Grand Tour travel blog

Has anyone seen my husband? Apparently I have one and I've misplaced...

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral

Westminster Abbey

Wedding souvenirs for sale in all the shops

Big Ben getting a facelift


Tube station

Trafalger Square

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

The London Times was left outside my door this morning so I could see how the Brits tell the news compared to the U.S. Seems one is either Mr. or Mrs here. There is no alternative...

The Story of My Tube Stations: Bond Street to St. Paul's (and a tour of the Cathedral) to Bank (with a lot of walking underground to the transfer station at Monument) to St. James Park so I could spend some time outdoors walking to Westminster Abbey (and a tour), then a walk from Parliament to Trafalger Square, then to the National Gallery to commune with art after communing with a lot of dead people at the Cathedrals. Then... Charing Cross to transfer at Oxford Circus to Marble Arch and a walk back to my apartment. After an hour rest I was back out for a walk in Hyde Park, while enjoying a latte and the spring flowers in bloom. As I write this I've walked 10.5 miles today (18,377 steps) and completed 42 flights of stairs - mostly in the Tube stations, I think. I am tired.

I loved seeing the two Cathedrals and used the audio tour in each one so I could explore at my own pace. Just as the audio was telling us that at various times during the day a priest in Westminster Abbey will offer a prayer in front of the high altar, one ascended the pulpit and did just that! It was a lovely moment in such a beautiful place, both spiritually and architecturally.

I can't begin to remember all of the names and dates thrown my way today, but I appreciate the history that is memorialized in such beautiful places, especially the Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey. After I finished the Abbey tour I had lunch in the cafe there. Well, I had part of my lunch. My salad and beverage were delivered, along with a glass of water. Then the sever vanished and I never got my entree. After a long time waiting, which included the priest mentioned above ordering and finishing his lunch at the table next to mine, I motioned for another server and shared my sad story. She was so gracious and rang up my bill for the salad only, comping my beverage. At that point I went back to the Abbey shop and spent more money!

Parliament and Big Ben are undergoing major cosmetic surgery at this point in their lives so they aren't very pretty too look at, but I can say I saw them. Time constraints kept me from crossing over the Thames and riding the London Eye... as did my penchant for motion sickness!

Inside the National Gallery I saw all of the Impressionists exhibit and a bit of some others. This is a place I need to return to on another trip. I'm calling this my "tip of the iceberg" tour of London since I only have two days here before I return to Paris and meet up with others.

The weather was wonderful today - mostly clear skies with a bit of clouds, but very temperate and no rain.

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