Saturday, December 10, 2005

Day 18: Westminster Abbey and more

I had good reason not to post yesterday. I barely had a free moment, I was having so much fun. And I’ll have to condense this one, too.

I started by going to Westminster Abbey. On good advice, I took the verger tour. I recommend it as well. You get to be right by the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor for one thing. Other visitors can’t do that.

Some of many graves in the Abbey were the highlights for me: Elizabeth I and Bloody Mary buried in the same tomb; the spot where Oliver Cromwell was buried before he was dug up and treated rather nastily. I was most moved by the places where Edward VI and Handel are buried. Edward VI’s place is very easy to miss and without the verger tour I probably would have missed it – beneath the altar in the lady chapel.

Charles Darwin is buried in the Abbey, too, by the way.

When I left about 1pm, the line to get in was long. I’d hate to see what it’s like during peak tourist season.

I then walked up to Downing Street. While I was there, someone Terribly Important was ushered through the iron gates. I could tell he/she was Terribly Important because they had a press conference before #10 and were driven in with three cars. More cars and it would be Frightfully Important.

I continued to Trafalgar Square where I caught the end of one of the famous lunchtime concerts in St. Martin-in-the-Fields church. After gawking at a silly new unisex statue in the Square, I walked through St. James Park back to the hotel. Quite a nice walk. Then I rested a bit and did more, but I want to get this day started. So that’s enough posting for now.

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