London, United Kingdom
After yesterday’s walking session, the obvious way to start today was with a run! Well, let me clarify. Rachael runs, I shuffle! Kennington Park for a few laps, squirrels, dogs, and back home for brekky. First stop, the Tower of London. 20 mins in the queue to get in, then fluked it straight into the Crown Jewels exhibition. Rachael wanted a quib about the “crown jewels”, but this is a strictly PG rated blog, so let’s move on, shall we? Pretty interesting stuff, plenty of cash on display (or are they just fancy replica’s? We’ll never know), a testimony to the Royal’s excesses. We get out of the Jewel Room and the queue has grown to a 50min wait, so a big win there. Bloody Tower was next. “Torture at the Tower” is the title of this charming room, full of very nasty ways to make you talk. Quaint! The whole Tower of London was terrific, well worth the time spent there. Headed of to St. Paul’s which is LARGE. Very impressive, the Catholics fight back! Rachael lights another candle…. Lunch. Then a church of a different kind. Read Di Vinci code? Seen the film? Then you’ll know this place. Temple Church, the church of the knights Templar. Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple, or simply Templars, were among the most wealthy and powerful of the Western Christian military orders. The organization existed for nearly two centuries during the Middle Ages. Their church is a most fascinating, mysterious and atmospheric place. And the acoustic’s….sneeze, and the sound bounces everywhere. Tucked away down a couple of lanes, through a guarded walk way, and surrounded by a cluster of buildings, this feels secretive. The burial ground for fallen Knights, a blast of ancient history, and the back story worth squillions. Regroup……march on. Back up The Strand to Trafalgar Square….starting to get my barrings now, then down Whitehall to Big Ben. Which is BIG, and impressive. Over to Southbank, checked out the London Eye, maybe another day, and on to a groovy little food market. Coffee….ah, coffee. Let me digress a little and discuss. Why in a city of 8 million are people prepared to put up with Starbucks as their standard? Londoners idea of upmarket is other chains such as Nero, or Costa. Nowhere are there cafes, or boutique coffee houses. Good coffee barely exists! Maybe there are too many Londoners, and they don’t have time to wait for fair dinkum coffee. I mean, there are literary 100’s os Starbucks in central London. Rant over…. Back home. Long day. Stuffed. Quick pasta/pizza feed, and once more in bed before the sun does down. Oxford tomorrow.