Today’s trek took a longer time because we missed the first bus. However, we were able to get a lot of sightseeing accomplished. We started at one of the oldest churches in England, All Hallows. It is right between the Tower of London and a developed business complex.
We then entered the Tower of London and walked around the diverse complex. Since it was first built following the conquest of the Normans but has had renovations up until today, there is an interesting mixture. We walked through old chapel rooms, bedrooms and prison cells. We walked along cobblestone pathways and by archery stations upon the wall. The Bloody Tour was not like I expected and I am thankful I was allowed to leave.
The crowning exhibit of the whole place was the Royal Jewels. It was amazing to see how much is involved. Case after case of gold, silver, diamonds, and precious stones were displayed. I have never seen so much wealth in one place. It was not so much the number of diamonds or weight of gold which catches one’s attention, but their placement. Crowns studded with row after row of these valuable minerals create an impressive piece of royal art.
From London Tower we moved to Tower Bridge and took a tour through one of the most famous bridges of the world.
Along the south of the Thames we saw Churchill’s Britain at War exhibition (not quite Hogan’s Heroes style), a replica of Sir Frances Drake’s boat,
Shakespeare’s Globe theatre
(I think my acting career was “not to be”)
and London Bridge (which was still standing when we got there).
Our final big stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral. This was probably the most amazing piece of architecture I have personally seen. There are many amazing structures which I have walked through but this was incredible! It was built by Wren following the great fire of London in 1666. Because of it’s survival of the Blitz during the second World War it was actually celebrated in their Evensong that afternoon.
The Cathedral stands 365 feet to the top (not very high when you read about it, but incredibly high when you walk the 550+ steps to the second dome and survey London below).
It has two domes, the lower one a huge dome, decorated beautifully and able to be seen by the church visitor. The second dome is placed above this one so that all the city can see the imposing cathedral. We climbed up and saw the city light below, shimmering in the fog. It was amazing. Following our tour we attended Evensong and then caught the Tube to Covent Garden. Throngs of people greeted us at the station entrance and we waded through the fog through the rambling streets. We ended our trip with the normal Tube, train, bus, bus, walk.
We run everything we saw past Martin and Jennifer who fill in the gaps and expand on the stories.
We slept well after all that walking!
(Crystal in front of the Tower of London and the Medieval Skating Rink)
On the road