Monday, September 09, 2013

3 Churches, a cat, & a cupcake

Yesterday we headed into London again - this time starting at Barbican Tube Station.  We headed off with our first destination being St Giles' Cripplegate - there has been a church there for nearly 1000 years, but the present church was built in 1394!!  It's a beautiful church - stuck right in the middle of apartments, office buildings, and the Barbican arts centre.  There are nice ponds near the church with areas for the residents of the flats to enjoy.

We liked this memorial because of the last line - short and to the point.

After we'd been inside we were exploring the outside area in which you can see part of the old London wall, and we came across a cat on a lead.  She was a lovely Bengal cat, and of course I had to have a chat and a pat - you can see her on her lead below.

We then headed off for our next church passing some interesting things on our way - pictures below.

Nice gates

Pretty air vent outlets - Ken thinks it looks like Telly Tubby land

Lovely green plant pots - these would be great in front of our flats

Balcony gardens on city flats - nice to see lots of people have made an effort
Our next church was St Mary Le Bow - better know as Bow Bells.  Apparently you're not a proper Eastender/Cockney unless you're born within the sound of Bow Bells.  Unfortunately the church wasn't open - it only opens during the week for visits so we'll have to go back another time.  We stopped and had a drink in a cafe next to the church so that we could admire it from outside (we had to be in the cafe as at this point it had started raining).

Front door of St Mary Le Bow
Our third and final church of the day was the grandest and the most breathtaking of the day - St Paul's Cathedral.  We didn't go in we just enjoyed the outside - beautiful gardens and unusually blue trees.  I remember years ago when I was doing my degree we were in a high rise building within view of St Paul's and it started snowing - it was one of the most magical scenes ever, the dome of St Paul's being covered with snow in the half light of a British winters day.

Arty shot - blue trees and red phone box

Across from St Paul's there was a ceremony going on at the Fire mans memorial - I looked it up afterwards and it is a remembrance ceremony that happens every year on the second Sunday of September.  The other thing which we found near St Paul's was a memorial to Governor Phillips (yes the Australian Governor).
Old fire engines

The flags of different brigades with St Paul's in the background

Governor Phillips memorial depicting the landing of the first fleet
 We then headed over the Thames via the Millennium foot bridge and wandered down the South Bank, discovering that it is the Thames festival at the moment so there were lots of stalls and street entertainers to look at.  Lots of people around enjoying the sunshine when it chose to appear - we escaped into shops when it rained too much.

Looking down the Thames to Tower Bridge with the unmistakable Shard dominating everything

I liked this view as in the front are the old houses and the Globe Theatre, and peeping over the top is modern London

Attempt at a self portrait when we stopped to have lunch in a riverside pub

Interesting Sculptures on one of the roofs

Restaurant made out of shipping containers

Old ice cream van that Ken was admiring

Interesting gardens / art installations on the South Bank

Second hand book stalls under a bridge

Ken dreaming of Tour de France glory

Street dancing competition that was going on under one of the bridges

A canal boat heading up the Thames and looking very small

Nice wall mural
Street performer - every time he blew into his tuba flames shot out the top
My cupcake today was a chocolate, coconut, and raspberry from a stall that is usually at Greenwich market - Ruby Tuesdays of London - make sure you get one if you're ever in the area as it was scrumdillyicious, and you'd never know that it was Wheat and Gluten free.
 It was a lovely day out enjoying all that London has to offer.

Distance walked:  3.5 miles.

Until next time, stay safe, keep smiling, and be kind to animals.

Pamela & Ken

P.S:  Final picture is a poster from the underground for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home which I rather like - the cats are taking over!  I know this probably means that there are lots of cats that need rehoming but I like to think it's a sign of things to come - that's why you should always be kind to cats, as when the animals rise up, they will be in charge.

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