Here we are at the end of our second beautiful sunny day in jolly old England. What an incredible city! I don't think I would want to live here though, hundreds of people, traffic, etc., but the history is amazing. Today we set out on the tube to Westminster and then went to visit the Abbey. This was quite interesting and we did the audio tour which gave us a tremendous amount of history. The
coronation chair was neat because we had recently seen the film "The Stone of Destiny" (if you haven't seen this one, it is worth renting) and underneath the chair was where this stone was kept, except that right now it is empty because the stone is in Scotland and it only returns to England when a new monarch is crowned. We finished at Westminster Abbey around noon in time to hear Big Ben chime 12 times. We then walked (for miles it seemed) along the South Bank, stopped for lunch at McDonald's for a Happy Meal (no kidding!!) and thencontinued on our way. Andrew stopped at a book market, opened one, I repeat one book, long enough for a photo op and then we continued on our way. I think he realized that there was just too much to see to stop and look at books!
We then came across a graffiti skate park - I have pictures, Sarah - really cool. I will try and put one in here. Next we arrived at Tate Modern, a monster art gallery (Heather you would have probably spent hours here), but we really didn't want to spend a lot of time. We viewed a few Picasso's and Monet's Water-Lilies - very impressive. There were a few school classes there having their art lesson - talk about hands on! From there we continued on to the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre - a thatched roof replica of the original, close to the site where Shakespeare himself put on his plays. We chose not to attend "As You Like It" as we were anxious to get to St. Paul's Cathedral and this was likely a good choice as St. Paul's tour took a wee bit longer than we expected.
We walked across the Millenium Bridge, over the Thames, and that put us directly in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. We ended up having a guided tour, which was well worth the 3 pounds. She took us down to the bottom of the Clock Tower and proceeded to give us a very interesting lesson on the history. Anna, this is where they filmed some of the Harry Potter films and yes, we have pictures. I am going to try and figure out how to get some folders of these pictures on facebook, but you know me and computers!!! Anyway, the tour of St. Paul's has been the highlight so far of our trip - we couldn't take photos inside, but we have some shots from the dome (which we climbed a gabillion stairs to get to!!). I think Andrew is trying to wear out my knees!!
From St. Paul's we continued on, by double decker bus, to Trafalgar Square, which was really neat but quite a bit slower than the underground. We then headed on foot to a ticket kiosk to see if we could get tickets to see the matinee of "Les Miserables" tomorrow and were able to get two very good seats at the Queen's Theatre, so that is very exciting and we are really looking forward to that experience. We then stumbled upon Chinatown (kinda sketchy!) and ate a buffet there - not bad, but I am used to Canadian Chinese food and this was really authentic, but it was a decent price, so we went for it. That was basically the end of our day, did a little shopping, saw Picadilly Circus and then descended into the bowels of the earth to get the tube back to our hotel. We will likely hit the sack fairly early - we did a ton of walking today and are rather tired. London is certainly a city steeped in rich history and somehow I feel connected to that, maybe because we are a part of the Commonwealth?
This is just an indication of the number of people that are present in this city on a Tuesday in the middle of the afternoon!!