July 13

Today was a purely London tourist type day :) We began the day with seeing the changing of the guard.  This was quite fun, but it was very surprising just how many people were there in the middle of the day!! Next we went to Westminster Abbey.  wow. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but the entire church was absolutely breathtaking! The choir was completed in 1066 and is the place where ell the kings and queens have been crowned since.  Part of the building has sustained some damage from when Oliver Cromwell and his men kept horses within the church…the audacity!! On all the walls and the floors there were monuments.  everywhere. Many famous, and some not so famous.  My favorite was the poets’ corner. While all the individuals might not be buried there, there are monuments for Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Keats, Chaucer, Charles Dickenson, Lewis Carol, Lord Byron, Alfred Lord Tennyson, just to name a few.  Also in the abbey are the burial monuments for many of the kings and queens. This includes Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of the Scots.  They are both buried in the same room, but while Elizabeth is on her back in white marble, Mary is at her feet on her side in a dark marble….oh the cleverness! Sadly we were not able to take pictures inside, but I was able to buy a whole lot of postcards and a souvenir guide full of pictures!

Then we were all given free rein.  I went to tea at the Victoria & Albert museum with Dr. Hanks and a few of my friends on the trip, colleagues as Dr. Hanks would say :) There were some BEAUtiful hydrangeas, and so we had a photo shoot!