Friday, December 4, 2015

The Lord Mayor's Parade

Hey everyone!On one of our many trips to London, we saw the Lord Mayor's Parade. The Lord Mayor's Parade is the Lord Mayor making his way up north of the River Thames, to swear his oath to the crown. This began in 1215 when King John let London choose its own mayor, but every year the mayor has to travel north of the Thames to swear his oath to the crown. It has grown so popular to see, it has turned into a parade. Below is a picture of some London guards, playing in a marching band.  

In the picture below, you can see the Lord Mayor's Carriage, and you might be able to see the Lord Mayor, popping his head out. You can also see the pikemen who guard the carriage. The carriage of the Lord Mayor is about 350 years old. In the parade, we saw many floats, marching bands, and policemen. This year, 2015, is very special because it is the 800th anniversary for the Lord Mayor's Parade.

For more detailed history, visit 
After the parade and a delicious lunch, we went up to the Museum of London. The London museum had many things about the history of London, especially Roman. What you can see below is part of the old Roman wall going around London. The big circular thing in the picture would've been something like a watchtower.

After the Museum of London, we went off to a walking tour, which was part of the Lord Mayor's Parade.
The tour was about Blackfriars, an area of central London. We saw a ton of stuff, including part of the Blackfriars Monastery, a large monastery in London. A monastery is a church building where monks live under religious vows.

We would say that our day out at the Lord Mayor's Parade was totally EXCELLENT!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Hi everyone! Recently we got back from a trip of a lifetime to Rome. We went all over the city and saw tons of cool stuff we can't wait to share with you. We first went to the Colosseum. Since everyone knows what the outside looks like, we included a picture of the lesser known inside area. In the center of the picture you can see an intricate network of underground tunnels, which held slaves, gladiators, and wild animals like lions, all awaiting their fate. Do you know how the Romans brought the animals to the stage level? I found the answer very interesting. The Romans actually used an elevator system powered by counterweights and run by slaves. The stage/ platform that gladiators fought on was held up by large wooden beams, right on top of the tunnel network.
Next to the Colosseum is the Arco di Constantino, or the Arch of Constantine. The arch was erected by the Roman Senate to celebrate Emperor Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. The arch of Constantine is unique because it is the only one of the arches in Rome to overly reuse sculptures from other monuments built in the past. The arch was also built next to Palatine Hill, one of the most well known of Rome's seven hills.
Whilst in Rome, we often walked by an overlooked but very interesting section of Roman ruins called Trajan's Forum. In the picture below you can see Trajan's Column, a monument to the Emperor Trajan's victories in the Dacian Wars. It was completed in AD 113. To right of Trajan's column, off of the picture, is the main part of Trajan's Forum. Trajan's Forum was a large extension to the already large Roman Forum, which had been added on to by many emperors. The most incredible part of his forum was Trajan's Market, a multi-story market with more than a hundred stalls. It is now considered the worlds first shopping mall!
In Rome our favorite thing of all to see was the Pantheon. The Pantheon was built by Emperor Hadrian and completed in 126 AD. The Pantheon is famous for having a the largest oculus, or hole, in the center of the dome. It was designed to have the same distance from the floor to the oculus, as from one side to another. Also, the Pantheon is one the best preserved ancient Roman buildings in the world, with polished multicolored marble decorating the inside. When it was built, the Pantheon was colored on the outside with beautiful metals like gold and bronze, but many people have pillaged and taken it off of it.
We also went to the Trevi Fountain in Rome. The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, and the largest fountain in Rome. It was designed by architect Nicola Salvi, and was completed in the year 1762. We learned a very interesting story about how there used to be a barbershop to the right of the fountain when it was being built. The owner despised the idea of the fountain, and was not on board with it. So the builders built a huge wave in front of the shop blocking the view. The barber shop then went out of business because they did not have a view of the beautiful fountain.
Overall, we'd say Rome was EXCELLENT!