Travel Journal 2013

September 11

Hop on hop off buses run in major cities of the world. Being able to jump on and off at regular 15 minute intervals is convenient travel for those like myself with limited mobility. We sat on the open air, upper deck under cloudy, brisk skies listening to recorded commentary with historical information about the city and sites. Our first stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren and built after the great fire of 1066 with a tax on coal. While the facade makes a grand impression with a steep, ascending stairway and massive colunnade, the interior, for me, was a letdown. A dark, gloomy nave leads to a ponderous, domed rotunda. The alter appears in the distance, fenced in by ‘boys school’ choir benches. Its historical importance was all that made the expensive entry fee worth a visit. ¬†Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, Diana and Charles’ wedding and a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr.. Moving, interesting fact; on 9/11 a crowd of American tourists and Londoners gathered in the hundreds at the cathedral steps for a sermon of solace. Next stop, the Tate to see the Turner collection. Turner’s paintings explode with light like drug induced revelations. Strange, muddy glazes and transcendental imagery set him far ahead of his British contemporaries. We arrived too late to see the rest of the museum which is a good reason to come back to London. There are a number of Pre-Raphaelite paintings I would still like to see. Next time. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant next to the hotel. Ordered the special dinner for two which was delicious but much too much food. Chicken tikka masala which had a sweet, smoky taste, thick, golden lamb curry, piles of basmati rice and ice cream and coffee to finish. Between the food and the time difference, I couldn’t get to sleep ’till 3:30.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply