Day 3 – March 3rd, 2015 – London
Today I was set free to be on my own as Shamsa was unable to come with me due to work related business. I bravely set off for a quick morning of adventure prior to Leah’s arrival.
I began my day from Westminster station where I was able to see the Parliament buildings (rather grand!), as well as Westminster Abbey and another beautiful adjoining church, which had free entry. Westminster Abbey actually charges a whopping 20£ for entry! As a rather non-denominational person, I was just not into paying that fee so early in my trip for what would likely be a rather short visit so did a few selfies outside then continued.
I motored along towards St James Park en route to Buckingham Palace. It was another beautiful clear sunny day, but cool with the wind gusting strongly, so I enjoyed my walk and the various birds along the way. I came up to the side of the park where everything was metal gated off and some horses and riders decked out in full regalia were assembling. As they were taking quite a while to prepare and I had to get on with my morning, I continued on.
I was a bit disoriented and somewhat unsure about the major police presence and metal barriers, so I bit the bullet and asked a copper standing around to help orient me and what was that building there. He somewhat laughingly informed me that “that’s the Queen’s house” and it was so different that day because the Queen was receiving the Mexican president. I did not have time to stay and see the so after a few pics, I carried on through Green Park to Hyde Park corner with many stunning war memorials.
I caught the tube back home in anticipation of Leah’s arrival and lo and behold, there she was! What are the odds of running into her right at that time during her transfer hey?! It was really great to meet up!
Once we got back to Shamsa’s and Leah had the chance to freshen up, we headed out to the Tower of London. Once again,the staggering fact of the age of these places and the people whose footsteps had been there before hit me. Having always loved ghost stories and medieval times, this place was truly interesting. The sad part for me was actually that they now keep the ravens caged in an enclosure not big enough for them to properly fly around. The live sound effects come at a price…
Having refueled on some awful Pike Place roast, (I swear if it weren’t for my gold card, I’d hate Starbucks), we carried on with a walk down the banks of the Thames to the Millenium bridge. It apparently used to be a little bit wobbly, earning it the title, “the wobbly bridge”, which it was not, so they must have installed reinforcements. Just over the bridge is The Globe theatre, which I was very keen on seeing. Sadly, it is only open for guided tours at set times, so because of our schedule,we were unable to go in. Next time!
From there, we returned over the bridge to visit St Paul’s cathedral. What a grand building. With no time to stay for evensong before our show, we headed along to Soho for a wee bit of food. The amazing Bibimbap Soho didn’t open til 6pm, so we did a bit of shopping in the cute, tiny shop on the corner just across from it. They have super cute stuff, some of which the owner personally makes! With my shopping fix satisfied, we satisfied our Korean craving with some delish kimchi jeon and dolsot bibimbap. This teeny restaurant opened slightly before its scheduled 6pm opening and was full up by 6:05! The food was great, but someone needs to post a note for foreigners letting them know that bibimbap is meant to be eaten with a spoon….not chopsticks….although amusing to watch!
With our bellies full, we made it to our evenings entertainment, The Book of Mormon. Living in a community of polygamist fundamentalist Mormons, I thought this would be especially enjoyable, and boy was it ever! We laughed and laughed and yet the underlying observations about society, religion, and humanity came through strongly. Highly recommend this to anyone out there, although if you don’t take kindly to swearing, bring your own mental censor.