Wandering in London, Part 2


June 12, 2011

The rain came back, again and after my previous bad experience I was a little hesitant to run out into it.  I spent the morning reading my latest book purchase and sipping some hot chocolate.

By early afternoon, I decided to brave the water and try again for the Tate Modern Museum.  I’m so glad I did.  The Tate has some of the most amazing exhibits of modern art that display everything from Monet, Picasso, Munch, Rodin, Diane Arbus, and one of my new favorites Dorothea Tanning.  I completely lost track of time as I wandered through amazing interpretations of life and philosophy.  Throughout the afternoon I had to stop several times to write – thank goodness there were benches in the exhibit halls.  Epiphanies abound in the presence of ingenious works of art.

The rain waned to a drizzle so I went for a little walk along the Thames.  To my excitement, the tide was low and there was an open gate leading the to the beach.  The details of my little excursion are in the post “Sand in My Shoes.”   I now have one less thing to do on my bucket list.

June 13, 2011

The day started with a marathon shopping trip to Charring Cross Road which is full of bookshops.  One store after another sells new, old, and antique books.   In a future post, I will give further details, (bookstores in London are an entirely different experience from those in the US).  In one of the used bookstores, I was thrilled to find the final novel I needed to complete my collection of Dennis Potter books (they are out of print and almost impossible to find in the States).  Then, on the advice of a local, I ventured down Cecil Court where there is a string of tiny bookshops that carry everything from centuries old manuscripts to books on all things related to transportation.  I couldn’t afford a single thing, but it was a great experience to see so much history.

Above: A view of Cecil Court, a hidden gem of independent bookshops.

From Charring Cross I made my way towards Trafalgar Square where I sat and enjoyed an ice cream cone.  The fountains sparkled beautifully in the sun, so I sat for a while and simply enjoyed the ambience.

There’s a quick way to get from Trafalgar to St. James Park along The Mall – the main road that leads straight to Buckingham Palace.  The road begins with an enormous archway and is lined with dozens of large Union Jack flags.  The sight of it recalls every sense of tradition and pageantry.  I followed the flags until I found an entry gate into St. James Park, where I sat and watched the world go by.

Above: The Mall – All the way at the end is Buckingham Palace

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