London: Day Three

Monday we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral.  This is where Diana and Charles wed and where funerals were held for Sir Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington.
 The audio tours were really nice.  They were modified ipods.  I climbed the 259 steps to the first dome to the Whispering Gallery, but that was high enough for me.

It was a beautiful church and reminded me of St. Peter’s Basilica.  At the apse of the church, there is an American memorial chapel, which honors American servicemen and women who died in WWII.

They were heavily dusting and cleaning everything ahead of the Queen’s diamond jubilee service at the cathedral.

This is a small church a few blocks away where Sir Christopher Wren practiced building a dome before building St. Paul’s.
We took the bus around to Trafalgar Square.

Driving on Tower Bridge
 This is going to be the tallest building in the EU.

The Cenotaph, which is really close to Westminster Abbey

Here is Trafalgar Square.
and me with the countdown to the Olympics.

 There was also a Texas Embassy at Trafalgar Square, but not really an embassy, just a place for Texans to eat.

We went to the National Portrait Gallery.  I love the one in DC and this one was great too.
It is free, except for the visiting exhibit, which I didn’t mind paying to seeing the one on the Queen through the years.

There are tons of portraits on the Tudors and Stewart family and one of Jane Austen.  There were some of the royal family too.

We saw what is believed to be the only portrait of Shakespeare that was painted during his life.  Then, there were also lots of people from British history who I had no idea who they were.

We walked over through Piccadilly Circus.

I guess this is Chinatown
Then we made it to Fortnum & Mason, the department store of the Queen.  She, Kate, and Camilla had an appearance here a few months ago.
It was just lovely inside with chocolates, tea, hats, clothes.  I bought a sheet of wrapping paper that had different styles of tea cups and where they’re from.  I’m planning on framing it, but I guess the people who usually shop there are ok with spending three pounds on a small sheet of wrapping paper.
I truly admired the hats.  It was interesting to see how many of them are actually headbands but the headband is usually hidden when worn.  They were exquisite.

We then went from one luxury department store to the next.
I knew Harrod’s would be big, but I didn’t expect that we would get a map of the store upon arrival.

We did some shopping around then store and they have a Harry Potter chess set.  Tempting.
 We went to high tea at Harrod’s.  High tea sounds like it’s not much food but I drank about a pot of tea and there was so much to eat that it counted as lunch and dinner.

We had different kinds of sandwiches including egg and salmon.  There were fruit tarts, macaroons, and other desserts.
Then there were scones.  These are not your dry, American scones  They taste and have the consistency of a sweet roll.  Then, you put clotted cream and strawberry jam on them.  This was my favorite meal of the whole trip.  Clotted cream is heaven.  It tastes like whip cream with butter.  Brilliant!
Plus, the tea was delicious.  I really should have loose leaf tea more often.

Perfect mother/daughter date
We went back and changed and then walked a mere three blocks to the Apollo Theatre to see Wicked.
It was my second time seeing it, but Mama’s first.  Wonderful production!!  Mama asked me which location I liked better, and since in Atlanta, we were the second row from the top and this time we were the front row of the balcony, I said this one.  I could actually see their facial expressions this time.  Plus, the accents make everything better.

We had a packed three days in London, and if you can tell by the pictures, we were extremely lucky.  There was not a sign of rain.  In fact, it was too hot for my liking.  I wanted to come to experience some true British weather, but I brought Atlanta with me.  Though it did help me see more of the city as the sky was clear!

I was very please with how much we saw in those days as well as taking the time to have tea.

Next stop: The Cotswolds!

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