Monday, May 31, 2010

Covent Garden/St. Paul's Walk

You thought I was done with the England posts? Nope, just took a little break, still have a few more, so just sit back and enjoy...

So if you've been to London before, chances are you've been to Covent Garden market, it's a great place to visit, it kind of reminds me of 3rd Street Promenade, British style. This walk took us to the market, but then showed us the area surrounding, which ended up being quite interesting.

Here is a playground just around the corner from the market. Looks pretty normal, but it's built over a graveyard (the sign tells you all about it), so that makes it a bit more out of the ordinary. Just one of the many sinister spots in this great city.

After going through the Somerset House, the walk took us to this alley, we thought we were maybe going the wrong way...

...but lo and behold, a Roman Bath tucked in near the dead end. I'm glad we didn't get mugged while traipsing up this sketchy place.

And if you bend over, and look through the foggy window, you can catch a glimpse of the Roman bath that was found in this basement sometime in the 1800's, and has been called that ever since, although it's not for certain that it is, in fact, Roman.

Along the Thames, there is a monument called Cleopatra's Needle, it is the oldest monument in London, dating from about 1450 B.C. Sphinxes flank each side of the needle, and here, I'm pointing at the shrapnel that hit the statues during World War I, still there for all to see. I am still amazed at how much of this city was destroyed by bombing in the World Wars, sad, really.

This is the Water Gate in the Enbankment Gardens. The Embankment was constructed around 1870 and just to give you an idea of how much work was put into building the Embankment, the banks of the Thames used to lap up to these steps, where the Archbishop of York used to live. The Thames now runs about 100 yards from the gate.

Lunch at Strada, I put this picture in to give you an idea of the view: the front of St. Paul's Cathedral.

St. Paul's, the last time I was here, I was watching the Lord Mayors parade where they break out a really cool golden coach that the Lord Mayor rides in.

Trafalgar Square, surprisingly very busy for the middle of March

Me and the hubby

This street was a bunch of booksellers, selling old books. Pretty cool, I'm sure my Dad would have loved to browse through these shops. Just a little street tucked into the hustling bustling St. Paul's area.

This street survives from the 1700's, you can tell from the bowed glass in the downstairs windows. So friggin' cool!

Who knows what this street looked like 300 years ago, I would love to know...

And finally, Benjamin Franklin's house. He lived here for much of his later years, and it's the only residence of his that is still standing. They did an awesome job of restoring the house, much of the original features are still in existence. And I learned this interesting tidbit: if you want to tell which structures are reproductions and which ones aren't in London, look at the brick on the outside. The buildings with darker brick (probably from pollution), are the originals. You can see a reproduction building to the left of Ben Franklin's house in this picture.


Sara said...

I love your London posts! That is a great picture of you and James.

KatieB said...

take me next time!

James said...

Great recap. What was the ghost story during this walk? Oh yeah, it was probably the ghost that haunts the Drury Lane theatre. That book should've included a ghost walk you do at night for added effect.