London, England (40 Sutherland Ave.)
Today is our visit to Somerset House, a historic royal site with a number of historical stories associated with the buildings. The weather today is dryer, sunny, but still a bit chilly.
I hadn’t been to Somerset House before (located near the Thames in central London), so everything was new to me. This was a location that I’ve been intending to visit, but for whatever reason was waiting for the right time. Today’s the day!
We arrived just as a free walking tour was starting and joined in. We learned so much about the history, architecture, and how the buildings were used over the years. Corrine and I took a number of pictures. The buildings on this site are so big, it was difficult to really get everything in one picture.
A number of interesting carvings could be found on the buildings:
A staircase that replaced an earlier one, made from durable materials.
Grave markers found during an excavation of the site:
After a quick coffee after the tour, Corrine visited the Somerset House Christmas shop (and bought me a gift of Gin & Tonic tea) we walked down by the Thames to St. Paul’s. We found out where to wait for the Christmas service at the cathedral then walked to a pub down the street for an early dinner.
At the pub, Corrine had some authentic fish and chips and I had a steak and ale pie, another well-liked British meal. The place really started getting lively just at we were leaving a little after 5:00.
While I waited in line for tickets at St. Paul’s, Corrine walked around the area and visited some Christmas shops nearby. Meanwhile, I met a fellow American who was waiting in line with me who had recently retired. Of course we compared stories about life after years of working. He was waiting for his wife to get off work to join him in line.
After Corrine returned from her walk, we eventually were given two tickets and went in the cathedral to enjoy the service. Corrine had a chance to walk around the cathedral before the concert began. We might have to return here during the daylight, if we have time, before she leaves on Monday.
The service was very well done and the choir and orchestra were, as they say here, “spot on”. We again had a chance to sing along. We’re really getting into the Christmas spirit! We enjoyed Michael Palin who was one of the readers.
Was very chilly and windy as we left St. Paul’s. Thankfully the underground wasn’t too far away and we caught the first train that we found, just to warm up a bit. We had to make a couple of changes but were at our Royal Oak station within about 30 minutes.
Was good to return to a warm flat and watched some TV before heading off to bed. Tomorrow we visit Windsor Castle, so we will definitely have to be out of the flat by about 9:00 a.m.