Our time in London is (sadly) coming to a close. I really feel that I could spend a lot longer - there is so much to see and do in this incredible place! This week we have gorged ourselves on England's richest historical places.
Westminster Abbey was amazing. Jess, this is where Elizabeth I and her half-sister 'Bloody Mary' are buried. It's also where Mary Queen of Scots and a dozen other uber-famous people are laid to rest. The Abbey contains monuments to a number of well-known classical authors, including Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
It is also the site of the famous Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photography was prohibited, as it always is in churches, but I have looked up a picture of this monument because I was particularly moved by it. Click on the image to read the inscription...
We have also been to the "New Zealand Memorial" at Hyde Park corner. It was adorned with poppies leftover from Anzac day, and for a brief moment I felt the stirrings of patriotism as I stood beside it. The "Australian Memorial" was just a wee bit cooler, but hey, who's comparing?
We also visited the British Museum (site of the real Rosetta stone, which I thought I had seen in Egypt) and the Tower of London. Our tour guide at the tower was so hilarious - he kept cracking stupid jokes such as "let's head off" (eyerolls) and scaring people by suddenly yelling at them. But we had a lot of fun and actually learnt a lot as well. Here's a picture of me on the Tower Green - the site where Anne Boleyn was beheaded.
London is a strangely familiar place. Coming from Europe, we have noticed a number of similarities to home that make us just a little more comfortable here. Obviously, it's pretty nice to be able to speak English. But it's also comforting to find the traffic on the left-hand side of the road, and even (crazy as it seems) to be able to tell by looking whether a switch is on or off.
Using the London Tube (subway) gives me a weird feeling of deja vu, too - and then I realise that it's because I'm ambling across a Monopoly board. In the last few days we have stopped at Piccadilly Circus, Park Lane, Pall Mall, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square.
There are also a number of sites that invariably trigger movie-quotes and show-tunes (I have been absolutely incorrigible, apparently). Really, though, who can go to St Paul's without whistling "Feed The Birds" or Fleet Street without "The Worst Pies in London"? (One barber-shop there, but it seemed fairly harmless).
Here we are on the steps of St Pauls. It's not early in the day, and we couldn't find a bird-woman (or even a bird) to pose for us, but hey, you can't have everything.
Tomorrow our train leaves from Kings Cross Station, where there is (reportedly) NO platform 9 3/4. So disappointing... In researching train times I came across an article stating that, for some time, a special division of St John's was established to aid wannabe wizards who had injured themselves running into the station wall. Rings with truth, doesn't it? Would be funny, though... ;-)
Next time I write, we'll be in York (2 hours North by train).
Bye for now! :-)