum features celebrity doubles made of wax. They are super-realistic. Here is Taylor Swift with her alter-ego:

Children go to school from the ages of 5 to 16 (compulsory) and then to age 18. From age 5 to 11, children are considered to be in Primary School. Above age 11, they are considered to be in Secondary School. Some children receive education at home, and some parents choose private school for their children, although these schools are sometimes called 'public'.

There is no school for the month of August in England.

Attending school beyond Primary School means that you attend a 'college,' which tends to be more of a shorter period and gives you training comparable to a technical college or community college in the U.S., or  you might choose to go to 'University,' which is more similar to a four year college here; however, these degrees generally take three years. You can continue and receive a Masters or Doctorate with more schooling.

Cost for attending higher education are capped at £9,000 (pounds), or $15,030. Most schools cost about £6,000 or $10,020. The state pays for the poorest students to attend. 

In England, National Holidays are called "Bank" holidays.

Here is a better explanation of how school works in Great Britain:   

There are close to 50 colleges in the London area, including:

City of Westminster College
College of Northwest London
Croyden College
Kingston College
West Ealing College
Redbridge College
West Thames College

If you are interested in the Arts, check out these schools:  (University of the Arts)    (Royal College of the Arts)

or music : 
University of West London, College of Music

 or drama : 
Mountview Academy 

These are just a few schools in London. You can search online for many more.

London is home to Sothebys, the renowned auction house:  Sotheby's holds auctions of fine art and collectibles. Check out their site to see what's currently up for auction.

and the British Museum:

And the Tate Modern Museum

And the London Eye:

It was built in 1999 and is also called the Millenium Wheel. It's situated on the south bank of the Thames River, and it's 443' tall.
                                    An individual pod on the London Eye. 

There is much more to learn about London, about England, and about Great Britain. You can start here:


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