Hôtel de Ville,
as we did frequently since it was near our hotel. It is the building housing the city’s local administration. Standing on the place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, it has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris, and also serves as a venue for large receptions.
Crossing this beautiful bridge (pont d Arcole over the River Seine), we stopped for pics then continued to our next destination.
We took the Metro to the Trocadéro, an area of Paris, in the 16th arrondissement, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is always a good idea and autumn in Paris is a lovely time of year. This is the beautiful view we had from our hotel balcony.
This photo was taken in the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. We stepped inside for a peek and I was drawn to these steps. Regal with just a hint of suspense, don’t you think?
Top Photo of me with a Beefeater
The Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary, popularly known as the Beefeaters, are ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. In principle they are responsible for looking after any prisoners in the Tower and safeguarding the British crown jewels, but in practice they act as tour guides and are a tourist attraction in their own right, a point the Yeomen Warders acknowledge.
In 2011, there were 37 Yeomen Warders and one Chief Warder. All warders are retired from the Armed Forces of Commonwealth realms and must be former senior non-commissioned officers or petty officers with at least 22 years of service. They must also hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. source
TOWER OF LONDON
THE CROWN JEWELS
The Crown Jewels at the Tower of London are a unique working collection of royal regalia and are still regularly used by The Queen in important national ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament.
Photos were not allowed but I was able to gather some via the internet. Truly dazzling!
The closest I came to a Royal Crown was in a gift shop that featured a wall camera. If I stood in just the right spot with my head in the right positions, I had a crown upon my head.
We hurried to get in a visit to the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset
The Courtauld Gallery is located at the Strand entrance of Somerset House, in the heart of London with an extensive collection of paintings, mainly French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.
From the Courtauld Gallery we took the underground to Westminster Abbey where we followed a self-guided audio tour. This Gothic style Abbey church was founded in the 10th century and rebuilt in 1517. It is a traditional place of coronations and burial site of British monarchs
Westminster Abbey is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Benedictine monks first came to this site in the middle of the tenth century, establishing a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day.
The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint still at its heart.
A treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artefacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation’s history are buried or commemorated. Taken as a whole the tombs and memorials comprise the most significant single collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in the United Kingdom. source
internet photos of Westminster Abbey interior including the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (in the top right photo)
The present building dates mainly from the reign of King Henry III. In 1245 he pulled down the eastern part of the 11th century Abbey, which had been founded by King Edward the Confessor and dedicated in 1065. Earlier in Henry’s reign, on 16 May 1220, he had laid the foundation stone for a new Lady Chapel at the east end of the Confessor’s church, but as the Abbey’s own financial resources were not sufficient to continue the rebuilding of the whole church at this time no other work was carried out. source
walking the corridor of the Westminster cloister
sunbeams shining into the cloister
a stop at The Abbey Shop
enjoying a rest in the afternoon sunshine just outside the Abbey
walking toward the Parliament Building
and, just for fun…
While making plans to visit London, I wrote to my long-time blogging friend, Lindsey of Fine Linen and Purple, to see if we could possibly meet up. She wrote back asking if we would prefer to meet in London or for them to drive us out into the countryside. With excitement we responded, “The countryside!” Lindsey sent some suggested places and we choose Scotney Castle.
I have come to love Lindsey’s adorable grandchildren through her posts and am always inspired by the beautiful knitted, sewn and quilted creations she has made. But it is her kind, friendly manner that most warms my heart.
Walking the lovely grounds on such a perfect autumn day was made even more special with this dear couple.
At the top of the garden stands a house which was built to replace the Old Castle between 1835 and 1843. This is known as Scotney New Castle, or simply Scotney Castle, and was designed by Anthony Salvin. It is an early, example of Tudor Revival architectural style in 19th century Britain. Following the death of the resident, Elizabeth Hussey, in 2006, this house was opened to the public for the first time on June 6, 2007
Scotney Castle is an English country house with formal gardens south-east of Lamberhurst in the valley of the River Bewl in Kent, England. It belongs to the National Trust.
Stopping often for photos as everywhere held beautiful views.
