Friday 6/28: Westminster Abbey

After our trip to Westminster Cathedral, the group convened briefly outside for a quick photo shoot with American Community School at Cobham’s photographer, who conducted some very artsy umbrella shots as we stood lined up in the rain. (At this point, I felt pretty dumb for dressing up.) Stay tuned, I’ll let you know where you can find those glamour shots posted.

Then we meandered along the alleys and walks, snapping pictures. I felt a bit like a lost puppy, no doubt looking wet, out of place, confused, and endlessly scruffy (special thanks to my fresh newsboy haircut for that one).

But it was a good time. We took the “long way” (also known, when it rains, as the very long way) to the Abbey, which revealed some exciting finds as far as sightseeing, including the MI5 building, the claim to fame of which is its detonation in Skyfall. (I haven’t seen the film yet, but I can assure you that the blown-upness of the actual institution is remarkably nonexistent.)

So, how about some photos of our walk?

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Below, you can see the banner for the Royal Horticultural Society’s 100th Chelsea Flower Show, which took place from May 21st through 25th. (Fun fact: this year, the Geranium was awarded the distinction of “Plant of the Centenary”.)
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Below, schoolboys practice cricket in the park.

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I fell in love with pastel-washed flats today.

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Especially this pink and blue one.

(P.S: Getting fancy with the photo editing!)

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These climbing roses are my favorite addition to any home.

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So many plants outside these flats! It’s awesome!

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…And then back to London!

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At long last, we reached Westminster! The photographer shot a few more pictures of us, with Big Ben (sorry! Elizabeth Tower) as his backdrop. With a little time to kill before lunch, we all seized the moment and snagged a few pictures ourselves.

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Then we made our way inside the Abbey…

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…And we had lunch. Today, my sandwich combo was seasoned chicken, cream cheese, and cucumber slices. Deeelicious. (By the way, I believe we will receive £5 tomorrow and have the chance to seek out our own lunch in the city!)

As we corralled the group back together, I examined a stone engraving in the Abbey.

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Before long, we embarked in two separate coalitions, on a self-guided tour of the Abbey. I’m sorry to say that photography was not allowed, but notwithstanding, it wouldn’t do the experience justice. The tombs were incredible, and despite the aching in my feet and the impermeable crowds, I feel that I left with some quintessential understanding of humankind. Or maybe that’s just the slight dehydration talking.

For my fellow writers, the Poets’ Corner may be of interest to you. Although Geoffrey Chaucer, the first literary figure laid to rest in the area, merely earned the fate by serving as Clerk of Works to the Palace of Westminster, today there are nods to Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, and many similarly influential others.

There was also a small exhibit all about Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, which of course I loved. More on this later.

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There was just a smidgen of free time left after the tour, so Brandy and I set off to take a look around Victoria Street, and a few small stores nearby, including a cafe, where Brandy bought a croissant, and I took pictures. Yum.

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We also stepped into a book shop, where I purchased a book detailing the origins of modern-day household items and one about the art community in London as it relates to young adults.

Also, you knew it was coming… the obligatory telephone booth photo. This one’s for you, dad.

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Tomorrow, we will be visiting the Houses of Parliament and seeing a show: 39 Steps. Can’t wait!

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