Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 3: My Trip to London and Ireland

Charming London street
My sister Lisa and I had planned all along that we would go to a West End (British version of Broadway) play while in London.  On Tuesday, we headed out to find a place where we could supposedly get a good deal on tickets.  That done, it was on to more sightseeing.

Westminster Abbey

Our agenda for the day was Westminster Abbey, Churchill's underground bunker, and Buckingham Palace.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey was another site that had been on my bucket list forever, and it didn't disappoint. We were given a gadget to listen to a guided tour of the facility.  Again, because it is a church, we weren't allowed to take pictures.  Sometimes that's a good thing.  You're able to completely be in the moment and not be preoccupied with photo opportunities.

The abbey is a place that's rich in history.  Since 1066, British monarchs have been crowned here. Prince William and Kate Middleton were married here. Princess Diana's body lay in state here.  Over three thousand people are buried here, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, George Frederick Handel, Sir Isaac Newton, and many, many more.

Words can't express how awe-inspiring this place was.

I did take some pictures in the outer courtyards of the building, and as no one stopped me it was apparently acceptable.

One of the oldest doors in Europe...ordered built by Edward the Confessor in  the 1000s

A lovely courtyard at Westminster Abbey



Churchill's War Rooms

From Westminster Abbey we made our way to Churchill's War Rooms,  the underground bunker where the famous prime minister and his staff stayed during intense bombings of London during World War 2.

While I found it fascinating, about halfway through the tour, my claustrophia kicked into high gear.  Anyone who suffers from similar phobias will understand how intensely I wanted to get out of the place and back into daylight!  This actually gave me empathy for the people who had to live in this small, stuffy space.

I was so glad to walk out of that place and back into fresh air!

St. James Park & Buckingham Palace

We decided to walk to Buckingham Palace, and our walk took us through the lovely St. James Park.
Lisa and I were charmed by this park, which included the picturesque Birdkeeper's Cottage.

Birdkeeper's Cottage at St James Park

Buckingham Palace was everything we expected it to be, and it was thrilling to see yet another place where so much history had taken place.

We opted not to take an indoor tour of some of the rooms, opting instead to enjoy the iconic landscaping and gates.

In front of Buckingham Palace.  I only bought one article of clothing in London...this top from Marks & Spencer.  It's become one of my favorites! And despite the fact that it looks like I'm matching everything in the picture, there is no filter on it.


At some point, Lisa and I had a tasty lunch at a charming Italian restaurant on Haymarket Street called the Spaghetti House.. We had Italian twice on our trip, once in London and once in Dublin, and found it measured up quite well to the Italian food we were used to in the States.

After a day of much walking and sightseeing, we headed to our hotel room to get ready for Les Miserables!



Both Lisa and I had seen Les Mis previously, but we really enjoyed our West End experience of one of our very favorite musicals.  What a wonderful way to cap off our next to the last day in London!

To be continued

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