Friday, November 12, 2010

Last day on Tour


Ray on Westminster Bridge
Our last couple of days in London and indeed the UK were spent mainly in the wonderful galleries and museums of this great City. By now we were getting quite proficient with using the Underground and making  the links from point to point in the city. Using our Oyster Cards we found this a terrific way to move quickly around.

However the day began with a walk from our Hotel across Westminster Bridge to the Abbey. As Armastice day is fast approaching we watched the lawns around the abbey being adorned with crosses and poppies representing those who died in the service of the Empire/Commonwealth. We found the Australian section.

We then went on to visit to our new friend Sister Judith SSC (one of the Chaplains at the Abbey). She lives in the Abbey precinct and we had morning tea with her and then walked in the rain to the famous Church suppliers in the street behind the Abbey. Ray did some ecclesiastical retail therapy.

Australian Remembrance crosses in Westminster Abbey grounds

Tate Britain
 We continued our walk in the wind and the rain whilst in this corner of London to the Tate Britain Gallery. This is yet another wonderful Gallery and like all those in London free admission!
But of course donations are invited.

Here we found among the many treasures some paintings by one of Ray's favourite English artists of the 20th Century, Stanley Spencer. Glenys found some of her favourite works by Turner and Constable.

We caught the London Bus to Trafalgar Square for a St Martin in the Fields lunchtime concert. On this day there was classical pianist. Gamil Khamis played Haydn, Kenneth Leighton pieces and Chopin. He was outstanding however the second piece was modern and hard work to listen to.

After lunch at the St Martins crypt we walked back through Leicester Square and through Soho our to Oxford Street (still raining) to find the Church of All Saints Margaret Street. This is a very well known Anglo Catholic London parish. On our way we walked through Carnaby Street which has been beautifully festooned in readiness for Christmas.

Carnaby Street
We returned for  a second visit to the National Gallery.  This time to explore the Sainsbury Wing and much to our delight we found this is all religious art and Icons spanning several centuries from all over the world. We enjoyed Cream Tea at the Gallery restaurant and stayed enjoying the art until closing time.

Our evening meal continued the upmarket theme at a pub called the "Coal Hole" which is adjacent to the Savoy Hotel on the Strand, but not in the Savoy. It is in fact built in the coal cellars of the Savoy. 

The evening's entertainment was at the Adelphi Theatre for Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest creation "Love Never Dies". Which is a sequel to "Phantom of the Opera". We were not disappointed - the music, the staging the technology and the performances were superb.
John Soane's House Museum

Our last day on holiday and we began with a visit to Holborn to the John Soane Museum. This is a private house that belonged to the architect, John Soane, and is preserved as it was at his death in 1835. John Soane was a renowned collector of antiquities and art. The house is an Aladdin's cave and we were so glad that Jenny and Stuart alerted us to this treasure trove.

Our last cultural expedition was to Victoria & Albert Museum at South Kensington. The great thing about the V & A for us,  is that we got a good feel for English history up close. We focused on the English history section 1400-1800. There were lots of school groups also enjoying their expedition and the Gallery provides well for childen with lots of hands on exhibits.

We returned to Waterloo near our hotel where we visited Lower Marsh a beaut little retail strip and then on to walk around Lambeth Palace which is the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archdeacon outside Lambeth Palace

Our holiday which has now taken us through six countries and over five weeks has finally come to an end. We have been very privileged indeed to be accompanied by a great group to the Holy Land and then to have enjoyed together such a wonderful time in Egypt and then the UK.

We thank all those who have made this pilgrimage possible and those who have looked after parish and home and dogs back in Melbourne.

We also thank those of you who have followed this Blog and given us such delightful feedback and encouragement. It has been good discipline for us to have written a daily blog which now preserves the memory and we can only rejoice and give thanks to God that we have been able to travel and to return safely.

                               Every blessing Ray & Glenys

1 comment:

  1. Hi Glen&Ray,I;ve just reached mobile range at Camooweal Qld & I'm sad to note your travels have finished .You have held my interest with your blog,you have both had a wonderful trip,I've also had a loverly time just reading your adventures ,thanks for taking the trouble & time to blog . Love Mitch {Peters little brother}