After a great night's rest we awakened to start our full day in London. We noticed last evening a couple nice places near our hotel that open for breakfast.
Caffe' Concerto makes a lovely omelette that gave us the energy to enjoy the morning activities. Last evening we bought the tickets for the Hop On Hop Off Bus to take a tour around London. This seemed like a great way to see more of the sights up close and personal. This is a great way to stop when you want and get back on later if you have time.
There are flowers everywhere we walk in London. I applaud this lovely city for adding so much more beauty to an already amazing place. Let's get on the double decker bus. Maybe we'll try the top level or maybe you want to sit downstairs where it's less breezy.
Right off the bat we pass by the Horse Guards Building with a mounted trooper of the Household Cavalry in full regalia. How exciting! There is an air of royalty in London.
We were thrilled to see the lovely architecture that surrounds the Houses of Parliament that borders the River Thames. It's so fun to view these iconic spots in person.
Traveling through the West End Theater district we notice the lovely flower boxes brimming with lovely color. It would have been nice to have time to take in a show.
The lovely Sicilian Avenue shopping area looks so charming in Bloomsbury, London.
The Royal Stock Exchange sits proudly among the skyscrapers of London.
Our bus took us back across the Thames on the London Bridge. The Tower Bridge is in our view.
The Tower of London is officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. Not only is it a castle, but a fortress and an infamous prison.
Riding along the streets of London we pass many iconic places.
The Marble Arch used to be in front of Buckingham Palace during Queen Victoria's reign until she had it moved. The arch has been moved many times and now is in the Park Lane area.
As you can see Trafalgar Square is quite the gathering spot. We continued on the bus tour.
We pass by the Monument to the Women of WWII. The lettering on the monument is the same lettering used on ration books used during the war. There are 17 different uniforms symbolizing the hundreds of jobs that women did during the war.
Down this block is Number 10 Downing Street, the headquarters of the Government of the United Kingdom and the home of the Prime Minister.
The beautiful towers of Westminster Abbey rise skyward. This area was so congested with construction it appeared to be impossible to visit.
We decided with the time we had left we would visit St. Paul's Cathedral. So we left the bus and walked up to the cathedral to buy our entrance tickets.
Queen Anne was the reigning monarch when the new St. Paul's Cathedral was completed in 1710. Her statue stands in front as we enter. St. Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican church and is the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It is dedicated to the Apostle Paul. The present church is at least the forth cathedral to stand on this site. Its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The present cathedral was designed by the great Sir Christopher Wren. Including its dome it used to be the tallest building in London until 1967. The dome stands at 365 feet tall.
Stepping inside of St. Paul's I'm in awe of the quiet beauty and reverence of this very large building. You may remember that St. Paul's was chosen for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
We really enjoyed the multimedia headphones that provided a wealth of information on the cathedral. It was an especially nice way to enjoy the serenity of this special place and still stop and reflect when we wished. The cruciform sculpture is one of two that commemorate the 100 year anniversary of World War I. They each depict the war graves of Northern France.
The beautiful gilded ceilings caused us to have a seat and ponder the meaning of each one.
The altar with the organ in the background.
Even though we didn't hear the organ playing the media headphones gave us a small sampling of its beauty. I must admit even hearing it through a headphone touched my soul.
The stone effigy of John Donne has its place in the cathedral. Nicolas Stone designed the statue of Donne the preacher and poet and Dean of St. Paul's. This piece survived the Great Fire of London of 1666 that destroyed the Norman cathedral of St. Paul.
I'm so glad we were able to visit this beautiful house of worship in London. Though our time was quite limited in this lovely city, we enjoyed it very much.
We headed back to our hotel to pack our bags and get ready to leave and head back to Southampton in the morning to board the Queen Victoria. We are so excited to be going to Norway! Please join us as we travel the North Sea to a most beautiful kingdom.