The service, Choral Matins, was really lovely, and featured the Te Deum from William Byrd's Great Service (as I whispered to husband when it was done, "this is why Queen Elizabeth tolerated Byrd's Catholicism!") We enjoyed a trebuchet demonstration (photo of it in action below!) and for lunch, the biggest fish fillet I've ever seen (so we just split one order of fish and chips). Husband wanted to see the Tower Bridge nearby, so we wandered across it and found all sorts of cool things to look at on the other side of the Thames, including some kind of music festival in the park and the HMS Belfast, before crossing back on London Bridge to find a tube station home. It was a spectacular Sunday afternoon.
|The completely awesome Tower of London. The original castle bit was built by|
William the Conqueror in the eleventh century.
|The Chapel Royal (St Peter ad Vincula), which was smaller and simpler than I expected,|
but really beautiful and with great acoustics, and the people were extraordinarily friendly.
|I'm such a sucker for medieval siege weaponry; I couldn't resist stopping|
by to watch the trebuchet demonstration on our way out.
|If you looked really close at one of the turrets, you'd find this ghostly|
soldier protecting Her Majesty's palace.
|A view of the Shard (one of the distinctive buildings downtown near that Tower)|
|And a view of the Gherkin (another of those buildings that seems so incongruous alongside the|
Tower, which is in the foreground). Husband says a gherkin is a small, sweet pickle.
|The Tower Bridge, an icon of London. If your ship needs to pass through, you have|
to give them 24 hours' notice.
|Doesn't this totally look like Diagon Alley??|
|HMS Belfast, a decommissioned WWII cruiser now on permanent display. As the trebuchet|
at the Tower of London was the siege engine of its time, the cruiser serves the same purpose for the twentieth century.
|We finished up our trip by meandering down the river to London Bridge -|
you can see its label on the side of the pillar. Contrary to the nursery rhyme, it looks pretty sturdy to me!