"All the umbrellas in London, Couldn't hide my love for you
When everyone else is hiding, Rainy Sundays drunk at two
You'll whisper sweet lies to me, And one of them will be true
All the umbrellas in London Couldn't hide my love for you"
Umbrellas by Stars
Last year was a year of broadening my horizons - I started a photography business and launched a website (thanks for reading!), I reached personal and spiritual goals, and I explored 4 new countries. I have already shared Iceland and Ireland (and Northern Ireland - separate countries for those of you who have never looked at an atlas in a long time) with you - so last up, England!
I spent 3 weeks in Europe in May - 1 week in Ireland, 1 week in England and another week back in Ireland. If you are going to be in Europe, you might as well try to visit a couple countries while you are there!
First stop London! And naturally Big Ben & Westminster Abbey was out first stop.
The buildings in London are so amazingly beautiful. This is the House of Parliament building.
London was exactly how I imagine it would be in my mind.
I am really good at following a map and navigating myself most places but I was so excited looking around the whole time - I am grateful that Melissa did all the navigating for us.
As we wandered through London, we went into shops, grabbed coffees and scones to share. Then we headed to Trafalgar Square. It has Nelson's Column which is a statue in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson and is guarded by four sculpted lions. Also in Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery and two beautiful water fountains - as seen in the photo below.
The Tower of London is officially known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. Yes, that is a mouthful so let's just stick with the Tower of London. This historic castle has functioned as everything from a royal residence, an armory, a treasury, even a prison. If the walls of this castle could talk, it would speak of the Norman Conquest and oppression from the ruling elite over everyday people, it would tell tales of executions and the Great Fire of London. Oh, how I wish walls would talk sometimes - all those things we could learn but conveniently forget.
If you are near the Tower of London, you naturally will need to hop over to Tower Bridge. We amazingly find a nice group of women who wanted their picture taken, so we did a swap - this is me & Melissa! Yes, it was very windy - if you couldn't tell from Melissa's hair in my face.
The next day was a VERY special day. Melissa and I were able to spend the entire day at the London Bethel complex. We took the train to this beautiful complex and were able to meet with a lovely elderly sister who served in Ireland with her husband, preaching the good news of the Kingdom to many new ears. We then explored the AMAZING gardens at Bethel and met the cat who lives in the gardens.
The rose gardens just took my breath away. It is a magical walkway that has a swing off to the side. My inner romantic imagined how many love stories began in that perfect garden.
Next we had lunch with the Bethel family - fish & chips and scones with clotted cream! The most perfect lunch for a day at London Bethel! We finished up by having coffee in the gardens with a friend from Ireland and a friend from Italy. Tour time!
We made friends with this lovely family visiting from South Korea and then looked at their beautiful Bible exhibit, which featured amazingly old bibles in various Gaelic languages. Of course, we took a picture with Caleb & Sophia! Then we were able to join the Bethel family for dinner. It was truly an amazing day!!
Our last day in London started on the best note possible - we visited the police call box in Earl's Court... If you don't know this by now - I am a HUGE Doctor Who fan and visiting my Tardis here, well, needless to say - I was one happy Whovian.
To finish our last day in London, we went to the British Museum and explored for hours.
A couple more shots of meandering in London... Before we leave for Bath via Paddington Station.
Originally my intent was to blog the whole trip to England but due to the insane amount of photos.... I will call this London and blog Bath for you in a couple days.