Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

London, Day Three, Westminster Abbey

We began our day by sleeping in and visiting with our hosts at the Oaks Guest House.  It was so nice to take a walk to the underground and notice flowers and trees blooming.  It took us about seven minutes to walk from our B&B to the Southgate Underground Station.  Today was our day to tour Westminster Abbey, a historic working church with a daily cycle of prayer and worship.  How anyone manages any meaningful prayer time with tourists trapsinging around is beyond my comprehension.  The Abbey was founded in the 10th Century and operated as a Benedictine Monastery.  The Reformation of the 16th Century brought many changes and this monastery became a working Anglican Church, but remnants of the monastery are apparent everywhere.

      The Parliament Building, close up.
 Big Ben
 The Thames River and Westminister Bridge

 The Eye of London - we decided not to ride it. The wheel's 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules, designed and supplied by Poma, are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each of the 10-ton capsules represents one of the London Boroughs, and holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. The wheel rotates at 10 inch per second or 0.6 mph, so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. It does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level.
After our lunch in the Abbey Cafeteria, we toured the Abbey gardens.  
After lunch we walked along Whitehall Street, passed 10 Downing Street. the home of the Prime Minister, passed the Horse Guard's Parade, and dozens of monuments, including the "Women of World War II."  These guards never moved, but tourists moved in and out to have their pictures taken.  

Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square.  We didn't have much time to tour, but did step inside.  I noticed the floor covered with these beautiful mosaics, filled with great messages.

Rest and Be Thankful!

A nice visual use for old bicycles!

We walked up to Leicester Square and had fish and chips before walking a little more to Prince Edward Theater to see the Jersey Boys.  The energy of Frankie Valle and the 4 Seasons had everyone in the theatre tapping toes and reminiscing about the music from the 1960's.

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