Friday, October 25, 2013

London Day 2

Big Ben in the daylight.
We were in London this time last year! 
I have never posted the rest of our trip, but you can see our first day in London here
Westminster Abbey

We made our way to the gorgeous Westminster Abbey on our second day.
I hate to admit that it took until our third time to London to visit this amazing church!
It is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country and was founded in 960.
It is a treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and is also where some of the most significant people in the nation's history are buried or commemorated. 
Some of the famous people buried here besides lots of Earls, Sirs and Duchesses are: 
Jane Austen, Charlotte, Emily and Ann Bronte, Lewis Carroll, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, etc. 
Pretty neat seeing all of their memorials. 
Pictures weren't allowed inside, only out in the halls and courtyard. 

Can you find Adam?

Gorgeous Westminster Abbey

Adam, Karen, Steve

Britain's oldest door- most likely constructed in 1060!

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. 

We walked around London and took a little tour with Rick Steve's book, that told us all about the interesting buildings, people and history. All I can say is, back in the day, to be a King, you were a marked man!
Coolest guy to travel with- I love him!
So, a story about the phone booths. Yes- they still had phones in them, but who uses them? I bet they're mostly for photo ops like this one. (Please remember- I was 5 months pregnant!!) Anyway- our hotel and the subway were only a block apart, and there was a phone booth on our walk there. In the morning we walked by the phone booth and it looked just like this one. And in the evening, coming back from touring we passed by it and it was smothered in disgusting pictures, only to be cleaned up again the next morning. Crazy. 
October in London. I love the sidewalk flower shops!!
Beautiful buildings!

Next, we went to Churchill's War Rooms- one of the Imperial War Museums, with Steve while Karen went to the hotel to rest. 
This was our first time there and it was pretty cool. 
Everything was exactly the way they left it in 1945 when the war was over. 
It is amazing how they worked things and kept track of the war before internet and cell phones!
And this little bunker was underground, hidden right off of one of the main streets in downtown London, while above ground, the city was getting bombed! It was really, really neat, and I highly suggest visiting this place if you go to London. 
This was the chiefs of staff meeting room. 
I can just imagine the room filled with smoke while they debated and discussed strategies. 

The keys for all the rooms. 
This shows the lines of advancement all through Europe. It was updated regularly. Really high tech right?

At the end was an interactive museum detailing the life of Winston Churchill, whom I knew nothing about before this trip. It was interesting to learn that his nanny basically raised him while his parents were hosting parties and such. That he was a pretty fair guy with lots of guts. And that he loved his leisure one-piece suits. Really, go see it if you can. We had some soup and bread in the little cafe there and continued on our way. 
Our next stop that evening was the British Museum.
It had an amazing collection of art from around the world.
Basically art curators would visit countries and pay the people to bring their priceless art to the museum. Now it isn't so easy, but back in history it was. It was fun to see- I can't imagine shipping all of this stuff to London. 

We even got to see the REAL Rosetta Stone!
It is really cool the way it works- the top section is a decree written in Hieroglyphs, the traditional script of Egyptian monuments, the middle section is the same decree written in Demotic, the everyday script of literate Egyptians, and the bottom was the decree was written in Greek, the language used by the government. It was beyond cool and for sure inspired, I'm sure. You can read the pictures below if you want to know more. 

Cool old money.
The gorgeous inside of the British Museum. We were there until closing and they had to push us out. We wish we had a little more time there!
We asked our hotel concierge where a great place to eat dinner was within walking distance from our hotel. He suggested Disco Damario Pizzeria and said this is where Princess Diana used to go. We had nothing to lose, and we were not disappointed. Authentic Italian pizza and delicious chocolate cake. It was perfect. It rained a little on the way and there weren't hordes of tourists out so it was nice. 

Disco Damario Italian Restaurant

I never knew what these were until that night- British mailboxes! Pretty cute, right? We got piggy banks for the boys to keep their foreign coins in, one was this shape, another was the phone booth. 
Pregnant belly starting to pop! 
(Perhaps from all the chocolate cake? I'm sure Franky didn't mind.)

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