Page 3 of ridgydidge46 Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City July 7th 2009

This was our last official full day of sightseeing in London, as tomorrow we leave London for home. :( Today we went to the Globe Theatre, which was reconstructed by an American called Sam Wanamaker. Ironically, our tour was conducted by a Yank. It was interesting to see the replica that was built as true to the original as possible, down to constructing Elizabethan tools for the job. We then went to Buckingham Palace, amid several showers of rain, to see the Changing of the Guard. And so did 500, 000 other people (lol). We got to see the parade, but not the actual changing, because the crowd was 8-deep at the fence of the palace. We then went to see Wellington's Arch. Guess what? it was closed! We had planned to go for a walk ... read more
The Changing of the Guard.
The Changing of the Guard.
Wellington's Arch.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Berkshire » Windsor July 6th 2009

Today we went to visit the Queen at Windsor Castle and she was at home (the flag was flying). While we were there, the Changing of the Guard occurred. We visited the State Apartments and St George's Chapel. The guide was able to tell us about the extent of the damage caused by the fire in 1992, which took out the roof of the Great Hall and some other areas of the castle, and then explained what was done to restore the damage. St George's Chapel is the church of the Order of the Garter, the oldest still active order of chivalry in existence. In the afternoon, we took a river cruise along the Thames.... read more
St George's Chapel.
St George's Chapel.
The Changing of the Guard.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City July 5th 2009

This morning we went to mass at Great St Barts, a church built in 1125 as an Augustinian abbey. The interesting part about it is that the nave no longer exists. There is only the quire and the chancel, plus an extension for the Lady Chapel that make up this church. Still, a beautiful building and great liturgy, with the sung parts in Latin; loads of smoke (aka incense). Following mass, we headed off to Kew Gardens, which ended up being a mammoth journey as there were engineering work on the District Line. This required three train changes and a bus change to get there, which would normally is just a single train journey. Ditto on the return journey. The gardens were lovely. We visited some of the greenhouses, including the Temperate House, which had many ... read more
Woolamai Pine.
Kew Palace.
The Temperate House.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City July 4th 2009

Today we spent most of our time on water. We made our way up to a place called Little Venice and took a canal boat along the canal to Camden Lock. There, we spent the remainder of the morning wandering the gigantic markets that cover most of the centre of Camden. We returned to Westminster and took a cruise along the Thames to Greenwich Village. Our first places of interest were the meridian line and the Royal Observatory. We checked our watches to make sure that we had the correct time. We then went to the Queen's house at Greenwich, but unfortunately they were closed because there was a wedding celebration in progress.... read more
Camden Lock.
Thames cruise.
The meridian line.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City July 3rd 2009

Today we set of to go to Hampton Court Palace. The palace was built by Cardinal Wolsey and taken off him by Henry VIII, when Wosley fell out of favour. There were several additions to the palace, first by Henry and then by William III and his wife Mary II. We explored the apartment and kitchens of Henry VIII and the baroque additions of William and Mary that included their apartments. We did not feel that the palace was as grand as Versailles, but it was still interesting because of its history. We then spent some time exploring the gardens and working our way to the centre of the maze. There was a vine planted that was reported as being planted about 300 years ago, and it is the oldest and the largest in the world, ... read more
The Kitchens.
The Fountain Court.
The vine.

Europe July 2nd 2009

Today was another busy day. We started with the Tower of London, then Tower Bridge, on to St Paul's Cathedral, followed by a disappointing trip to the Temple Church (of 'Da Vinci Code' fame). The Tower of London was a fascinating place. It was great to be able to see places that had such fame, or infamy, in English history. Many things were not how I (Anthony) imagained. The main one was thinking that the White Tower was in the same building as the Bloody Tower. For Terry, there were too many displays that were distracting from the ambience of the castle. But we both liked the Crown Jewels. Tower Bridge was also interesting. We were able to go up to the elevated walkways, which gave a good view of the city, and the ability to ... read more
Tower Brige.
St Paul's Cathedral.

Europe July 1st 2009

We arrived in London today at lunchtime. We settled into the apartment. Nearby is St Katherine’s Dock and Tower Bridge. This afternoon we visited Westminster Abbey and had the opportunity to go to the shrine of Edward the Confessor. It is a beautiful church, particularly the Herny VII Chapel, also known as the Lady Chapel with its fan-vaulting ceiling. We also saw the tomb for the two Tudor queens, Elizabeth and Mary, plus the tomb of many more kings, queens, nobles, poets and writers. Unfortunately we were not able to take pictures inside. Surprise, surprise! We then visited Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral, built in what they call ‘blood and bandage’ style. Inside, it is a mixed bag. There are many wonderful mosaics, but there are vast areas that are incomplete. In the middle of the nave, ... read more
Westminster Cathedral.
Parliament and Big Ben.
The Great Hall in Westminster.

Europe June 30th 2009

Today was our day to explore the university city of Oxford. We started the morning with a self-guided tour of Trinity College. From there, we sought out the Oxford version of the Bridge of Sighs. We walked by the Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian Library. Unfortunately the Library was closed. Next was the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. We continued on to the famous Christ Church College and its chapel church is the Oxford Cathedral. It is the smallest cathedral in England and houses the remains of St Frideswide. We once again took a self-guided tour, which wound it was around a number of the buildings, including the Cathedral and Great Hall. The Hall was the basis for the Great Hall in the Harry Potter films, and the College was the inspiration for the ... read more
Christ Chruch Colloge.
The Great Hall.
Tom Gate.

Europe June 29th 2009

This morning we left Thetford to make our way to Oxford. On the way, we stopped off at Ely to visit its cathedral, which has a marvellous lantern that is unique in all of England. We then headed off to Cambridge. We visited King’s College Chapel and walked around the many of the other colleges. Due to limited time, we were not able to visit all of the colleges, but we did manage to have a peek at a few of them. We then made our way on to Oxford. So far, we have travelled over 1100 miles in England. ... read more
Ely's lantern.
Ely's Lady Chapel.
King's College Chapel.

Europe June 28th 2009

We drove from York to Lincoln and attended mass at Lincoln Cathedral. After this we had a look around the cathedral and its environs. Lincoln Cathedral had a very interesting façade which had been added to the front of the old Norman church. We then moved to our prime destination for the day; the Anglican shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Little Walsingham, the village where the shrine is located, draws most of its resources from the pilgrims that attend both the Anglican shrine and the Roman Catholic Slipper Chapel, the latter located a mile out of the village. The Anglican shrine grounds are spectacular. The shrine church houses a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth, as seen by a visionary, some time in the 10th or 11th century. We then went on to Thetford, ... read more
Our Lady of Walshingham.

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