Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Visit to the Old Country, Part 4

(Continues from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

We're almost done with the travelogue, so let's take a deep breath and continue to...

Friday morning was Southwark Cathedral and Boroughs Market. The latter is a sprawling complex of stands that sold everything from cheese to fresh meat, fish, and vegetables, to prepared foods, such as savory pies, and the place smelled great. I had to leave before lunch was moved up to 10:30 a.m.

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Southwark cathedral

Past the replica of the Golden Hind, past the replica of the Globe Theater, crossing the Thames at the Millennium Bridge - which no longer shakes - in front of St. Paul's, we decided it was time for a restorative drink at Blackfriar's pub.

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St. Paul's church

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Black friars at Blackfrriar's pub

Next stop was the Temple Church, in the legal center of London. Founded by the Templar Knights, the church is now the responsibility of the four Inns of Court. Small church, with a round end opposite the altar, and dates to the Crusades.

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Temple church

I firmly approve of the idea of making the legal profession pay for the upkeep of the church.

At the Twinings store, buying yet more tea, I could hear a noisy demonstration. Across the street was a court building (I think) and, in front of it, were a dozen loud people. The leader, shamefully enough, had an American accent. They were protesting the decision to extradite a terrorist being held in Britain to the U.S., ostensibly because the U.S. has the death penalty. The newspapers suggested that a majority of Britons preferred to have such a person in a different country, death penalty or no.

Friday evenings the British Museum is open late, and the crowds are relatively small.

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Lewis chessmen

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The Rosetta Stone

Canterbury was Saturday's trip, out a high-speed rail line. Although the town was quite crowded, the cathedral, thankfully, was not.

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Canterbury cathedral

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Stained glass windows inside the cathedral

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Canterbury Palace

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Ruins of the old cathedral

Nearby were the ruins of Canterbury Palace and St. Mildred's church. Then it was a long trek past the ring road to see St. Augustine's Abbey, which was torn down and converted into a huge Norman church after 1066.

By Sunday we were worn down and decided on a trip to the Victoria and Albert museum in Kensington. Between the museum and Harrod's was a small, curving street where, in a single block, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, and a convertible Bentley coupe were parked. I'm not sure I would want to park my Lamborghini on the street, but, then again, I can't afford to live in that neighborhood.

Monday was devoted to shopping in town. Tuesday morning, bright and early, the trek back to the Colonies started.

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