Two whirlwind weeks! Two weekend trips in two days and lots of London exploring. I am a week behind with this post, and currently sitting on the EuroStar on the way to France while writing. Life has been busy to say the least.
Last Friday, we traveled two hours northwest of London to Salisbury, England (the home of Stonehenge). We spent much of our day exploring the ancient streets of this tiny town. When trying to desperately escape the rain, sometimes you get lucky and find a delicious a French cafe with kind waiters and yummy salmon croques that are just what you need.
Following lunch, we took a class tour of the Salisbury Cathedral…WOW. The massive cathedral is full of huge stain-glassed windows and gorgeous architecture. Separate from the cathedral is The Chapter House. This room is home to one of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta (year 1215…crazy thought). The delicate architecture around the room tells the stories of the books Genesis and Exodus. It depicts beautiful scenes of Adam and Eve, Abraham, and the Tower of Babel, just to name a few. These scenes made me feel connected to the people of centuries past. We learn & read about, and love the same Jesus. He works when we don’t even know it!
We hopped on the bus and rode 30 minutes outside of Salisbury for Stonehenge. The rain and wind were brutal, but I didn’t mind. We were in awe.
On Saturday morning, we again boarded the bus and drove to Woodstock, England to visit Blenheim Palace. Home to the Duke of Marlborough of Oxfordshire during the Baroque period, the Palace of Blenheim is, interestingly enough, the only palace in the United Kingdom that is a non-royal residence. Instead, it is considered a piece of history. The large palace is full of amazing paintings and tapestries that tell the stories of Britain’s history. It was beautiful.
After recuperating from a tiring weekend of travel, I continued my exploration of London. After three full weeks here, it feels like London-life is my new normal. I can navigate the London underground, make my way around the city without getting lost, and confidently give food and pub recommendations (call me a foodie?). However, just when I think I have mastered it all, London shows me new wonders. That is the beauty of this city – there is always a side yet to be discovered. Because of this, my list of places to see and food to eat is multiplying rapidly.
During week two, we bought tickets to Wicked at the Apollo Theatre on a whim (I’m so glad!!), explored the shops of Covent Garden, visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, viewed the collections at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square, drank a little wine, and ate a few macaroons. My favorite part of the week: afternoon tea at Soho’s Secret Tearoom. Raisin scones, strawberry jam, and lavender tea with lovely gals!!
Week three in London: We strolled through the pretty gardens at Kensington Palace and viewed the unique collections at Tate Modern Art Museum (some of these included Monet, Picasso, and Warhol). We saw Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre. (I recommend!!) We spent Tuesday afternoon strolling through Harrod’s department store, looking at designer collections, and grabbed lunch at the Godiva Chocolate Cafe (heavenly). The best part of the week: my family arrived safely in London!!!!!
The next week will be spent playing tour guide while my family explores London for the first time! Jesus is good!!