Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament, Clock Tower, Buckingham Palace and the V&A

Word Count: about 350
Reading Time: about 2 minutes

Westminster Abbey is, in large part, a huge crypt. Hundreds of people are buried there: Kings, Queens, their children, famous writers, composers, musicians, politicians...Everywhere you look or step, you read the words "Here lies..." Under the floor, in a sarcophagus, the bones of the deceased are all around.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Poet's Corner was my favorite spot of the Abbey. There's a large memorial there to Shakespeare and one for Handel across the way. Under the floor rest the bodies of Chaucer, Tennyson, Dickens, Browning, Kipling and dozens of others.

The heads of the crowds waiting to get in

The size of the throng in the area surprised me. There were so many people that it was difficult to stay on the designated walkways. But all of us were well-behaved, orderly and there was no problem until I lost Paige. After ten or fifteen minutes of searching, I went back to the spot where I'd last seen her, and there she was. Crisis over. What a relief!

Clock Tower

 Next, we walked past the nearby House of Parliament and the Clock Tower. My friend, Robin, would want you to know that Big Ben is the name of the bell and not the name of the clock or the tower.

Standing on Westminster Bridge

House of Parliament

We crossed the Westminster Bridge over the lovely Thames and took some photos. Then we found a small Italian restaurant and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. There is no other pace available. Afterward, we were back over the congested bridge, and down the very long Bird Cage Walk to Buckingham Palace.

The Thames from Westminster Bridge

Buckingham Palace

From Buckingham Palace we found a taxi to the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is known in London as the V&A, I guess. Paige made me nervous when we hopped in the cab and she said, "the V&A, please," but sure enough, we arrived at the right spot.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Skype is like gold sometimes. I was so thankful we had internet in our room. That night, and most nights, I was able to Skype Mark and hear his voice. Sally, too. My parents don't have the internet, but I could call my mom on the phone using Skype and she loved the updates.

If you'd like to enter the end-of-the-month drawing for the free London-related gift, simply leave a comment. Thank you for reading.

Next post: Harrod's of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Underground


The Prude said...

I just realized all the blue sky in the photos! No London fog!
I love your description of Westminster Abbey as a huge crypt. Somehow, that isn't creepy at all.
Wonderful post- and I love how you changed the image at the top! This blog is a visual as well as a verbal delight!

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Your photos are beautiful! I'm curious as to why the crowds surprised you.
When you speak of Poet's Corner, I get a sense of being on hallowed ground.

Lori said...

Prude--Rain was forecast almost everyday of our trip, but we were thankful to get some blue sky, too. Photographer Paige had us standing outside, waiting for the sun to peek from behind clouds on many occasions. At the Eiffel tower, we found a bench and watched for sun for about 30 minutes. She reminded me of a farmer looking for rain.

Lori said...

Robin--What I meant was that the size of the crowd all around Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament surprised me. It's a large area, but there were so many visitors it became difficult to maneuver.

stephseef said...

Westminster was my favorite part of London, no doubt. Spent all day there, with the recorder thing... then went back that evening for evensong. It was transcendent. I felt very much as though I had found my heart's home. Thanks for prompting great memories!

Lori said...

Steph--I didn't know you'd been to London! The atmosphere at Westminster Abbey was lovely as you say. How wonderful you were able to spend a whole day there. The recorder-like tour guide thing was marvelous.