Sunday, July 3, 2016

June 14

  1. A quick walk in Hyde Park past the Prince Albert Memorial
  2. Smelling an old boot that has been up Mount Everest
  3. Cream Tea...again
All the Details:
Royal Geographical Society

Our visit to the Royal Geographical Society was unique because we did not see book stacks or tour the library rooms. Instead we had the opportunity to learn about some of the items collected by the society from early exploration. The archive collects books, objects, images, and writings from and about world exploration. These materials are used in exhibits and academic study. The Principle Librarian, Eugene Rae, told us the stories of the objects and the adventurers that they came from. We were able to see objects, maps, and images of Arctic exploration done while explorers were looking for the Northwest Passage. Mr. Rae was able to show us maps and charts from the expeditions that travelled by boat through the Arctic. It was extremely interesting to see how maps have been changed and updated with modern technology. Some of the older maps include land masses that are so incorrect, it becomes obvious that the unknown portions were just filled in using the map maker’s imagination. We also saw material from exploration of central Africa, specifically the search for the source of the Nile. The stories of this type of discovery are amazing because we have become so reliant on modern mapping and GPS that we forget that there was a time when these technologies didn’t exist. No one could open a map and trust that is was 100% accurate, they had to walk the land to determine what was real. Along with these items, we also looked at objects and writings from Scott, Shackleton, and Amundson’s discoveries and travels in Antarctica. One of the most fascinating things about Shackleton’s voyage is that the crew brought a printing press along with them and printing poems and stories of their journey. All the stories and explanations were very detailed and interesting.
Artifacts from Mount Everest expeditions
I thought that some of the most captivating objects, were those that came from the climbing of Mount Everest. We saw a climbing boot from George Mallory’s 1924 ascent, and heard the story of the suspicion that he may have been the first to summit the mountain. However, this theory cannot be proven because the camera from the expedition was not recovered, and both Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine died during the climb. There were also artifacts from the successful attempt by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay. It was a great experience to be able to see and hear about each of these amazing explorers.
After the Royal Geographical Society, we headed out to find cream tea. At this point tea and scones have become a necessary part of the day. We also went out for dinner later that night to discuss our research papers with our professors. We went to one of our favorite local places, called Bill's. They have huge pots of tea and wonderful, fresh food!
Cream Tea

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