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London . . . Again

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 8 June 2022 | Views [34]

Bank Junction, where Olde London meets the 21st Century

Bank Junction, where Olde London meets the 21st Century

WITH A SIGH OF RELIEF WE RETURNED the rental car at Heathrow. Our first purchase was a pair of Oyster Cards for the Underground loaded with £20. It's our ticket to ride, just swipe and go and we can travel beneath London for the next six days. It feels strange not to have car keys jingling in my pockets but I won’t miss the stress of driving—2000 miles in four weeks around hundreds of roundabouts and through narrow roads.


              We'll catch the next one!


                Our Flat in London


                           West Kensington Rowhouses

We’re staying at an AirBnB (surprise!) in a row house in West Kensington. At $150 a night it’s a bargain in a city where basic hotel rooms begin around £200 pounds. Our ground-floor flat has living room/kitchen, separate bedroom and bath, cable TV and wifi. We’re surrounded by restaurants, groceries and a choice of Underground stations for both the Piccadilly and District lines, putting anywhere in London within easy reach.


   Temple Bar, where Westminister ends and London begins

We have been to London several times—you probably have, too—but we were usually rushed and on our way to somewhere else. This time we are taking it slow as Connie cherry-picks places we’ve missed or want a closer look at. 


     Iconic London, St. Paul's and double-decker buses


          Royal Courts of Justice


        St. Dunstan's, where the Great Fire stopped

We Americans think of London as ancient, what with its Roman and Norman history. In truth, much of what wasn’t razed by the Great Fire in 1666 was bombed our during the Blitz. There are probably many buildings in Boston and New York that are older than those in London.


             All Saint's on Margaret Street, definitely not Wren


           High altar, All Saints


       All Saints, intimate and colorful

It’s hard to find a church that wasn’t designed by Christopher Wren. He must have been a busy dude after the Great Fire—more than 80 churches were destroyed along with some 13,000 homes. Wren is credited with designing 53 churches, including St. Paul’s and several secular buildings. But not the polychrome All Saints on Margaret Street. Unlike the cavernous cathedrals like St. Paul’s, All Saints is an intimate and colorful place of worship—or a place to wile away an hour. A bit of “hidden” London, as it were.


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