Tuesday, February 27, 2007

DAY THREE

Another two hour bus ride--the only draw back to staying in the beautiful country Hotel. Our new hotel was on Park Lane in downtown London, equally as fancy. We were right next to Hyde Park. A popular place for people wishing to protest or make themselves heard. Several of the early church missionaries spoke from this area in Hyde Park known as Speaker's Corner. While we were there, groups were protesting the War in Iraq. In fact if you look in your February Ensign, the back cover page is a painting of President Hinckley teaching from Hyde Park.
The Tube took us to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Absolutely amazing architecture. The we crossed over the river and saw an amazing view and then as we were crossing back, the heavens opened and it down-poured on us.

It was quite the storm. Secretly, I was a little grateful because when it stopped (none of the rainstorms lasted very long--it did rain or sprinkle everyday) the skies were the most amazing shades of gray & blue. The lighting was everything a photographer can hope for. I was in heaven. We were not able to go inside the Houses of Parliament and so we worked our way over to Westminster Abbey. Upon arrival though, we found that Westminster was closed. Disappointing. They were having a special day for the Boy Scouts, so we weren't allowed in. In my imagination ... it was pretty amazing!

Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs and other "important" people, including: Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, and the list goes on.

We took a long walk through the park to get to Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the queen. She actually lives here and then travels to the other places such as Windsor Castle for weekends, etc. And yes--those are daffodils, they made me smile too. The queen's guards are dressed in long gray coats with big black hats, I didn't have any close-ups on my camera, but if you look closely you can see him off to the right of the door.


We walked to the British Museum. Outstanding architecture again, particularly the design of the ceiling. It was perfect for a museum. The natural light was pouring in everywhere. There was also a reading room that was breathtaking. We only had time for one exhibit and we were exhausted by this point. We had walked all over the city. We stopped in the Egyptian room where they had all of the mummies and artifacts. It was fabulous, and very crowded. The picture immediately below is used for ceremonies with horses. I didn't really read the posting, but I know it was definitely for horses! The two below that are the museum.

We got back to the hotel in time to pick up our rental car. This turned out to be a very lengthy and exhausting pick-up. We ended up driving off in our own little black Fiat Panda. I can tell you this much, it is really weird to sit in the left side of the car as a passenger and not have control of the wheel. I can't tell you how many times I tried to get in the wrong side of the car. Even when Sara was already in the car, I would think, what is she doing? Some things are programed deep into your brain ... everyone should drive on the same side of the road!

That evening we went to dinner (fish & chips) and the theatre. We saw Mamma Mia. We rode the double-decker bus back to our hotel. It was a great day.

1 comment:

Darnell, Amy, Kymora, and Bo said...

Sir Issac Newton huh? Thats the guy who invented Fig Newtons, right? haha