First a ride on the London Eye and then a tour and Evensong at Westminster Abbey
27.11.2018 - 29.11.2018 40 °F
Finally, a free day in England.
We’d planned to go to Stonehenge and Avebury today. I wanted to see both sites but without a car, we needed to take a tour. A tour would have been fine except that strong winds and flooding rains were predicted for today. We opted to skip the sites one more time and hopefully will see them next year.
We decided to go to Westminster Abbey and to get there we must walk along the river to the Westminster Bridge. As we got to the London Eye we saw that there was no line. We decided to take a ride before continuing to the Abbey especially since the sky had cleared up some.
Wow, what an amazing ride. The cars do not stop except for handicap persons, otherwise, it is a continuous, slow ride. We couldn’t see the tower but could identify where Buckingham Palace was located and of course, many areas where we have walked every day.
After the ride, we went on to Westminster Abbey for a tour. We signed up for the 2 pm tour, taking the audio tour in the interim. We got to see some of the Abbey while we waited.
Unfortunately, there are no photos allowed in the Abbey so one must rely on the website or books. But the abbey is an amazing place. As death masks were made of many people buried there, the sculptures are quite realistic. If you are going to the Abbey, I’d really recommend that you take the guided tour. You get into places that you wouldn’t otherwise.
After the tour, it was already nearly 4 pm. We wanted to eat something small in the Café but it was closed so we went to the cloisters and had bananas and trail mix that we’d brought. It was really cold and raining in the garden outside of the cloisters but as they are from the year 1,000 or so, it was such a historic place to sit. We ate then went into the Nave to wait to be seated for evensong.
A large crowd gathered behind us but we’d been told to wait there and we’d be seated first. Well, we were not seated first as the crowd was from a school. We were told to go and wait off to the side. We waited until all of the people invited from the school had been seated. We couldn’t see where they were seated as we were on the front side of a medieval screen. Once we were let in we were pleasantly surprised as we and a few others in our group were let into the unoccupied bishop chairs, by the choir, while the members of the school group were seated outside of the choir area.
We’d heard that the full Westminster choir would be singing and they were. Boys from 9-11 and older people to fill out the harmony. The organ was right above us. It was a really nice way to spend a cold evening.
We stopped at the Christmas market for our glogg and another round of steak and fries and lamb and fries. We went into a nearby building with tables set up to sit and eat and drink when we saw a young couple with a young child looking for a table. As ours would seat 4 we told them to sit at our table. Turns out they were from Saudi Arabia.
We have never met anyone from that country so it was great to get to talk to them. We didn’t ask political questions as there are too many issues today but we discussed things that were important to them as a person, their child, and what they were doing in London.
After eating we went back to the hotel, full of food, glogg and adventure.