30 June 1995

No chicken! Cereal for breakfast than Nick and I walked to the bus stop to the school. We waited for the rest of the group once there.

Once we got to the Abbey of St. Alban, we were briefed on its history.

In 209, a Roman named Alban was beheaded and became the first Christian Martyr. Legend has it that the executioner’s eyes fell out when the blade struck Alban.

In 793, King Offa established an Abbey and monastery at the execution site. Alban’s remains became a shrine. It stayed that way until Henry VII pillaged the Abbey and destroyed the monastery. A group raised £400 to buy it, but they were to poor to take care of it so the Abbey went to ruin.
The 1800’s was a rebirth for it when a Lord formed a committee to restore it. The shrine had escaped destruction by a pile of rubble.

The nave is the longest in the world able to seat over 1000. Three types of arches were, here. Now classified a cathedral, the bishop’s throne was carved from a solid piece of wood, the altar screen contains 76 beings. Much stained glass was to be found in the abbey. A 144 ft. bell tower, built from parts of the Verulamium ruins, was closed to us. The shrine had been cleaned. Ceilings were painted with care.

We walked to Verulamium.

Verulamio was a Celtic town conquered by the Romans in AD 43. They called it Verulamium. In AD 60, the city burnt to the ground but was completely rebuilt in 13 years. The city is one of the few that buried their dead.

Liz was at the school to pick Nathan and me up. Jonathan was ill with a fever and couldn’t lead us “home.” We dropped Nathan off and picked up Rachel and her friend Catherine. We headed “home.”

I noticed American influence in town. I joined an expedition to get hamburgers – beefburgers-. In the plaza was Burger King, Pizza Hut, and the smallest Toys–R-Us I’ve ever seen.

I spent the rest of the evening watching the news.


– eat about the same foods

– but –


– eat less beef and more green vegetables.


napkin = serviette

pickle = gherkin

rent = to let

potato chips = crisps

fries = chips

Future Ryan says: I think Wikipedia has me bested on the histories of both St. Albans Cathedral and Verulamium. However, an event that gets no mention in my journal was the camera trouble that struck me here. At St. Albans, I dropped my camera on stone steps, and the back door of the housing popped open, exposing the film to daylight! (Digital cameras are so much more reliable. Yay progress!) Mr. S____ was able to salvage my film by improvising a darkroom in his hotel room. Thanks, Mr. S____!

Thankfully the Cold Chicken Curse lifted when we exited London. But that was before we encountered Scottish food….


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