Great Britain – The Final Chapter For “Now” (Back to London)

This will be my final post on our grand trip to Great Britain, at least for now. I hope that I have not bored you too much. We had such a great time I would love to go back again and explore more of the countryside. After the 10 days of exploring Scotland Bonnie & I still had a couple days left before we had to head back to the US. We weren’t sure if we wanted to stay up and Edinburgh, Scotland or what we’re going to do when we started this trip. But after doing some research we decided the best thing was the head back to London and spend two more nights there before we had to board our plane at Heathrow and head back home. We all got up early and said our goodbyes as most of the people in our group had to head back home to the states. Bonnie and I got on the train for our 4 1/2 hour ride back to London. We chose to stay at the same hotel we were at earlier because we’re quite familiar with the area and how to get around from there well. We got in late afternoon so we didn’t do much sightseeing that day. But just wandered around the neighborhood and had some fine Indian “Curry” food. Like many big cities that will have a Chinatown, London has “Brick Lane” which is a street that is home of many “Curry House” restaurants. We called it an early evening heading back to the hotel to get an early start the next day, a full day of sightseeing. One of the places we wanted to visit but ran out of time on our first part of on trip was St. Paul’s Cathedral. The present Cathedral has been on this site for 300 years. The original Cathedral was destroyed by a great fire back over 300 years ago. This Cathedral has a large dome ceiling and you can climb the 500 some plus steps to its top to get great views of the city. Like a lot of the other churches, as I had mentioned before no inside pictures were allowed. Here’s a photo from the outside, of the grand dome.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe giant pillars as you approach the front entrance.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are two levels you can climb to and get outside and view the city from high above. The first being just as the round dome starts. In this picture of the outside of the dome, the first balcony is just above the role pillars.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the neat things about this dome is on the inside of is a balcony that goes all the way around and you can look down below at the Cathedral’s main floor, for great views of the all inside of the church’s main floor. But the real cool thing is at this level in the dome, the walls and ceiling make up what is called the whispering wall. If you stand on one end of the dome and someone else stands on the other and you whisper or talk softly, you can hear the other person on the other side of the large dome. The way it works is the sounds travel of the walls and over the ceiling of the dome and then can be heard on the other side of the dome, it was quite amazing how well it works. From here you can walk outside and get great views of the city. Here are a few photos from top of the dome.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there you can make your way up another set of stairs to the smaller observatory at the very top. Here are some of the photos as we made our way up the staircases.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABonnie way up the very top.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter we were all done visiting the Cathedral.  We headed out and headed across the road, to a shopping mall where we could go up to the roof and get views looking back at the Cathedral.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there I took some photos of the upper balcony that we were just on.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere I zoomed in on some other people that were up there looking back at us.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne other place we noticed while we were up on the balcony of the Cathedral was the Millennium Bridge. This footbridge that was built to celebrate the turn of the millennium. The interesting thing is that the day after it first opened it had to be closed, to do modifications. Because it’s swayed too much when a lot of people got on it. You still can’t feel some movement even now when you stand, but they assure you it is safe now.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo we headed down to cross it and get views back towards the Cathedral.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe ventured out across it and took pictures up and down the river.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA barge headed downstream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere Bonnie is with the Shard in the background.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso the Tower Bridge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe made it to the far side where there are numerous restaurants and bars along the riverfront.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most famous places is “The Anchor” it is the oldest bar in London, being in operation since 1615.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we were wandering around that side of the river, taking in the scenes we came across the Borough Market.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis market is one of the largest and the oldest retail food markets in London, celebrating its 1,000th birthday in 2014 (According to Wikipedia) but there is debate as to when it was actually established.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is a unique mix of stands selling freshly prepared ready-to-eat foods.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And other selling fresh fruits, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAvegetables, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAseafoodOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and fresh meatOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and sausages.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love exploring these open air type markets. We actually had an opportunity to check out two or three others when we were in London at the first part of this trip. One was a smaller type food market, and one of the others sold antiques and collectibles and a third dealt in new fashions and handmade crafts and jewelry apparel. That pretty much sums up the great time we had over in Great Britain. I hope you enjoyed all the photos and the stories that I shared. Thanks for following along, Rick

 

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2 comments

  1. What an awesome trip with your sister! England and Scotland have always been on my bucket list! I’ve already been to Ireland but want to go back and take Bill! (Went with my Dad the first time!). Your posting about it and the pics just confirm what a great trip it would be! Thanks for sharing!

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