Sunday, May 22, 2011


We rode the high speed train from Paris through the chunnel and on to London. It only took about 3 hours. How cool is that. I was so hoping to get pictures of the chunnel but because the train really is going so fast and because they have to build the tunnel so far in land, we didn't even see the ocean. It just got dark outside all of a sudden. Also you could definitely tell a difference in pressure on your ears. To go through the tunnel it took us about 20 minutes or so.

First thing after a quick stop at the hotel was to find some tickets for Wicked. We headed on down to Leicechester square. Picked up some great tickets, ate the requisite fish and chips in a pub and wandered through a sea of humanity until we came to one of the coolest toystores in the world. They had demos of all of the fun, unique toys--from fingernail design sets to make your own stickers, to personalized CD's and alarm clocks. They had robotic cars and magic sets. You name it, they probably had it. Did we buy anything? Sadly no, I would have had to sell the children that said toys were supposed to be for in order to pay for those toys.

Westminster Abby was an interesting experience. We were excited to go and see it but when we got there we found out that they were charging over 30 pounds to go in. ---Convert that to dollars and you get around $60----per person. It is still hard for me to imagine charging someone to enter a church. There is just something not quite right about that in my mind. Anyway, we heard that if you tell the guards that you just want to go in and pray then they will let you in without paying. Well, I'm certainly not above a little praying now and then so we mosied over to the side door and asked the guard. He told us that they were just finishing up a mass and yes we were welcome to go in. So we snuck in the side door and went in to participate in the mass that was just finishing up. We had a woman priest which was also a little unusual for me. It was actually a very surreal experience for me. To be participating in rituals which had been performed for hundreds of years and yet were not quite understood until the restored gospel was brought forth once again. I just had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my knowledge of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am so thankful that the truthfulness of this restored gospel has been witnessed to me by the Holy Ghost. All of those precious parts of the fulness of the gospel that have been lost are once again made clear. As I sat there listening and participating in the prayers and whatnot, I just wanted to stand up and shout that yes, what they have is based on the traditions of hundreds of years but that there is something more, something better, something PURE once again.

We were able to wander around just a bit after the service was over. We didn't get too carried away walking around since we didn't pay the fee. It was pretty fun just to be inside, taking it all in. I cannot begin to list off all of the famous people buried there. You have the likes of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickons, Elizabeth I, and Mary Queen of Scots to name just a few.

Big Ben--Was huge. Way bigger than I had anticipated.

The House of Lords must have been just getting out. It was kind of fun to see them all come out in their robes and wigs.

On our way over to the Tower of London we stopped at this little church tucked into a little niche between tall towering modern buildings on all sides. As soon as you stepped into the little garden it was like entering another world. It was so quiet and peaceful and sweet. We stopped outside for awhile and just sat on the bench enjoying the setting. The flowers were in bloom and the tombstones of unknown people were scattered throughout the little garden. After awhile we went inside to look around and the rector was giving a tour to a lady who was going to be giving a tour of her own to a group of people later on. We listened in for a while as he described all about the little church. Evidently it was one of very few churches that survived the great fire of 1666. I guess the flames licked the walls of the houses just a short distance away but just before it got to the church the wind kicked up or something and it turned and went a different direction.

It was fun to see the mounted police trotting along in Hyde Park.

Buckingham Palace. We missed the changing of the guard. They didn't do it the day we were there. We did get to see the mounted guards ride by. They were about 6 rows of 4 mounted guards. I was trying to get video on the fly and couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting a picture before realizing that my camera lense cover was still on. DUH!!! Oh well.

The view looking down St. James Park from near Buckingham palace. St. James Park was gorgeous! One of the prettiest parks that we have been able to stroll through. Buckingham palace is on one end. The Treasury and Foreign and Commonwealth buildings with the Churchill war rooms are on the other and St. James Palace is on the side near Buckingham.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

I'm enjoying all these posts about your trip! Thanks for sharing!