I met Paula, as planned, at the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square at 12:30 today. First stop was to tour Westminster Abbey, then cross the street and tour the House of Parliament.
At Westminster Abbey, it was very crowded, I imagine because of the school Christmas holiday and families were touring together. We used audio guides along with a map of the building. Found out there were no maps in English, so Paula used a map printed in Spanish and I used a German version. We more or less toured at our own speed.
We saw a small part of the church when we attended the concert on the 23rd, so this was a great way to really see most of the building. Every step of the way we saw something historical and interesting. I compared it to living in a house for 1,000 years and you can imagine the quantity of things you would collect. This was my second tour of the church and I saw new things the second time around that I didn’t see the first time. My favorite is Elizabeth I tomb where her sister Mary is interred beneath her, but she was not specifically named anywhere in or on the tomb. The coronation chair (or St. Edward’s Chair or King Edward’s Chair) is also popular since it has been used for coronations for hundreds of years.
Queen Elizabeth I Tomb (with Queen Mary)
From Westminster Abbey, we had a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament – just across the street. You can see a little of the Abbey in the picture below, peaking out from behind the Houses of Parliament.
The Elizabeth Tower with Big Ben inside. Soon to be under maintenance for the next three years starting next month, January 2017.
House of Lords
House of Commons
Westminster Hall (oldest part of the buildings)
More of Westminster Hall and surrounding views below. This was the only place where we could take pictures.