Day in London
Yesterday, Wednesday June 20, I took the train into London for my first visit of the city. I have been through Gatwick Airport a few times, but I have never visited the city to see the sights. Rail travel in this country is extremely easy and economical. For £18.50 I got a pass for the round trip to the city as well as all underground trains and or buses I wanted to us. I actually ended up using five or six underground trains to get around. (Left is Big Ben at the House of Parliament and right is Victoria Station, a main national train station.)
I started at Trafalgar Square. From here I followed Whitehall Street toward Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament. Along the way I saw the changing of the horse guard, looked down Downing Street through the gate, and passed the government building referred to on some maps as Westminster Palace.
I eventually arrived at the House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey (which I was too cheap to enter since it would have cost me around $20.) I did go into St. Margaret Church which is the church of the House of Commons next to the Abbey. Of course, these are all Anglican Churches although that would often be hard to tell by looking at them.
I then walked down Victoria Street and came to Westminster Cathedral which is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the London. By this time I was getting hungry so I started looking for a place to have lunch. I purposely avoided McDonald's and Burger King and tried some local fare. Along the way I took a picture of a busy little side street which are somewhat common in the city.
After lunch I walk to Buckingham Palace. The walk took me passed a good deal of support building and galleries but then I got to the open area in front of the palace and looked down The Mall which is a very wide street running through Saint James Park ending back at Trafalgar Square. (The gate at the end of the street is pictured on the right.)
Although I was getting fairly tired by this time I hooped the underground to make my way to the east of the city to see the Tower of London and Tower bridge. I ran out of energy before I found the Tower of London but I did come across All Hallows Church where the bodies of Saints Thmas More and John Fisher were received after their executions by Henry VIII. It is also the church where William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was baptized and John Quincy Adams was married while Ambassador to the Court of Saint James.
This evening we have the conferring of diplomas and certificates at Evening Prayer followed by a BBQ and "Barn Dance." Tomorrow noon we have the closing Mass and banquet for the year. I will be returning to the States on Monday. It's been a full four weeks!