Friday, May 26, 2000

We went to London to visit the Queen today. We didn't get off as early as we planned, so there was more traffic than we hoped for in Cambridge (where we caught the train), but the express from Cambridge to King's Cross helped keep us from getting later...

We got to Buckingham Palace in time for the changing of the guard. There was (to my eyes, anyway; I don't know what "normal" would be in this context) a large crowd and a long ceremony (nearly an hour). As it was just getting started, we found ourselves about twenty feet from the queen, leaving in a jaguar, followed by a large cavalry guard.

We then trooped through the rain (and a bit of the underground) to St. Paul's cathedral where we ate lunch (in the crypt) and climbed up to the top of the tower. It was about the same height as the Dom Tower in Utrecht. We saw the Christopher Wren memorial inscription at the center of St. Paul's: "If you wish to see his monument, look about you." (Rough translation from the Latin.)

Then we went via underground to the Tower of London. We spent a few hours there, saw the crown jewels (I begin to understand what this excitement over large diamonds is about), the medieval tower (beautiful reconstruction of 13th century chain mail), and the white tower (quickly because it closed and they pushed us through; saw Domesday books, armor, armament, fireplaces).

By this time, we were very, very soaked from the constant rain. We dried off and ate in nearby McDonalds, then took the Circle line back to Kings Cross and thence to Cambridge. Arrived back at about 9:45 pm, tired and fairly quickly went to bed, to prepare to wake up early for airshow tomorrow.