Friday, June 16, 2006

Last Trip to London

We took Tom and Claire to London. It was our last trip to the city, so we wanted to make visits to: the British Library, Kensington Palace, the Brompton Oratory, and the National Gallery.

Here are Tom and Claire, working Sudoku on the train.

This is what King's Cross station REALLY looks like on the outside.

While Tom took Claire to more famous sights that she had not yet seen, we went to the British Museum to see the 'Treasures of the British Museum' exhibit. Here's the main courtyard of the library. We spent over two hours there; Danny could have spent all day there.

In the exhibit: the Codex Sinaiaticus, the oldest extant manuscript (4th c.) of all four gospels, Magna Carta, a sheet of stamps from the reign of George III printed in accord with the Stamp Act (presaging the American Revolution), Lewis Carrol's handwritten Alice's Adventures Under Ground, a handwritten page from James Joyce's manuscript for Finnegan's Wake, and a cabinet of music manuscripts (Josquin, Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Chopin, Britten, and the Beatles). Wow!

A large bronze of Isaac Newton is shown here, working with a compass.

We met Tom and Claire at Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived until her death.

Here's a side view, showing some of the gardens.

This famous eatery, The Orangery, is situated in the Kensington Gardens.

As with all the public gardens we have seen in England, these were beautifully kept.

Here is one of several pools within the gardens.

At the southern end of Kensington Gardens sits the Royal Albert Hall.

The Albert Memorial is just outside the hall, in the gardens.

The four corners of the Albert Memorial were decorated with statues of the continents. This one depicts Europe.

Here is Tom acting it up in one of the red phone boxes. The mailboxes in the UK are also painted red.

The gardens near the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain were beautiful and filled with roses.

The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain is shown here. It was not at all what we expected (for a fountain, that is), but it was beautiful and very peaceful.

This shows a close-up of the fountain.

Here is the Natural History Museum. We never had the chance to visit it, so we will have to come back for it the next time we're in England.

Outside the Brompton Oratory was this statue of John Henry Newman.

The Brompton Oratory reminded us very much of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, on a smaller scale. Here is a picture of the nave.

The Pieta was lovely.

Here is a side chapel dedicated to the Madonna.

You can see in this picture of the main altar how decorated the church is.

This crypt holds a replica of the remains of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Oratorians, for whom the church is named.

Another museum we'll have to visit on our next trip is this one, the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This shows the west side of the museum. It was damaged in WWII and the decision was made not to repair the outside (for history). It was interesting to note all the bomb damage.

Can you believe this? It's GREAT! This helpful map shows the locations of the 'award winnning' loos (bathrooms) in the area!

Later in the day we made our way to the National Gallery, the museum containing wonderful paintings. As it was Wednesday, we could stay there late until closing time (9:00 pm), but we still had to rush to see the 'must see' paintings.

Tom and Claire wanted to see Tower Bridge lit up at night so we headed there to end the day. Here's the Bridge: the Tower of London is off to the right.

Here is a picture of the Tower of London.

This picture of the Tower of London (with the Gherkin off its right shoulder) was taken from Tower Bridge.

The red bridge in this picture is the London Bridge.

Well, we stayed long enough to see the lights on Tower Bridge.

We headed home after a very long and wonderful day in the city.


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