July 7, London
The flight was good. We had a meal, watched some movies and tried to sleep a bit. We arrived in London ahead of schedule around 2:00pm. It looks like we have brought Edmonton summer with us, Cloudy and 20c. We purchased our Oyster cards for the Tube. The Tube is the London subway and it is the oldest underground railway in the world which opened in 1863. We made our way to our hostel near St Paul's Cathedral. The hostel building was once the choir boy's school of St Paul's Cathedral. It was opened in 1874. After checking in we were off to explore a bit. We first visited St Paul's Cathedral. The first church on this site was dedicated to the Apostle Paul in 604 AD and the present church was built in the 17th century atop the highest point in the city of London. The church survived World War II while most buildings nearby were destroyed. This is the church where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married and where Winston Churchill's funeral was held. A service was just beginning so we watched the procession and the altar boys enter and listened to a bit of choir then left. Next we headed across the Millennium Bridge, past Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and over to the Borough Market which was used to film a part of the Harry Potter movies. It is a neat area with flower shops, fish mongers and restaurants .We passed the ruins of the 12th century Winchester Castle and nearby is the Southwark Cathedral, the oldest gothic church in London. We continued along the River Thames where we saw the London Bridge and a little further down was the Tower Bridge. We crossed over the Tower Bridge to the Tower of London which is a castle dating back to the year 1066. It has been added to many times over the years by William the Conqueror and other Kings. There were the ruins of an old drawbridge and an entryway named Traitor's Gate. Prisoners and traitors were brought into the castle through this gate where they were tortured, then killed and dumped into the river. We made our way back to the Tower Bridge and saw where the corpses would be fished out of the River Thames after being dumped from the Tower of London. Next we stopped along the river front at Hays Wharf where the tall ships used to bring tea and food into London for trade and storage. Here we visited a pub and had a British meal of fish and chips and mushy peas for supper (even though Brenna doesn't like fish). Finally, we headed back to the hostel to finish the day. We were off to bed by 11:00 pm. St Paul's Cathedral is real nice to look at but the bells, they chime every 15 minutes and the big bells ring every hour!!!