Wednesday, August 10, 2011

London: Wednesday

On Wednesday, we had a very specific list of things to accomplish, because it was Patrick's last day in London. We were going to walk to the Imperial War Museum first thing, then hit the London Eye with the tickets I'd bought on Tuesday, and then finish up at Westminster Abbey, conveniently open late on Wednesdays. We walked across Lambeth Bridge up Lambeth Road to the Imperial War Museum and arrived just as it was opening.The flowers are beautiful, but maybe not so welcoming with those guns aimed at you?
Daddy and Daniel with the guns.
The main floor of the museum is full of all the "big stuff" - tanks, trucks, guns, airplanes hanging from the ceiling. Patrick and Daniel with a tank.
A truck that became an ambulance. It's hard to see but it has WWI battles painted on the sides. I think it looks like it should be an ice cream truck, not something from a war.
Daniel and a gun.
The museum had an interesting (temporary?) exhibit on children and war, about the children who were evacuated during WWII and their experiences. I liked this hand-knit dress worn by a girl during the war. I will spare you the baby in the gas mask bag. It is both horrible and hilarious. That exhibit segued into the 1940 house, which was a typical house of the time, including portable bomb shelter in the living room. The lower level housed the exhibits from WWI and II, including the trench and Blitz experience, both with special effects.
Patrick and Daniel waiting for Mom & Dad to get through the exhibit. The upper levels house the Holocaust exhibit and a changing exhibit about war and art.
Next, we walked up to the river and got in the very long, but fortunately fast moving, line for the London Eye. The Eye is like a ferris wheel, but each pod fits about 20 people. And it moves super slow, so it takes around 30 minutes to go around. It never stops - people hop on and hop off as it moves. I'm not sure it's worth the money, but I guess it's one way to get that high vantage point without climbing St. Paul's Cathedral. And now my pictures:This is what it looked like from the ground.And this is what the pods look like up close. I should have taken a picture of the inside - there's a bench-like seat in the middle and then people cluster around the windows too.
Daniel on the Eye.
Mom and PatrickMe and Daniel. Oh, perhaps you want to see pictures of the view?The defense ministry, with Buckingham Palace in the midst of the green parklands.
Up the river to the east.
Down the river to the west.

Me with Parliament

Westminster Abbey

Above North Transept entrance

Detail of the arch above the entrance.

Glowy family in the cloisters. Where you're allowed to take pictures. I think this was right before we went back to find the little chapels Mom missed the first time around - the ones with Elizabeth I and her sister Mary I, and then Mary Queen of Scots. Daddy was looking for Benedict Arnold's memorial, which he thought he'd seen at Westminster Abbey the last time he was here, but he didn't find it. My favorite part was Henry VII's lady chapel. It was so filled with light with the stained glass windows.

CloistersThere was a worship service starting just as we finished our tour, so we quietly slipped out. I might have stayed, but there were no seats left and I didn't think I could stand after all that walking and Mom probably couldn't either. A woman gave me a book of Bible verses and told me that they usually have choirs from all over performing, and had just had a group from America. This is the last picture I took with my camera before I dropped it. Sadness!

Next: Patrick leaves us and we walk 10 miles.


  1. I loved the Imperial War Museum, it was so neat! Did you all get to go to Churchill's War Rooms? That's probably my favorite museum. I loved the London Eye! Katelyn and I went as our very first thing, and it was our very last thing, in London. How sentimental, I know!

  2. Yes, we did the war rooms on Sunday, our first day. I had been there back when I did my semester in London, same with the Imperial War Museum, so I knew they would like them.