Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tourist Trail - 6 January 2008

The Guards approach the Palace
High on the “must do” list for tourists visiting London is to watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and today, 6½ years after arriving in London we finally made it to the Palace gates in time to see the pomp and ceremony. Any Brit suggesting that the country should do a way with the Monarchy must be mad, such a move would kill the tourist industry.

Four Calling BirdsThree French Hens
Our circular walk had started at Piccadilly, along Jermyn St past all the expensive menswear shops and a couple of anonymous buildings; Gentlemen’s Clubs from a bygone era where many country estates have been won and lost at the gambling tables down through the centuries.

Badger at the binEconomist Plaza in St James St was host to an outdoor art exhibition based on characters from Beatrix Potter and highlighting the plight of the homeless in London.

Next stop was the Palace for the Changing of the Guard after which we stopped halfway down Birdcage Walk at the Guards Chapel to catch the morning sung Matins. The singing from the small choir was fantastic.Guards' Chapel The church was hit by a flying bomb in the war and the rebuilt church combines a very ornate old altar surround at the end of the choir with a modern nave. The organ was augmented by the Band of the Irish Guards who played a stunning outgoing voluntary at the end of the service. An unusual feature (for us) was the singing of the National Anthem during the service and with the choir and Guards Band it was one of the best renditions of “God Save the Queen” we have Women's Memorialever been involved in.

Along Whitehall is the excellent memorial to the “The Women of World War II” it is a modern memorial but very simple and moving and a very clever way of saying “Gone but not forgotten.”

Household Cavalry MuseumWe called in at the Household Cavalry Museum, recently reopened after refurbishment and then we were back to Piccadilly: close enough to Fortnum & Mason for a short detour. Their windows are still looking very festive with 6 of them featuring the ‘12 days of Christmas’ song.
Air ambulance lifting offReturning to the Tube Station we witnessed a rather unusual sight; a helicopter parked in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. It was the air-ambulance helicopter that had landed to collect a road accident victim.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Hello, I was there that day !
I made a post on my own blog with this helicopter ;)