London- Day 1
After visiting southwest part of England on the weekend with our friend and his family, we went to my brother-in-laws place, who eventually lives very near to London. We planned stay at his place so that ,we could travel around London easily. Monday evening we reached his place. We were fatigued, on the top of that we had no time to visit any places in that evening, we decided to have rest. However, we had enough time to chalk out our plan for visiting London. My sister-in-law knows every nooks and corners of London, even every unknown places. She is a very good planning person.She asked us, what actually we wanted to see. After knowing our desire, she chalked put the whole plan, we just put little brain in that, rather Mr. Man, not me. Mr. Man told her about the English afternoon tea. Promptly she booked table at Wolsey in London, one of the upscale restaurant famous for afternoon tea. We were lucky enough to get table there, as most of the time it remains overbooked.
|Buckingham Palace from St. James Park|
First the plan was that, we three will travel around London, but my sister-in-law changed her mind, and wanter to visit London with us with her family. That was a great plan, we three, and my brother-in-law, his wife, and two little ones , it was going to be adventurous.
We took the tube train and got down at West Minister station. Crossing the 10 Downing Street, where the journalists were flocking around we reached the Horse Guard Parade. In fact, from where the horse guards go and come back during the change of guards at Buckingham palace. We took photographs with one of the horses along with the guard on its back. Then we again started again walking towards St. James’s Park. Our next destination was to watch Change of guards at Buckingham Palace. The century old grandeur palace stood with pride overlooking from the park. Queen Victoria was the first monarch resided at Buckingham Palace, after it was it was completed in 1837.
|Change of guards|
We spent some time in the huge park, beautifully decorated with different plants. The park was actually a marshland, before it was elaborately converted into a beautiful royal garden centuries ago. We visit around the park admiring the landscape with color-coordinated flower garden. The plants and the flowers were so vibrant and so lively, it was clear that, they got plenty of water. Once I heard from my friend who lives in UK told me that, few years ago, it was not raining at all , and government declared draught. As soon as draught was declared it started raining so heavily, that every where flooded with water.
Anyway, we were just waiting to go to Buckingham Palace to watch the Change of guards. When we reached the Palace, it was already over crowded, we literally ran around to find a place from where we could see it. However, our all effort almost went in vein though we could reach the fence of the palace. I could find a little spot where I could stand side wise, but I could see only back of the red dressed guards with huge black gear on their heads. Then we decided to go back, as we couldn’t see properly. We walked around and crossed the street and came to the Victoria Memorial. What a timing!!! When we reached the memorial from where we could see the front of the palace. At that very moment, the gate was opened and the guards marched out from the palace. We could watch the retreat of the guards very clearly.
From there we decided to walk to Westminster abbey, through St. James’s park again. So many spires, so many grand building, old and new we could on both sides of the streets.
1000 years old West Minister Abbey was standing just west to the West minister Palace. The Abbey had more than 1000 years old paintings, stained glasses, textiles, and many more treasures. The present abbey was the spectacular example of Gothic Architecture. The Abbey was a living church, where worship still takes place. The last wedding took place there was the Royal wedding of Prince William and Miss Kate Middleton (now Duchess of Cambridge) It was the coronation site as well as the burial ground of the royals. We even saw the age old coronation chair when we were coming out from the abbey. The Abbey is so huge, it is divided between parts.
|The Duke of York's column|