Last month, my spouse B, younger daughter T, and I made our first family trip to London to visit daughter E, her spouse L, our granddaughter ABC, and L’s family. After almost three years of waiting, E’s spousal visa finally came through and she and ABC relocated to London in October.
Yes, I am horribly late posting about the trip. I came home sick and had a hard time shaking it and there were holidays and technical issues – I am notoriously bad at dealing with photos – but I’m hoping to get out a few posts in the coming days.
We arrived in the UK on Saturday and did central London sightseeing on Sunday, after attending mass the church where Larry serves as organist and director of the adult choir. We had bought advance tickets to ride the London Eye, also known as the Millenium Wheel.
It was nice to see some of the historic London landmarks from above. Here is the Palace of Westminster, where Parliament meets. You can see the clocktower which usually houses Big Ben shrouded in scaffolding as part of the ongoing restoration project.
Two-and-a-half-year-old ABC was much more impressed with the boats on the Thames than the buildings!
After our ride on the Eye, we grabbed some lunch and went on a walking tour. On future trips, we may try to tour some of the buildings. We anticipate many trips to London in the future!
Because daylight hours are short in London in the winter, as we walked in the area of Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, we were able to see some of the holiday lights.
In Trafalgar Square, we were drawn to the sculpture on the Fourth Plinth, part of “The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist” by Michael Rakowitz, a US artist of Iraqi ancestry. It is a replica of Lamassu, a protective deity from the gates of Nineveh in 700 BCE which was destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015. This sculpture is made from 10,500 empty date cans; dates were once a major part of the economy in Iraq, but 90% of the 30 million date trees have been destroyed in the long years of war. Rakowitz is trying to recreate all the art that was stolen from the museum in Baghdad or destroyed at sites across Iraq. The art on the Fourth Plinth changes every couple of years and this sculpture will be replaced in 2020, so we were fortunate to have seen it.
As we were walking in the Piccadilly shopping district, I was delighted to see this building with Advent calendar decorated windows. It is Fortnum & Mason, a fancy department store. We went in to browse a bit, but it was so crowded we could barely move. We are definitely not used to that!
It was fun to see some of London with holiday lights. While we expect to visit frequently in the coming years, I don’t know how often we will be able to go in December. Time will tell…
Photos courtesy of B
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