London (part 2): Saturday, 26th July 2008

Grabbing a coffee at Starbucks and getting on the tube around 09.00 AM became sort of routine for the next couple of days. With coffee in hand I visited platform 9 3/4, it was King’s Cross after all.

Platform 9 3/4

And then I was heading to Westminster Abbey, which is truly a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Unfortunately visitors are not allowed to take pictures, which is common rule in most cathedrals I guess, but at Westminster they had folks watching out and reminding you of that prohibition. So there are no indoor pictures. But as compensation for that I had a wonderful English gentleman guiding me through the Abbey: Mr. Jeremey Irons. Ok, only as the voice narrating the audio guide, but nonetheless, it was joy to listen to him.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

After a short visit to the Abbey’s shop I set off to watch the Change of Guards at Buckingham Palace. I only made it to the Wellington Baracks, where the guards are stationed and set off themselves. The sidewalks around the Queen Victoria memorial were crowed already and the space in front of the Palace’s gate even more. Which could have been expected and I found a perfect spot at a streetcorner in front of the Baracks’s gate and watched the guards set off. Does really happen anything more at the palace itself? I have no idea and probably will never find out:-)

Change of Guards
Crowds at Buckingham Palace

I went back to Leicester Square to check out if there were still tickets available for the Batman screening at the Odeon either on Saturday or Sunday evening. The movie was shown at to other movie theatres in central London as well, but Leicester Square was just located best for me. And I was lucky to still get a ticket for the 05:20 PM screening. Yay!

Billboard at Odeon, Leicester Square

Is there any chance that Chiquito franchise might open a branch in Germany once? I love Mexican food and this one was good and low priced. Leicester Square also is a heaven for Ben & Jerry’s lovers, as there are two parlours on opposite sides of the square. I probably should have been comfortable with just one scoop in a cup, but the Chocolate Brownie Cheescake Sundae looked to delicious to not try it. It was worth it although I felt really really stuffed later on. I did my work out to compensate for this indulgence only 30 minutes later, when I climbed 376 (and some more) steps to the top galleries of St. Paul’s cathedral. On a very hot, very sunny summer day. But it was worth it, because the view is something.

View from St. Paul's galleries

View from St. Paul's galleries

View from St. Paul's galleries

I actually planned to properly visit the cathedral itself after I climbed back down, but my legs disagreed vehemently. So I just sat down in an aisle, took a look around (relaxed a bit) and then wobbled back to the tube station and headed back to… yes, of course Leicester Square. Sitting in the sun, reading and just watching the folks pass by.

Leicester Square, my favorite square in London

And then there was the Batman movie and Pasta d’arrabiata at the Spaghetti House, before I headed back to King’s Cross and my hotel. This night I slept ON the blanket and so was able to at least catch a couple of hours sleep :- )

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