Thursday, July 4, 2013

London 3: new hostel, Tower of London, St. Paul's redux, and Big Ben

So today, I moved to a hostel. I was meeting friends there, and the proprietor gave me tea while I waited.


View out the window




My new bed!


After locking our things in our rooms, we took the tube down to the Tower.






We walked around the perimeter, but decided against going in- it was overly crowded and tickets seemed overpriced. Instead we read the historical plaques and looked at the outside.

Then we walked down to Tower Bridge.

 
And then onto the bridge itself.








From Tower Bridge, we walked to...



 
The Monument, commemorating the 1666 Fire of London! 


From the Monument, we journeyed to...


St. Paul's Cathedral! Redux!



This time the cathedral was open to visitors, and we got to go in. Admission was normally 17 pounds, but we all had our student IDs and could get student discounts so our fare was 3 pounds less. Photography was forbidden, so I have no photos of the interior.  
Paying to enter the cathedral was worth it. Adorned with intricate mosaics, the interior of the dome and nave is visually breathtaking. We went up to the Whispering Gallery, and as a concert was occurring in the nave at that time, the acoustics were wonderful. A visit to the crypt was also engaging, as we saw both the caskets of Wellington and Nelson, and blackened, broken effigies that survived the 1666 fire. 

With the fare, we received free audio tours of the cathedral and crypt. The tours explained the symbolism behind much of the decoration, restoration processes, the history of the people who were buried there, and the history of the church itself. One of the best informational tracks on the audio tour described the history of St. Paul's during the Blitz. It served as a target for incendiary bombs and part of the nave was destroyed, plummeting all the way into the crypt. Throughout the bombing, the dome held, serving as a symbol of hope to the people of London.

From St. Paul's, we took the tube to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.




Big Ben was the first thing we saw, when we left the tube.


Me and Big Ben 



Houses of Parliament

I spotted a fair number of statues on our way to see Westminster Abbey.

 

Churchill statue


Cromwell



Emmiline Pankhurst, suffragist

Westminster Abbey was closed to visitors, but we could walk around it.

  
We did so, and enjoyed examining the intricate brickwork.

Lintel of the door


Mother and child detail


Gargoyle


I

Spotted: the London eye on our way back to the tube station. 


Spotted: Boudicca statue on our way to the London eye!


Me with the London Eye!


Me with Boudicca!


A dramatic Boudicca shot.


We went to Trafalgar Square, to take in the Impressionist wing. I enjoyed input just as much,if not more, on the second go round. 



We had tea in the crypt of St Martin- in - the Fields afterwards, and just in time too, since we got there at 5:45 and they stopped serving tea at 6.


Picture by one of the lions! Tried to climb up, it was too slippery for me!

We headed to Baker Street to check out an Indian restaurant that urbanspoon recommended. 

Saw a statue of Sherlock Holmes on the way and had to take a picture with the Great Detective!




Naan!



And I forgot the name of this dish, unfortunately, but it was very good:moderately spicy, with a few green peppers. The waiter recommended it to me when he heard that I enjoy spicy food, since it was spicy, yet not the spiciest number on the menu.

We had an excellent meal, to complete an excellent day!













 














4 comments:

  1. Tres chic! What a great tour! And the bed ~ not a bunkie, you'll sleep better. Oh, the sights! I just finished reading the tragic "The Children of Westminster Abbey" so it was neat to see those recent pictures. I noticed you didn't write, "Big Ben, Parliament" (How very lowbrow of me...). Looking forward to tomorrow's post!

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  2. What an awesome looking day! :D All of those sights you visited look really awesome(Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, Sherlock Holmes, etc). :D Plus, that naan bread looked really good(I really love that kind of bread).

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  3. :D Cool! Now I want British tea! XD

    ~Misty

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  4. Way cool! Any weeping angels?

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