Today, we ventured to find one of London’s largest bookstores, Foleys, in the Soho district of London. It was a lovely, five story store. Also, today, was a parade to honor the British Athletes for the Olympics and Paralympics. We didn’t stay to watch it but we did see all the people streaming to the parade route from the underground! The Soho area is a “colorful” one with a mixture of music, book and adult stores!
We next, decided to walk towards the “Gherkin” building which is located in the financial district. I dug out my trusty iphone and typed in “Financial district” for our destination and off we went. It said we were about a 45 minute walk away. It took us near Leicester Square, we eventually got to Drury Lane and walked along that, eventually making our way to Fleet Street, past the Royal Courts of Justice building and in the shadows of St Paul’s Cathedral. Then, my trusty iphone said we were at our destination….it was a pub but it once housed the Old Bank of England!!! Not the “Gherkin” building but at least a former financial institution!
It was about 4:00 PM at this point and we were tired of walking. So we headed toward the river to get a bus home….David wanted to take the bus. We walked down Temple Street which was another wonderful, quaint, narrow, cobblestone street and has a rich history dating back to 1162. It is where the Knights of Templar built their first churches and houses. It has been mentioned in some of Charles Dickens novels.
This lovely building is the entrance to Temple Street. I believe that it was once an inn that housed the Knights. In the 14th century the Knights were discredited and the property was leased to lawyers. In 1608, James I gave ownership of the building to the lawyers with the stipulation that they maintain it, which they do to this day.
From Temple Street, we walked along the Victoria Embankment which follows the Thames River. This had been part of the parade route so there was little traffic and fewer buses. Our walk took us past the famous London Eye and the London Aquarium.
There were several helicopters in the area just
hovering. We were trying to figure out what their purpose was when all of a sudden these jets flew overhead. It was very cool! I am surprised I got this “action shot”! Usually, I am pretty slow when it comes to action.
Ahead of us, we could see Big Ben and the Parliament Building. We decided to keep walking to see them. Nearby is Westminster Abbey. It was closed, since it was late. We walked around, took some pictures and then headed home. Of course, David still wanted to take the bus. of us, we could see Big Ben and the Parliament Building. We decided to keep walking to see them. Nearby is Westminster Abbey. It was closed, since it was late. We walked around, took some pictures and then headed home. Of course, David still wanted to take the bus. I must make note here that I am the “queen of the subway” and have no clue how to read a bus schedule and we had walked pass three subways at this point.
We finally took a bus that took us to a major bus hub of Vauxhall station. Our landlord, Susana, who is the queen of the bus schedules said that buses 360 and 170 came near our apartment. We found bus 360 and waited for it. When it arrived, we hopped on and went for a ride….nothing looked familiar. We finally came to the end of the route at the Elephant and Castle station…at the opposite end of where we wanted to be. We had gotten on the correct bus but the one going in the wrong direction!!! That is when I turned to David and said, “We are taking the tube”! Another half an hour later….7:00, we arrived “home”!!!
I was so tired and hungry…got something to eat and then called it a night!