"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, June 28, 2007

LONDON! Day 8: Westminster Abbey

We came by Tube to the heart of Downtown London. Here you can see the London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, all within easy walking distance.

Westminster Abbey is famous for being the location of choice for the royal marriages, christenings, coronations and burials. There are officially about 3,300 people buried in the church but the records aren't complete. Among the famous include Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Isaac Newton, Darwin, Handel, Laurence Olivier, And it is just an amazingly spectacular structure!

North Entrance.

Entry was 10 pounds each, along with another 4 pounds for the audio tour, which I highly recommend if you've never been there before. There are also vicar-guided tours but it would have been a wait for the next one so we opted for the audio instead. It looks like a long telephone receiver that go flat instead of having a mouth piece. In the very first area, the North Transept, I was already tearing up. There was a tomb for a husband and wife that had an amazing sculpture. On it the man held his dying wife while trying to fend off Death as it rose from the base. Very touching. Good thing I also had allergies so I could blame them for my sudden need of a tissue.

Side View of North Entrance.

I do not have pictures of the interior because this is a church and as such, it's not polite nor proper to take pictures inside. Still, people were sneaking their cameras out at every opportunity and the vicars had to ask them to stop. So if you visit the Abbey, please don't take pictures.

There are several very famous people buried here with the kings and queens but perhaps my favorite is the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It's a tribute to an unidentified soldier killed in the Great War of 1914-1918. To read the words written on the black marble, go to this site, click on Abbey Tour, then on the upright rectangle in the lower end of the Nave. When Queen Elizabeth's mother was married at Westminster, she laid her bridal bouquet here. So when she died, the Queen laid her mother's funeral wreath on the tomb, as well. I thought that was a sweet thing to do.

Front View.

In fact, go to the Westminster Abbey website and take a virtual tour. It's really quite amazing. And you'll get to see a picture of the tomb I talked about earlier, with the allergy-inspiring sculpture.

Detail of Front Door.

On a lighter note, this was parked outside the Abbey...

They're called Smart Cars. We saw them all over the place. Just looking at them makes me giggle! Would you believe that it even had a BACK seat? No leg room, but there was a seat there!


Kelly said...

What beautiful pictures and stories. Very inspirational Jessie. I also giggled at the car. How the heck does any one fit in it? Looks like a match box car, if you breath on it wrong it will fall apart.
Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

Olivier said...

very funny this car is actually not a smart it is a REVA fully electric car manufactured in India . No petrol only electricity...

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