Wednesday, September 28, 2011

England/France - Day 3

We woke up the next morning to a beautiful blue sky!
This guard was falling asleep.  He eventually turned around and marched away.
Streets of London.
These traditional red phone booths were everywhere!
Westminster Abbey - site of the coronation of kings and queens since William the Conqueror in 1066 all the way to the current Queen Elizabeth; resting place of Elizabeth I, Edward the Confessor and many other royal men and women and also where Princess Diana's funeral was held.  We were able to see the coronation chair (which is behind glass under restoration) that has been used since King Edward I in 1300.  Up until 1996 the Stone of Scone (legend has it that Jacob/Israel rested his head on this stone) rested underneath the chair.

We then walked the Mall towards Buckingham Palace.  Here are the guards preparing for the Changing of the Guards.  They are standing in front of the Guards' Museum.
We could not believe the crowds in front of the Palace!  We couldn't really get close enough to see anything.
The Changing of the Guards starts with a parade of sorts.  First comes the band.
And then the guards come marching with their machine guns and bayonets.

Then came the horse guards.  We couldn't actually see any of the ceremony so we wandered through the park on our way to river Thames.
We saw some very interesting birds.
Wes and Big Ben.  We learned that Big Ben is the name of the bell - not the clock.
We took a river cruise to see the sites.
Poppy just being her cute self.
A peek at St. Paul's cathedral.

We picked up some shawarmas and falafel at LebanEats.
On the steps of St. Paul's - the cathedral where the royal weddings take place (and "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins).
Self-disinfecting public toilets - I actually never used them.

What would we have done without James, Wes and google maps?!
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the British Museum.

We spent most of our time in the exhibits from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.  This cuneiform tablet dates back to 1700 BC and describes how the gods sent a flood to destroy the world.  Hmmm.
This Egyptian man dates back to 3400 BC.  Yep - you read that correctly - 3400 BC!  And we thought the buildings we were seeing in London dating back to the 1200s were old!  His amazing preservation is due to the harsh desert climate of that region.
This Egyptian woman was mummified around 600 BC.

Mummified cats.
Many of the sarcophagi have been left unopened.  But CAT scans have revealed human remains inside.
This trinket made of pure gold is about the size of a quarter.
After the museum we went back to Covent Garden for a yummy Italian dinner.  Wes and I hurried to the Haymarket Theater for the evening performance of The Tempest with none other than...Ralph Fiennes!  Oh my - it was brilliant!
Another wonderful day in London!

1 comment:

Anna said...

I am just eating this up. Seriously.