Shared an anniversary kiss at their suggestion
We marveled at the sights
We toured the house.
The gardens, which are an example of the Picturesque style, are open to the public. The central feature is the ruins of a medieval, moated manor house, Scotney Old Castle, which is on an island on a small lake. The lake is surrounded by sloping, wooded gardens with rhododendrons, azaleas, kalmia and spectacular autumn colour.
view from Scotney Castle toward the house at the top of the hill
I didn’t think to get photos of our lovely lunch together at the courtyard cafe where we enjoyed soup, sandwiches and where I had a wonderful scone with clotted cream and jam. But the best part was the heartfelt conversation sharing the joys of family and faith.
As if their sweet company wasn’t enough, this kind couple gave us delightful gifts.
Lindsey knitted me a beautiful washcloth tied onto her delicious berry jam, a pottery bowl made by her talented husband, a tin of Welch tea along with a recipe booklet filled with Welch teatime recipes and a sweet hand carved lovespoon, a traditional Welsh craft that dates back to the seventeenth century. It was a perfect gift to remember our anniversary as well as our time together.
Blogging friends are very real friends, indeed.
Thank you, Lindsey and Ray, for sharing your time and yourselves!
We enjoyed every moment with you both!
From Greenwich we headed back to the cruise boat, this time disembarking at Westminster Pier.
Dusk turned to night and the evening became chilly.
John took this panoramic view
the Parliament Building in golden illumination
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower. The tower is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, renamed as such to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. The tower was completed in 1858.
Back in our hotel room, we watched an episode of Downton Abbey that our friends back home will have to wait until January to see.
So excited to share our next day…
the most special day of our trip!
High Altar Screen – Southwark cathedral, 1520 AD
The Great Screen
This magnificent screen was erected by Bishop Fox of Winchester in 1520. Although the general appearance of the screen, with three broad rich bands of carvings and statuary, is that of the original, most of the detail is from later periods.
Whether all the original statues were ever installed is uncertain, as the screen was completed within a decade of the Reformation when such statues were forbidden. The small carvings of the Lamb of God and the pelican (a badge of Bishop Fox) immediately above the rows of angels are probably original, as are some of the bases of the niches. The small carvings in the corners of the two doorways, showing hunting scenes, may also be original.
Model of the church and old Westminster Palace
The Humble Monument portrays Alderman Richard Humble and his two wives.
The Retro-choir, built from 1215-1260 and is the oldest complete part of Southwark Cathedral.
The Retro-choir is thought by many to be the loveliest part of the Cathedral, with superb spatial qualities. The design is 13th century Early English
view from the retro-choir down the south choir
the floor of the Retro-choir.
The Lady Chapel
south aisle nearing south west entrance
late afternoon sunbeams
outside Southwark Cathedral
Roman Road 1st century AD
Near the entrance to the cafe and shop is part of the archaeological excavations left open for public display. Excavations around Southwark Cathedral in 1999 revealed part of a Roman road, foundations of the original Norman Priory wall, a 13th century medieval stone coffin and part of a late 17th century ‘Delft’ pottery kiln made of brick, one of the few surviving arched kilns found in Europe. source
Finally, after walking more than seven miles this day, we relaxed and ate dinner in a pub near our hotel.
trying to use GPS with sketchy WIFI, this tourist still makes my heart skip.
This day in London was filled with such splendor and beauty we could barely take it all in.
Among so many other things, I love London for the serendipitous moments. Slipping past a quiet courtyard, strolling past an interesting door or turning the corner and beholding an enchanting wall garden.
Across from St. Clement Danes is the Australian House. It is both Australia’s first diplomatic mission and the longest continuously occupied diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom.
This Tudor-style Prince Henry’s Room (top of the house) dates from 1610 and is one of the few buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1666. The top floor of the house was once an office for King Charles I’s son.
Continuing along, The Royal Courts of Justice stand impressively.
The Royal Courts of Justice houses both the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Designed by George Edmund Street, who died before it was completed, it is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style built in the 1870s and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882. It is one of the largest courts in Europe. It is located on the Strand within the City of Westminster, near the border with the City of London (Temple Bar) source
Further along, St. Paul’s Cathedral comes into view.
