#1 England, May 4, 1980
Jeanne, Bob, Burt and I are taking a quick trip to England, where we met our friends,
Gisela and Wolfgang, who had driven (and ferried) to London from Berlin.
Gisela had arranged for us all to stay at the Muralyn, a small hotel in a residential neighborhood that bordered on all the historic things in London.
Since we had very little time in England (10 days!) we started right off on our sightseeing in London. First up was the Tower Bridge—-which many people erroneously call the London Bridge of nursery rhyme fame. Still, it looks exactly as I had imagined ‘London Bridge’ to look.
Moving on, we visited the White Tower of London, with its bloody history of the murder of two little boys, probably by their uncle, the future King Richard III. Here also were the Crown Jewels—-a dazzling display—-and we saw the wing-clipped ravens on the lawn, playing out the myth that the kingdom would prevail as long as the ravens remained here.
Lots of fun was just ‘seeing’ and ‘being’ in London. The London taxis are really big and luxurious; the pubs were fun, cheap, quick and tasty for meals.
Over the next couple of days we visited many of the high spots. One such was the British Museum where we loved seeing the Elgin Marbles that were removed from the Parthenon in Athens;
the Rosetta Stone found in Egypt that served to help decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs, and some beautiful ancient Phoenician statues.
A visit to Harrod’s department store, especially concentrating on
all the wonderful food had us all salivating.
Trafalgar Square had us dodging pigeons, who seemed only too happy to bomb us with their droppings!
Other highlights in London were visiting
Number 10 Downing Street;
and Marble Arch with the Speakers’ Corner, where speakers were definitely holding forth on political
issues of the day.
Then we visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, that mighty church designed by Christopher Wren, with building commencing in 1675.
On two subsequent days we continued our sojourn through Hyde Park following the Serpentine, which brought us to Kensington Gardens and Palace.
We saw the Prince Albert Memorial and the Royal Albert Hall.
In spite of our non-stop sightseeing, we did manage to get to two musicals—-“Annie” and “The King and I,” seated in a beautiful little theater.
We loved seeing the bobbies in the parks—-some on horseback, and some on foot, willing to pose with tourists!
On to the houses of Parliament! Catching our first glimpse of Big Ben was a thrill!
Next was exploring Westminster Abby. Here is where all the British Kings and Queens have been crowned, including Queen Elizabeth. The building was begun in 1245 but much was added later.
While we were in London, we were aware that the Iranian Embassy had been bombed. Driving by one day, we readily could see the damage.
We took the tube to Buckingham Palace, which was just as well because of the rainy weather.
We didn’t see the Queen —-more nursery rhyme thoughts—“Pussycat, Pussycat where have you been? I’ve been to London to visit the Queen!”
A quick stop at Carnaby Street,
another pub visit, a ride through Piccadilly Circus at night, and that about finished London and us!
We’ll be leaving for Windsor in the morning and on to more adventures.