London – Day 6 – Water, Art, Music, and Kebabs

London – Day 6 – July 15, 2019

We took the Thames River Clipper from North Greenwich to Embankment. It was a great way to see the city, and it’s way cheaper than the tour boats. It felt like we kept circling around Canary Wharf, but we were just following the dip in the Thames. It was our first really cool day and it was quite refreshing. Jackets all around, and a cup of tea for the journey.

Thames River Clipper
The Crew
My boys, my bridge.
We went underneath Tower Bridge.

We wandered down Embankment and recreated our Cleopatra’s Needle/Sphinx photo from when we were going out. G&B are so patient with our shenanigans.

The Original Embankment Photo
Our recreation.
Checking out Cleopatra’s Needle.
The boys at the Sphinx.

We went back along the river and made our way through some of the amazing parks and gardens that are on the other side of the road. There are statues and art everywhere. We found one of William Tyndale which was cool. We walked past the Ministry of Defense building and New Scotland Yard.

Beautiful Gardens in front of some fancy hotels!
William Tyndale.
Some amazing memorials in front of the Ministry of Defense.
As a British crime show fan, it was fun to see this.

We made it to Big Ben which was sadly swathed in scaffolding which we knew about, but it was a bit disappointing not to see and hear it. Glad it is getting some TLC though. Wandered through the park filled with statues of famous people near the Houses of Parliament.

Looking forward to seeing and hearing Big Ben (The Elizabeth Tower) again when it’s not shrouded in scaffolding.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
Girl Power!
The Boys and Nelson Mandela
The boys and Abraham Lincoln.
We saw quite a lot of mounted police in London.

We carried on and walked past Horse Guards and Number 10 Downing Street and on to Trafalgar Square. Had a look is St Martin’s in the Field Crypt which was one of my favourite places to go when I was out and about in the city for a quiet cup of tea. It’s been upgraded and expanded and it’s lovely, but the tea is much more expensive now!

Horse Guards.
The entrance to the Crypt.
The Crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields
The gang.
St Martin-in-the-Fields

Had a sandwich lunch (Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local have great lunch meal deals that we availed ourselves of, several times throughout the trip. I also love the sandwich varieties that the UK has) on the steps of St Martin’s. Then we went in for a free lunch time concert and enjoyed hearing the Southend Girl’s Choir perform.

Enjoying a free lunch time concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The amazing window in St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Then it was on to one of my most cherished places in London, the National Gallery. We had such a great time. The boys continued their education – lots of nudity and violence. You don’t think about it until you go with kids! There was lots of laughter and fun as well as being in awe at the amazing works of art.

Love this gallery so much.
National Gallery
There is so much to see, even in the buildings. This is the floor of the National Gallery.
Having fun with art at the National Gallery.
Reading about the art and artist.
National Gallery.
Taking it all in.
Taking a break.

I got a bit emotional (shocking, I know) as I sat in front of The Execution of Lady Jane. I just felt overwhelmed with the beauty and emotion of the painting and with the fact that I was there with my family and friends, and a little bit sad thinking about not having a life in London. We talked about the art we saw. Graeme told me what he loves about his favourite painting. We discovered some pieces that we hadn’t noticed before. Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, Turner. Colin discovered his favourite painting. I am so thankful that these world class galleries are free, there’s no barrier for anyone to experience the art and be moved by it. There are hundreds of free galleries and museums in London.

Sitting in front of my favourite painting in the National Gallery.
Seeing my boys in front of this art, learning, appreciating, sharing. Nothing like it.
Graeme in front of his favourite painting. Bacchus and Ariadne by Titian
In the National Gallery making our own art.
Looking out at Trafalgar Square from the National Gallery.
On the National Gallery Balcony
Looking out at Trafalgar Square. See if you can spot Graeme and Becky.
On the balcony of the National Gallery
The Blacketts at the National Gallery

After that, we went to St Bartholomew the Great Church, it was very cool outside, but we didn’t go in. William Wallace was put to death near the church and later his funeral was held here.

The entrance to St Bartholomew the Great Churchyard.
St Bartholomew the Great. (And Colin)
Feeling thirsty? This is an old water fountain with shared cups.

Then we went to Postman’s Park, another Pinterest find and it was incredibly beautiful as a park and moving as a memorial to people who had given their lives to save the lives of others. There are plaques along a wall telling the stories of people who died saving others.

Postman’s Park
The boys reading the plaques at Postman’s Park.
The Plaques at Postman’s Park

After this we took a couple of buses through the city to Limehouse to a fish/burger/kebab/chicken shop and got kebabs and chips and ate them at Limehouse Basin. The chip shop was across the street from our old YWAM base.

On the bus.
With my Zane.
Making our way through London.
Getting our kebab!
Our dinner view at Limehouse Basin.

Back to Stratford, the boys played on the playground for a while. My DSLR camera was in my backpack and got dropped on the concrete. I thought for sure it was a goner, it was absolutely fine and I am very thankful.

Playground workout.
This playground was such a special place.
Conquering the playground.
“Working Out” on the playground.

Becky and I had a bit of shopping time in the Mall. Sadly, throughout our time together, there just wasn’t enough time for much shopping or charity shops.

25,134 steps

10.4 miles


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