22 January 2014

London by Night

After dinner, we all walked along the river back up toward Westminster, which took about an hour as we stopped to take pictures and explore every so often. London at night is breathtaking, and my camera can't do it justice. But he tried.

The Globe Theatre. So excited to go see a play there one day.

We parted ways at the Westminster Tube station and I made my way back to London Euston station to catch my train back to Birmingham. My legs ached from walking SO MUCH, so the train ride was a nice reprieve before having to walk home. Overall it was an incredible day and night in London, and I can't wait to go back!

Miscellaneous Meanderings

After my meeting, I wandered around a bit along Borough High Street and London Bridge just taking pictures while I was waiting to hear back from some friends I was hoping to meet up with. Despite a series of communication difficulties and direction debacles, I managed to find them for dinner at Nandos, which everyone here seems to love...

The Shard from London Bridge

Southwark Cathedral
St. George's Church
The Shard
That ship is a museum, according to some friends, but I don't know its name yet. I just thought it was an awesome picture with the Tower Bridge behind it. 
Tower Bridge, obviously

Looking north across the Thames to some very iconic London architecture

London Bridge

After the movie I took the London Underground (aka 'the tube') from Waterloo to London Bridge where we were to have our business meeting. After wandering up and down the bridge for 30 min (and of course taking some pics in the process), unsure of where to meet my associate, I decided to just go to the venue, which I had a vague idea of where it was located. I was just hoping that she'd changed her mind and was waiting to meet me there... because otherwise I'd NEVER find her.

From London Bridge looking northwest
From London Bridge looking East toward Tower Bridge

Turns out she'd been waiting for me there the whole time, but she had sent me the clarification email when I was already on the train to London, and I don't have internet on my phone. Oh well. No harm done.

Turns out it was a really good thing for me to see the venue, because it was quite different than how I'd imagined it. She had described it to me as a vintage theater... so I'd pictured something a bit more classy vintage. Instead it's more of a grungy artist vintage bar with a room in the back with a screen. haha It will work out great for our event, and we can really make the space our own since they are so laid back, but definitely a good thing for me to correct my expectations NOW.

London Eye and Waterloo

From Parliamentary Square I walked across Westminster Bridge (over the River Thames) to the South Bank where I passed the London Eye, which is the iconic ferris wheel-like attraction. 

I really love lamp posts.

From there I walked to the BFI IMAX by the Waterloo Bridge where I watched Jerusalem The Movie in 3D. I've been waiting for months for this movie to come to the UK, and it premiered last week in London, so it was PERFECT TIMING! The movie was absolutely beautiful and it made me heartsick for Jerusalem. 

Along the walk, there was some poetry art along the Waterloo underpass that I loved, so I looked it up when I got home. Here is 'Eurydice' by Sue Hubbard:

I am not afraid as I descend,
step by step, leaving behind the salt wind
blowing up the corrugated river,

the damp city streets, their sodium glare
of rush-hour headlights pitted with pearls of rain;
for my eyes still reflect the half remembered moon.

Already your face recedes beneath the station clock,
a damp smudge among the shadows
mirrored in the train's wet glass,

will you forget me? Steel tracks lead you out
past cranes and crematoria,
boat yards and bike sheds, ruby shards

of roman glass and wolf-bone mummified in mud,
the rows of curtained windows like eyelids
heavy with sleep, to the city's green edge.

Now I stop my ears with wax, hold fast
the memory of the song you once whispered in my ear.
Its echoes tangle like briars in my thick hair.

You turned to look.
Second fly past like birds.
My hands grow cold. I am ice and cloud.

This path unravels.
Deep in hidden rooms filled with dust
and sour night-breath the lost city is sleeping.

Above the hurt sky is weeping,
soaked nightingales have ceased to sing.
Dusk has come early. I am drowning in blue.

I dream of a green garden
where the sun feathers my face
like your once eager kiss.

Soon, soon I will climb
from this blackened earth
into the diffident light.

Parliamentary Square and Big Ben

Westminster Abbey

After St. James Park I walked along the 'Birdcage Walk' to St. Margaret's Church and Westminster Abbey.
St. Margaret's on the left, the Abbey on the right.

St. Margaret's
For those who have seen the movie Amazing Grace, you'll know who this is. A personal hero of mine, but I had no idea there was a plaque commemorating his life here.
The inside of St. Margaret's... definitely much smaller than I'd imagined, but absolutely beautiful. It wasn't until I was on my way out that I saw the 'No Photography' sign... Whoops.