Like many others, the first place I ever travelled (overseas) to visit was London. It was 1987 and I was far too young (at 14) to appreciate the experience. Most of my photos from the time are of boys and random people I cannot remember meeting.
Having visited many times since then, I should have learned my planning lesson, but of course I didn’t.
I knew we would not be driving into London, and I figured the best idea was to get a hotel near the airport so we could take the tube into town. No one wants to drive in London – including my English, London inhabiting friends!
What I didn’t do was book ahead. And of course we should have. We did find a hotel, but they had only two rooms left – both with single beds. The last night of our honeymoon, and we are sleeping in separate beds like my grandparents did in 1976. At least they weren’t bolted to the ground, and could be pushed together.
Ah well, it was our (my) own fault. We took the room, sucked it up and grabbed the tube to Buckingham Palace.
Though it was grey and rainy, a large crowd was gathered in front of the palace entry. Admittedly, I have never seen it any other way – rain, shine, sleet, snow. You can be sure of a crowd.
I have always been fascinated by ornate stonework, and I am never disappointed by Buckingham Palace – a Scottish Unicorn graces its gates!
In Celtic Mythology the Unicorn of Scotland symbolized innocence and purity, healing powers, joy and even life itself. It was also seen as a symbol of masculinity and power. Two sides of the same coin as it were, a blend of male virility and female nurturing…
And with its beautiful angels of justice, truth and charity, the Victoria Monument is also quite an impressive piece of marble!
We continued our walk led solely by sculpture. I love trying to figure out the stories, lessons and laws behind them. So much detail, so much physical labour and years in their making!
If you look, you can see actual emotion captured in many of the stone faces – highly embellished clothing, realistic folds and even vein-y hands!
The abbey once held a cathedral title for a short time in the 1500’s. Today it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There have been a heap of royal weddings in the abbey, dating back to the 1100’s – with King Henry 1 marrying Matilda of Scotland.
Most recently wed there, Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
And we had an unexpected violent, torrential, bone soaking rainstorm to get through before we made all of our stops!