England: London at a Glance, and Southwark Cathedral

Day Two of our choir trip found us on a bus tour of London. Since we had limited time, we weren’t able to get off the bus at any point to take photos, which was pretty lame, but necessary (I guess).

We started at our hotel in the West Kensington/Earl’s Court area of London, which is so far from the center that it’s actually in a different Underground zone than central London. The tour took us through Kensington, past the Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park. That took us into the area surrounding Buckingham Palace, as well as to Knightsbridge, the shopping area famous for Harrod’s, among other high-end stores.

Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall.

Harrod's.

Harrod’s.

Triumphal Arch on Hyde Park Corner.

Triumphal Arch on Hyde Park Corner.

From there we headed to Westminster, where (you guessed it) Westminster Abbey is located, right across the street from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and across the Thames from the London Eye. Fortunately, I was able to return to Westminster with a few friends during some free time and take some decent pictures.

Me crossing (you guessed it) London Bridge.

Me crossing (you guessed it) London Bridge.


IMG_4474

The side of Westminster Abbey, where the visitor entrance is located.

The side of Westminster Abbey, where the visitor entrance is located.

The impressive front façade of Westminster Abbey.

The impressive front façade of Westminster Abbey.

In the afternoon we performed a concert in Southwark Cathedral on the south bank of the Thames, right next to London Bridge (not to be confused with Tower Bridge). After grabbing some meat pies for lunch at the Borough Market (despite one friend’s remarks about Sweeney Todd), we joined up with the rest of our choir for a warm-up and the concert.

Once we were done singing, we were given a tour of the cathedral. Although England’s cathedrals are as grand as many of the Catholic churches we have in the States, the majority religion there is Anglican, which is a Protestant denomination. I knew this, but it didn’t really occur to me until we paused our tour briefly for a prayer service that ended with the Protestant version of the Lord’s Prayer. A pleasant surprise for this Presbyterian girl.

The exterior of Southwark Cathedral.

The exterior of Southwark Cathedral (pronounced “SUTH-erk”).

Interior of the cathedral.

Interior of the cathedral.

Us during our concert. I'm on the first step up, the one behind the piano and closest to the camera.

Us during our concert. I’m on the first step up, the one behind the piano and closest to the camera.

Organ pipes.

Organ pipes.

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