Good afternoon from London! I was going to post yesterday but had such a busy evening that I never really found a good time to sit down and write. It was nice here today but it started to rain about an hour ago, but I was headed back to the hostel when it started to rain so I didn’t have to be out in it that long.
So, let’s first go back to Friday afternoon.
After checking in on Friday afternoon, I decided to head out and start exploring the city. My first stop was Westminster Abbey. While it normally costs close to 20 pounds to tour it, you can get in for free if you want to go to Eveningsong which is basically a signing service that is performed by the men’s choir. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the Abbey but I’ll try and describe it for you.
When you first walk in to the Abbey, it’s overwhelming to say the least. Here is a building that has been around for centuries and has been home to some of the most famous events in British history and which also happens to be the final resting place of Sir Isaac Newton, among many others. The main sanctuary is divided into a few different parts and when you get seated to watch the Eveningsong, depending on how many people are placed in your group, you either get seated facing the choir or directly behind them in their loft. Since I was by myself I got to sit right behind the choir which was really neat. The choir is completely made up of men and they proceed into the seating area and then they sing for about an hour. The audience is invited to sing too and we also recited a few prayers.
After the service was over, I left the Abbey and took some video of the Abbey bells playing a song.
I then went across the street and admired Big Ben. It was nice lit up at night.
Saturday morning I woke up and took a walk down to Southwark Cathedral, a church that has been around for centuries and is the burial spot for Shakespeare’s brother. That cathedral was nice but like many of the churches here, I had to pay if I wanted to take any pictures, but I didn’t want to spend the money so I just took pictures of the church from the outside.
After going to Southwark, I went to the Tate Modern Art Museum. I’m not a huge fan of art but they had some neat paintings and interesting sculptures. I then made my way to Trafalgar Square to visit the National Portrait Gallery. The portrait gallery is home to paintings of famous British people and the paintings go all the way back to the 1400’s.
Since the portrait gallery was only a few blocks away from Big Ben, I walked back over that and the Houses of Parliament and walked by 10 Downing Street which is where the Prime Minister of Great Britain lives. By this point it was around 4pm and I decided to head back to the hostel to try and blog. It just so happened though that Saturday and Sunday was a celebration of Australia Day, which is basically like Australia’s 4th of July. There were a lot of Australian’s here at the Hostel celebrating and acting silly. I met several of them along with people from about ten other countries as well on Saturday night. I learned that I can’t really speak French and that my Dutch is terrible, although everyone here seems to speak at least a little English which is good.
I only got about five hours of sleep my first night here on Friday but on Saturday I slept for almost 12 hours and woke up at about 2pm on Sunday. Since it was only going to be light for about two more hours, I decided to stay around the hostel and ended up meeting more Australian’s last night.
Today I woke up early and went to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the Guard. There were a ton of people there to watch it and it was kind of cool to see the Guards. After Buckingham, I left and made my way to the Wesley House and Chapel to see where Methodism founder John Wesley lived and started my church. Well it was his church but you get the idea. I was given a tour of his house and there was also a small museum that held some of his writings and different Methodist bibles from around the world including a brail bible. Wesley is buried in the back of the church with several of his fellow preachers that helped him start the church.
I leave for Paris tomorrow morning and will post again once I arrive there.
Below are some pictures that I’ve taken over the last few days.
Best – ZEZ