Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A day out in London

I suspect it's going to be difficult to keep up with writing about my travels this trip. I'm getting about a bit! I've started two posts on Ireland but just had to share about today while it was fresh. Things may not be in the right order, oh well. Today Didge and I went to London on the train for the day. Didge is a sailing buddy from Cayman who has recently returned home to Saffron Walden. 

Saffron Walden is a gorgeous town not too far north of London, getting here was amusing as I had forgotten to write the address and directions before picking up the rental car. The man at the rental place shook his head, I looked at the map, found this unusual name and headed off. I arrived safe and sound, bought dinner at the local pub and signed on to my email to get the directions to Didge's house. Who needs a satnav or a phone, good old fashioned map reading did the trick in the end. 

Back to today, there's a special building in London called the Gherkin or more correctly 50 St Marys Ax. To enter you need a special visitor pass and this can only be obtained through someone who works there. Didge's daughter Keira does, we went to the top to take tea with her as invited guests. What a treat, amazing views all over London, a feast of photographs. Thank you Keira!

We had a good wander too, St Paul's visited and admired. Climbing up into the Whispering Gallery was interesting, not sure that I enjoyed that closed in feeling I get in tight spaces. The climb was worth it, the view over the nave amazing. Pity I wasn't allowed to take photos, I suppose that people taking pics can make nuisances of themselves and I'm sure that the gift shop makes a killing with the official pics. 

The architecture is stunning, I often wonder in these places how people in those times knew how to build such huge structures, how they put in place such huge and heavy stones, the domes and pillars used to hold it all together. Then there's the artistry, the decorating of the spaces. St Paul's must have taken years to build then rebuild after the WWII bombings. Interestingly, this church is the third or fourth to have graced the site since 1200AD. 

We had planned to also visit the Tower of London, I've not been inside before, but St Paul's and the wander onwards took a bit more time than we'd planned. That will keep until next visit, it's been there a while already. I'm feel a bit tired this evening, lots of exercise today. 
The Gherkin

The girls at high tea

Another place where Harry Potter was filmed

Tower Bridge from the Gherkin

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