Are you hankering for some anecdotes? Goodness, I don’t know where to start. If I start at the beginning, you’ll be confronted with a boring story (though it was anything but boring at the time) about a knot of travel snags that were more or less untied within the first couple days. Instead, I can spread this into two or more blog posts and write a paragraph about interesting things we did, centered around our itinerary.
Laden with jetlag (which was just extreme weariness), my friend Laura and I walked to Westminster Abbey for Evensong at 5:00 pm Thursday, September 4, the day of our arrival. That part of London—Westminster—around the Parliament buildings and Buckingham Palace, is the most picturesque section we saw. Many of the buildings are very old but in excellent shape, and big trees, little gardens, and flowerpots add life and friendliness. The air, thanks to a breeze, was cool and fresh for London. Though we were in a flood of people, and the sidewalks (or “pavement”) never seemed wide enough for all of us to walk comfortably between the lovely buildings and the noisy, frantic street, it created an exciting and novel atmosphere that I enjoyed.
After Evensong, we had enough daylight to stride by the Parliament buildings and hear Big Ben dong above our heads, spot the London Eye, amble through St. James’s Park (a breath of coolness and green, natural perfection … we could have stayed there ages!) and past the rear side of Buckingham Palace (seeing some members of the royal guard), before finding our way back to our hotel. (Note: never go anywhere unfamiliar to you without a map, unless the only thing you have on your agenda is to be pleasantly lost. Maps were our best friends!)
|Sculptures at the V&A|
The historical costumes on display made me eager for what we would see on our tour (the Sense and Sensibility historical costume tour). We left London Saturday morning, with our new friends who were also going on the tour, to enjoy Oxford for twenty-four hours before meeting the rest of the group in Manchester on Sunday.
After the tour, Laura and I and several other tour members returned to London. Our Sunday and Monday, September 14 and 15, consisted of taking photos for friends of the Tardis (the blue vintage police call box Dr. Who fans know), trekking to Harrods only to discover it was closed, stopping at the Sherlock Holmes Museum giftshop, wearing ourselves out walking around the City of London to see Leadenhall Market, the Gherkin, the Tower of London, the Thames, Tower Bridge, Southwark Cathedral, the Globe Theatre, the Millennium Footbridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, where we bookended our trip with Evensong at 5:00.
|Tower of London|
|St. Paul's Cathedral|
|Inside the Baker Street tube station|
At the risk of going on too long, I should stop for now. Truthfully, I loved the trip so much I could write a book about my experiences, but hopefully these blog posts will be just the thing to give you a taste of what it was like! Do you have any questions or remarks about what I did in London?