St. Paul’s and The Shard

On my last full day in London, for awhile (back in December), I decided to visit Westminster Abby, St. Paul’s and “The Shard”.  Thought this was going to be too much for one day, and it was.  When I got to Westminster it was packed, with many people arriving early and with tickets already purchased on-line.  Because I didn’t want to obligate myself for this site, I decided to not purchase ahead of time. Guess it worked out for the best. I then hoofed it down to St. Paul’s and had a good walk along the river.  Along the way, took a couple of pictures of Cleopatra’s Needle (a gift from Egypt).

Before I get too far along, I need to explain why I was going to St. Pauls. Remember Mary Poppins, the scene with the woman feeding the birds and Mary sang the lullaby song? That really stuck with me. I’ve been waiting to go an visit St. Paul’s where the “tuppence for birds” was to have taken place. Funny how some things stay with you after so many years.

The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people
She calls, “Come, buy my bags full of crumbs”

“Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry, their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you”

“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
Feed the birds”, that’s what she cries
While overhead, her birds fill the skies

All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few
“Listen, listen”, she’s calling to you
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag”

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHrRxQVUFN4  (Have a listen.)

This song is with me when I’m inspired to share my good (another way to say “giving”).  So now you know.

Okay, so I only have a few pictures of St. Paul’s since cameras are not allowed inside. This is the main Church of England, and the Queen’s church, since she is the head of it. And yes, this is where Charles and Diana, and many others have been married and where state funerals are generally held. Westminster is where some state functions happen, but I don’t know the particulars.  St. Paul’s is filled with so much art and history. Wellington and Nelson are buried here and are greatly honored along with tributes to those who served in the two world wars. Our guide (a volunteer) was so well-versed. Though I had the option of a pre-recorded audio presentation, but wanted to ask questions. One question I was glad I asked (and assumed by his age he would have been young during the war) was if he found himself in any of the bombing raids. He answered that he was, at about the age of 4 – then was very serious, when he told of the sounds and smell.  Something you never forget he said. And you could tell by the way he said it, he was there, and he remembered. His town of Plymouth was completely destroyed. During the war, this church was a beacon of hope to those in London, and England as well.  Churchill said that above all else, this church much survive the terrible bombings, and with the help of many volunteers, it did. This is the heart of London.

Down the road, so to speak (give or take a mile or so), was The Shard.  It is the tallest building in the EU, at 800 feet. It does look like a shard of glass. I waited for a clear day, and today was the day. I tried to zoom in on some of the pictures below, so some of the London sites could be seen better. The views are really amazing and give you a good perspective of the size of the city. The River Thames, as it snakes through the city is the star of the show. Also some pictures of London Bridge (not Tower Bridge which looks like it should be London Bridge but it isn’t).  The bridge is not fancy, but seems very sturdy and gets the traffic and people from one side of the river to the other in the busiest part of the city.

Very warm today – mid 80’s.  And tomorrow it will be very warm – both London and Brussels will be pushing 90s. No air conditioning is needed. Cools off very quickly in the evening.

Buckingham Place Again Buckingham Palace (Yes, again!)

Bird Cage Walk Buckingham to Westminster “Bird Cage” Walk to Westminster

Westminster 1 Westminster

Westminster 2 Westminster

Cleopatra NeedleCleopatra’s Needle (next to the river)

Cleopatra SphinxSphinx (with Cleopatra)

St Pauls 2St Pauls 3   St Paul’s (Big!)

IMG_20160718_130249626 St. Paul’s Steps

The Shard and London Bridge London Bridge and The Shard

IMG_20160718_135332637City of Westminster

IMG_20160718_141643016  Tower Bridge and Tower of London

Loo with a View Restroom at The Shard  A view from the “Loo” (Shard Humor)

St Pauls  St. Paul’s from Shard

Churchill  Churchill (near Westminster)

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