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Published: August 2nd 2019
This was the first full day of the tour and a very busy one. I am going to be giving a description of the places we visited and viewed as well as a photograph, National History Museum
, which includes specimens from Sir Charles Darwin. On really cool project that the museum supports is a lock-in for students from around 6/7 to 12/13. On a designated Friday evening, after the museum is closed to the public, the students arrive carrying their sleeping bags and some snacks. They are locked in the museum for the night have the whole place to themselves to explore These evening are referred to as "Dinasnores". Victoria and Albert Museum
is the largest museum of decorative arts It was founded in 1852 and houses 145 galleries spanning 5,000 years of art from around the globe. St. George's Hospital
was originally a private residence called Lanesborough House. More recently it has been re-purposed to a 5 star luxury hotel using the original name of The Lanesborough London. While a hospital it had two notable members of staff, Florence Nightingale who revolutionized the nursing profession and Henry Gray and anatomist and author of Gray's Anatomy which is
stilled used in the teaching of physicians today. Wellington House
was the residence of the Duke of Wellington who was victorious over Napoleon at Waterloo thus ending Napoleon's dominance of Europe. He later became Prime Minister under King William IV and King George IV. Trafalgar Square
is a public square in central London to commemorate the navel victory at Trafalgar in 1805 under the direction of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson. The square contains a 52 meter column with a statue of Nelson on top. At the four corners of the base are 4 lions on guard. The lions were made from the melted captured French cannons.
On one side of Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery
, which houses a collection of over 2300 paintings from the mid- 13th century to 1900. There are so many important paintings from the Renaissance period. I will definitely need to return to view and enjoy these masterpieces.
In a photo is a view of a side of St Clement Danes Church
showing bomb damage from WWII. The church was re-dedicated in1958 as a perpetual shrine dedicated to the remembrance of members of the RAF, who died in service to their country.
Duke of Wellington's residence
The Royal Court of Justice
opened on Dec 4th 1882 by Queen Victoria. It is one of the largest court in Europe. St. Paul's Cathedral,
the mother church of the Diocese of London. The original church was founded in 604AD. The present structure dates from the late 17th century. Both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II celebrated their jubilees in the cathedral. Famous funerals were also performed at the cathedral - Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Westminster and Big Ben
. Westminster is the meeting place for the Houses of Parliament and the heart of British politics. On one occasion it was devastated by fire and rebuilt. The current architecture dates from 1840-1870 of Gothic Revival style. It is best known for Big Ben, the largest of 5 bells within the tower known as the Elizabeth Tower The other is known as the Margaret Tower. In 1230 King Henry II commissioned the making of the largest bell ever to have been made, it became known as Big Ben. Originally Westminster was founded in 960AD by Benedictine monks. The tradition of Christian worship has been maintained ever since Every day at 5PM
Victoria and Albert Museum
the public is invited to celebrate the Evensong services. Sone 3,300 persons are buried or commemorated at the Abbey, including kings, queens, politicians, literary figures, scientists and other individuals important to the history of the country. The most recent burial as Stephen Hawking, whose ashes are buried between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Unfortunately we were unable to hear the peels of Big Ben due to restoration work on the Abbey and to protect the workers hearing the bells have been quieted for the past 2 years and will remain quiet for two more years when the restoration project of due to be completed.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the reigning monarch. Today the Union Jack is the only flag flying over the residence which is designating the operations of the Queen's household is present. The Queen's standard flies only when she is in residence. She is currently on vacation at Balmoral in Scotland. Due to changes in scheduling which started today there is no changing of the guard The changing is performed every 2 days starting today. However, we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Horse Guards as they entered the palace
Monument to Vice-Admiral Nelson in Trafalgar Square
grounds. ONWARD TO WINDSOR: Windsor Castle
is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The Queen spends most of her private weekends at the castle which is also used for ceremonial and state occasions. The latest being the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markel in St. George's Chapel. Unfortunately while visitors are able to tour the castle and Chapel, photos are strictly forbidden. It was quite noticeable that Windsor Castle is on the flight path for Heathrow airport. and during the 4 hours we were visiting the castle and town of Windsor, I stopped counting at 35 planes, some still in a low takeoff position. I questioned our guide to the fact that in the US flight paths are forbidden in certain areas for safety measures. He said that it was just a fact that they lived with and the Queen apparently didn't mind.
This was and incredible day and a great way to start our tour. Our guide for the day, also named Alan the same as our tour director, was literally fantastic and a host of knowledge. while he lives outside of London with his wife and two sons, he works for
Lion guarding Nelson's monument
another touring company and acts as tour director/guide for British tourists traveling in Canada and the US. He said that one of the favorite tours is along Route 66 which end at the Santa Monica Pier in California, which we could see from our house in the Palisades when we lived in California.
It has been a most enjoyable day. Hope everyone is doing well. Take Care.
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