I woke up after everyone had left Johns apartment for class. I packed and showered, then I was off. After spending 3 days in London I was completely comfortable on the Tube and in the city. I grabbed a guidebook and spent the morning touring alone. I saw Buckingham palace, some of the royal gardens, the changing of the guard, and spent and hour gawking at greatness in the National Gallery. Everything is so immaculate. The palace itself didn’t impress me from the outside, but the gardens and the guard ritual seems so very regal. Around one I met my friend Erin in front of the National Gallery for lunch and more sight seeing. I haven’t seen Erin since my first semester at SLU. She was a Katrina displacement from Loyola New Orleans. It was great catching up with her and swapping travel stories.
After lunch we walked to Westminster Abby and took the tour. At first I was weirded out by all the church/state mixture, and oh yeah all the tombs. I can still appreciate the beauty of the architecture and ritual, even if the Church of England seems strange. The building itself seems to stretch towards infinity. When you think you’re finished there are more tombs and memorials and estrange religious artifacts. After the Abby we went and gawked outside St. Paul’s cathedral and went back into the Tate-Modern for my final view of the city. I saw so much and had such a good time visiting. London truly feels like the center of western civilization. Everywhere you look there is some testimony to capitalism and greatness. It was hard to take them all in because my mind went wild with history and symbolism.
After I left Erin it was only a quick trip back to Brussels on the Eurostar. Modern transportation technology is amazing. I got back in time to meet up with some friends for a St. Patrick's day pint.