My day alone in the big city started with getting out of the door at 10:30am and making my way on the Underground to Green Park in 15mins. (G had to stay in to do her paper, so I had the whole day to myself.)
There were so many people! Getting a prime spot was not easy. It got worse when it started and all those damn selfie sticks shot up, making me, for just a few seconds, wish that I too had brought my own. But that is beside the point.
The event? Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace at 11:30am.
I was impressed by the band’s repertoire, playing the traditional marches and modern pop hits like Pharrell’s “Happy” during the lull in the half hour ceremony.
After that, I went on my own walking tour of London, going down the way of Buckingham Palace Road and into Victoria Street to see Westminster Cathedral and further on to Parliament Square (Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben), Westminster Bridge, U-turned into Whitehall, passed Downing Street, and went home via Charring Cross Station. It was a really long walk but it was worth it, seeing so many buildings and statues/memorials that I don’t think other tours will do. 🙂
Westminster Cathedral is pretty unique. One can enter for free, but a donation is deeply welcomed as the place needs to do restoration and renovation. This Catholic Cathedral is the main seat of the Bishop for the British Isles. Its architecture was inspired by the Blue Mosque or Haga Sophia in Istanbul, thus the interior looks very oriental. Check out the Byzantine mosaic art and other features, and also the other chapels in the hall. This Cathedral is the very first that I have come across where the ceilings are bare. Not even a coat of paint. I’m sure you will read up on the history of this place on your own.
And on to Parliament Square. There is a newspaper report that Parliament needs to move out for a few years in order for the proper renovation works to be carried out in the building. I wonder if they will move out.