England

The Battle of Britain

BBPH62

For four months, I studied abroad in London, England. These notes are select entries from my experiences in the United Kingdom and Western Europe from that time.

Friday, September 11 –

I woke up at about 6:30 a.m. for a group trip today. I took a shower and went downstairs to grab some cereal with some of my buddies before we left for the Gloucester Road tube station 7:30 a.m. We took the Piccadilly line to Victoria station and walked to the Victoria Coach station. Our coach left for Cambridge at 9 a.m. and arrived there a little after 10:30 a.m. Once in Cambridge, we awaited another bus that carried us to RAF Duxford.

imperial-war-museum-duxford

An SR-71 Blackbird — fastest plane ever built

No longer active as an RAF base, Duxford is the UK’s premier aviation museum, and also hosts one of the finest collections of tanks, military vehicles and naval exhibits in the country. It is one of five branches of the Imperial War Museum collection. I saw nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and minor naval vessels. Most impressive was a reconstruction of the 1940 flight control center for RAF fighters in the Battle of Britain.

Another highlight was touring an older British Airways Concourde on the facilities. One interesting observation was how little headroom there was in the passenger compartment. It is a jet after all, and the retractable nose was amazing technology way ahead of it’s time for supersonic flight.

Concorde_001_(G-AXDN),_Imperial_War_Museum_Duxford_Hangar_1,_Showbus_2004

My one time on a British Airways Concorde

After watching some old Lancasters and Spitfires taking off from the old airstrip, I left the museum at around 2 p.m. I went back by bus to Cambridge where I explored for a few hours before our 6 p.m. coach back to London. I checked out some of the interesting local bookstores and bought a Roman coin in a local shop for about 5 quid. I told one of my friends I found the coin in a field and she believed me before I told her the truth. I met up with Dr. Marler, Jenny and Kathy and we went to a café for a late lunch, where I had some hot chocolate, a sausage pastry and a piece of carrot cake.

Upon arrival back in London, I grabbed some supper off Gloucester Road and went to my room to read before going to bed about midnight.

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