From Rick Steves: If you were standing here in September 1666, you’d see nothing but smoke and ruins. The Great Fire razed everything, including the original St. Paul’s Cathedral. Christopher Wren was hired to rebuild St. Paul’s and The City.
If you were standing here on December 30, 1940, the morning after a German Luftwaffe firebomb raid, you’d see nothing but a flat, smoldering landscape of rubble, with St. Paul’s rising above it, almost miraculously intact.
A quick selfie in front of this busy road and gorgeous cathedral.
the magnificent dome
Queen Anne statue stands in front of the Cathedral
The plinth is inscribed with these words: “The original statue was erected on this spot to commemorate the completion of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Francis Bird – sculptor.” “This replica of the statue of Queen Anne was erected at the expense of The Corporation of London In the year 1886, The Rt. Hon. Sir Reginald Hanson MA, FSA, Lord Mayor – Wm. Braham Esq., Chairman of the City Lands Committee”
Photos were not allowed in St. Paul’s Cathedral. The photos above were taken from the internet.
around the back
leaving St. Paul’s Cathedral toward the old Temple Bar in Patenoster square
outside the beautiful St. Paul’s
as we walked away
Onward from St. Paul’s, we walked to the Millennium Bridge.
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, linking Bankside with the City of London. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Mid-span on the Millennium Bridge with the dome of St. Paul behind us.
Crossing the Themes on foot with the enticing aroma of caramel-coated roasted peanuts permeating the air on another day of gorgeous weather! Could’t resist this delicious snack adding to our list of wonderful London memories 🙂
Can you believe that all of this was just part of our Saturday.
Heading to Bankside and lots to see along the Themes up next.
Don’t miss Buckingham Palace & The Royal Mews if you are planning a trip to London. Check the dates for when the palace is open to visitors. As one might imagine, Buckingham Palace is most beautiful and quite interesting to tour.
The Royal Mews are open all year to visitors and an enjoyable The Gold State Coach at the Royal Mews
Our overnight flight arrived in London Heathrow just as dawn was breaking. The light peeking over the thick clouds as we began our decent was beautiful. The cloudy sky soon turned a beautiful blue filled with white, fluffy clouds.
Around the corner from the National Portrait Gallery is The National Gallery where we viewed amazing works by Cézanne, Seurat, Monet, van Dyck, Rubens, van Gogh, Michelangelo, Raphael, da Vinci, Botticelli to name just a few.
Inside The National Gallery, London
The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. From the 14th to the late 17th century, much of the area occupied by Trafalgar Square was the courtyard of the Great Mews stabling, which served Whitehall Palace.
In the early 18th century, the mews area was cleared. In 1812 the architect John Nash set about developing‘a new street from Charing Cross to Portland Place forming an open square in the Kings Mews opposite Charing Cross’. He wanted the space to be a cultural space, open to the public. In 1830, it was officially named Trafalgar Square.
The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square
late afternoon clouds began to gather while at Trafalgar Square
Such a vibrant and exciting open area
(I really liked the Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag. It was comfortable to wear, kept everything safe and I wore it from the time I left the hotel until I returned so you will see it in every photo)
After all the walking we had done, a 2 1/2 hour Original Bus Tour provided a lovely overview and interesting drive all through London highlighting the gorgeous buildings and places.
This is how it looked when we began the bus tour
After the bus tour it was a tube ride back to King’s Cross station and a short walk to our hotel for much needed sleep. We had been up for more than 33 hours with only a brief nap on the airplane.
London time was 5 hours ahead of our local time but we did not experience jet lag. Just too excited, I guess.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine
I remember well the day we wed
We help to make each other all that we can be
We can find our strength and inspiration independently
The way we work together is what sets our love apart
So closely that we can’t tell where I end and where you start
Thank you dear, Karis
Above all, giving thanks to God, who brought us to faith in Christ, is forever faithful to us, forgives us when we sin, loves us when we aren’t so lovable, encourages us when it’s hard, remembers us when we forget him, leads when we’re lost and guides us through the sunshine and storms.