Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey

Monument at Buckingham

We had finally made it to our last destination before returning to Canada after our epic journey – the long way around. From our first destination, Berlin Germany – to London, England.

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!

Last Room Left No.1

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.

Buckingham Angels

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.

Buckingham Palace

I have always been fascinated by ornate stonework, and I am never disappointed by Buckingham Palace – a Scottish Unicorn graces its gates!

From waymarking.com;

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!

Tales of Ascention

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!

Angelic Endowment

We found ourselves in front of Westminster Abbey, a primarily gothic church located just west of the Palace of Westminster.

The abbey once held a cathedral title for a short time in the 1500’s. Today it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Crowning

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.

Westminster Abbey

There was so much more to see with Parliament, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square, St. Margaret’s and Piccadilly Circus still on the list.

And we had an unexpected violent, torrential, bone soaking rainstorm to get through before we made all of our stops!

Ahhhh London!

In Front of Ben

You can follow this trip by heading to the ‘8 Country EU Tour‘ section. Enjoy many more photos of England by heading to the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.

(continued)

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16 responses to “Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey

  1. London is one of my all time favourite cities so far. I’ve been there nearly a dozen times, both short and longer visits and still haven’t seen all the areas i want to!

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      • My partner lives in Manchester so i’ve been in the UK every year for a number of years. In spite of where he lives, he never visits London so now when we go, there’s things he wants to see that I have already but we go back and revisit so he can see/do it too. Most of those are places i haven’t been since my early visits so i don’t mind seeing again. On our next trip, he wants to see the Tower of London and since I haven’t been there since 2000, it’ll be fresh for me too. I think I want to go to Hampton Court again as well.

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        • OoOoOh the Tower of London – I have not been there since the 1980’s – it is a bit off of the beaten path when you are walking – but I very much want to go. Especially after I recently re-researched the history – soooO fascinating! I too could do the sights over and over – I think that is because they are so historically significant – not like going to Disney and doing the same sights over & over…!

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    • oOoOh – it is quite spectacular. You could spend months there – so much to see! I never get tired of it. If you find yourself in the position, you must give it a go!

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  2. Pingback: The first time I saw London | Tvor Travels·

  3. We lived there for 3 years in the early 1970s (shows my age!) and have visited several times since. Will be back again this year for a week and looking forward to seeing all the changes. Chris G

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