6 June 2012, Gail’s trip log

What a fantastic final day in London. We slept late, then ate leftovers for breakfast and hopped in a cab about 1015 headed to the British Museum. The roads were still clogged and the driver was so bummed – meter read over 17 pounds, but he said just give him 15. We spent about 1½ hours in the museum – you could of course spend 1½ weeks, at least, and still not see it all. We saw the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, my top 2 “must see” things. We saw a display of burial practices in Ghana showing some of the unique coffins that we saw when we were there. We had a snack, then went through a gallery on The Enlightenment that was set in the room that housed the original collection when the museum/library was established. We were very impressed with everything, but needed to move on. We caught a cab and went to Parliament Square to see and hear Big Ben and all the buildings and activity in that area. Fortunately the streets were better and the cab ride was quick and reasonable. We walked around for about ½ hour and then just after 1 (we made sure we heard the actual Big Ben bell which we know is just the one that chimes the hour) we got on a  boat and took a cruise, with commentary, to the Tower Bridge, the one that many people believe is London Bridge. The river cruise had been suggested by Charlie yesterday and we were so glad we followed his advice. It took about ½ hour and really gave us a great view of the activity along the river – like the London Eye – the huge ferris wheel also known as the Millennium Wheel. Then we walked leisurely to St. Paul’s Cathedral, about a mile walk, and got there just before 300. St. Paul’s was at the very top of our must-see-list and was a wonderful cap to our visit here. We went in and toured around the incredible central part, under the dome, and up to the high altar. Dan climbed about 2/3 of the way up to the top of the dome where they have a viewing gallery.  He wanted to go to the very top, but there wasn’t enough time, as we had reservations at 400 for tea in their restaurant down in the Crypt. We didn’t really need reservations it turned out, and that was fine, and we enjoyed the tea. Then at 445 we went up to the nave to attend the Evensong service and were offered seats in the Quire area right near the altar. What an experience! The service was totally sung except for the scripture readings, and we were right next to half the choir members. It was a wonderful service and made even better by being allowed to experience it from such a special perspective. Another quick cab ride brought us back to our hotel about 600. Dan went out and got a little take out dinner and I tried to get a little organized. Charlie is picking us up at 830 to deliver us to the ship in Southampton by 300. What a time we have had here!

 

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