Saturday, April 22, 2023

Here and There in London

There’s a lot to see in London and we used our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Oyster Card, which might just be a collector’s item, to move around on the Underground.

We stopped in at the British Library, one of the world’s largest. We found our way to the special documents display, and before long we were gazing at original music manuscripts penned by Mozart (below) and Handel.

Nearby was Oscar Wilde’s early handwritten draft of The Importance of Being Ernest.

We also admired among the treasures an early Wycliffite translation of the Wycliffe Bible into English, condemned as heretical and outlawed in 1409. It’s surprising it wasn’t burned or otherwise destroyed. Penalties could be harsh in olden days.

One could spend days there, but we contented ourselves with concluding our visit with a look at two original Magna Cartas, one the only surviving one with King John’s seal still attached. Amazing!

From there we moved onward to Trafalgar Square, past Canada House and all 169 feet 3 inches (51.59 meters -although Horatio Nelson would doubtless have disapproved of a French system of measurement) of Nelson’s Column to queue for entry to the National Gallery.

It’s comforting to know the British still know how to queue.

It’s another overwhelming institution in which one could spend days, weeks, or months.

Brian, no art expert, recognized Gainsborough’s portrait of Mrs. Siddons, the actress Sarah Siddons, from across the room.

On our way back to the hotel, to enter the Tube we had to pass through a large but peaceful demonstration.

They’ve been at it for awhile.

Fortunately we weren’t pulling our rollaboards with the attached FlyerTalk labels.

After a visit to the Hilton Executive Lounge Happy Hour, we walked across the street for some Asian appetizers at Wagamama, a large chain with outlets in many countries.

Earlier today, we took advantage of decent weather to stroll with Saturday crowds across the nearby pedestrian-only Millennium Bridge to get a closer look at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece.

We then turned around and walked back, enjoying the views in all directions.

And now it’s again time for Happy Hour in the Hilton Bankside’s Executive Lounge. 

It’s à demanding schedule, but so far we’re managing.

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