Monday, October 15, 2012

England Day 14 and going home

Wednesday October 10

The hotel which James had found was very nice besides almost free (only had to pay the taxes) thanks to "" (book 10 get one free). And it was in a very convenient area for us. After a good night's sleep we were on our way again. On the way to the underground we stopped for a coffee and something baked. Like yesterday we bought a day-pass which was £7 each for the whole day instead of 4 for each one way, a no-brainer!
We went to Waterloo station and when we popped up found a sign pointing us into the right direction to walk.

The underground/metro/tube is such a convenient way to get around in London. Quite often you find musicians in the long corridors. Male or female, young or old, classical or modern music. I forgot to tell yesterday that suddenly coming out of a train we heard the Ralph McTell song "Streets of London". Our song! It took me by surprise and it always brings tears to my eyes. When James and I were freshly dating 37 years ago, he gave me the single record with the promise "to take me by my hand and show me the streets of London". Well, he has shown me more streets then that! It always reminds me what a wonderful blessed life I have.

First thing on our agenda today was the London Eye. There it is ... and you can see the tower of Big Ben peaking through in the middle.

It opens at 10 and the queues were not that long. We even got a senior discount.

Sorry if you think that I put up too many pictures. I took many because it was a glorious day. And taking panorama photos is just too much fun too.
You can see the shadow of the London Eye in this photo on the left on the Thames.

Westminster Parliament and Big Ben.

Of course the bridge is straight and not curved.

Buckingham Palace with the famous balcony on the back edge of the green in the middle of the photo.

 And here is Cui, William's friend.
I was a bit worried that Cui might fall into the Thames.

In a minute Cui goes back into my backpack and we walk over Westminster Bridge.

This church is right next to Westminster Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
The Abbey on the right and St Margaret's straight ahead. You had to pay to go into Westminster Abbey, I had already seen it (several years ago) and we didn't really have that much time anyway, so we just peaked into St Margaret's ... but photography not allowed.
Passing Westminster Abbey we went to the underground station and took the train to Stepney.

James' Nephew Nick and wife Kerry are Salvation Army ministers in Stepney, one of the poorest areas in London. We are able to follow their ministry a little on Facebook but were interested to learn more about it.

They met us at the station and gave us a little tour.
Here is the statue of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army.
Nick could explain all the people in this mural but sorry to say that I can't remember. Some are famous, some are local. It was very interesting.

We had lunch in the cafe on top of the library. It was very nice. We had passed many stands of veggies, fruit and other things. An open air market. Because Stepney has many immigrants, some of the veggies looked 'foreign' to us too.
London city center is not that far.
We walked towards their house and passed this building, a kind of public housing. It's like a V ...
... with a yard in the middle.
 Even with a beehive.

The area is surprisingly 'green' with play space and parks.
Young men were sitting around in groups, some smoking. Nick and Kerry asked us whether we knew that smell. One of the problems they are facing and ministering too is the drug problem. We are so impressed with the work Nick and Kerry are doing.

Kerry was excited to point out a city farm occupying a whole block.

The pictures are not very good but it was an interesting place with all sorts of farm animals and gardens. This of course is a great place for the children in the area.

Henry and Penny of course were in school and we had to leave to get back to Windsor.

But PLEASE check out this link
The work Nick and Kerry are doing here in this poor part of London is so incredible. Wonderful Christians!
Amazing how lucky we were with all connections. Windsor Castle in sight from the train. 

Walking through King Edward Court Shopping Center we saw the Diamond Jubilee Tribute Statue which had been unveiled by the Queen the day before. We were sorry to miss it since Father Ainsley (priest of St Stephen's) was going to meet the Queen.

Another link
Somewhere in this crowd could be Jane.

Queen Elizabeth II - Queen Elizabeth II Unveils Diamond Jubilee Monument
I took these pictures from the internet.

Jane, where are you?

Queen Elizabeth II - Queen Elizabeth II Unveils Diamond Jubilee Monument

Thursday October 11

Early we were on our way back home to Virginia. On the way to the gate in Heathrow we saw this huge picture on the wall and James took it for me.


THE END (of this vacation).

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Christa, for blogging about this trip. You brought back special memories and gave me ideas for 'next time'!