Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day 3 - London again

I had arranged to meet my crafty friend Miriam for lunch today, as she was working in her firm's London office today and tomorrow.  So, an easy choice of destination... although not stopping points on the way!
Forecast once again, sunshine and heavy possibly thundery showers... yes, like the rest of the week.

I decided to head to Covent Garden piazza, which has changed since I last visited, seems more glitzy - or it could be the direction I approached it from

these planted seating areas where new to me
 new shopping arcade style I've not noticed before
 the old market bit is the same apart from the flowery swing seats!

 inside I wandered through the market stalls,

no fruit and veg, but handmade bits and pieces
 pretty shop windows
 music while you shop
 or have coffee
 beautiful looking bread
 Note the glorious blue sky
 Poked my head into a church yard - this is St Paul's Church (nothing to do with the Cathedral) - known as the Actor's church , designed by Inigo Jones and built in 1633 - it's also in my London Secrets book (two in one week, wow!)

It didn't seem to be open today, sadly.
 back to the market and some more shops... Loved the Moomin stories when i was a kid.  this is the only shop I've seen since I visited York and my friend Emma.

back to the tube to go off to St Paul's to meet Miriam... I was going to be early, but better than late as she would be on her lunch break

 you need to look up all the time in London, you might miss something.
 I crossed the road to this pretty little garden - been there before, (it's in my book too!)

 the City of London built the garden on the site of a church that dates from 1225 built originally by Franciscan monks and later by Sir Christopher Wren when the original was destroyed by fire.

there are  benches all round the sides and several people were sitting and enjoying their lunch in the sunshine and fresh air; what a lovely place to escape the bustle of a busy office!

 walking back towards St Paul's, tantalising glimpse of the Cathedral between two modern buildings..

 that led to Paternoster Square - I love this place
 currently, featuring these red names, all people who have blood cancer - each name tells you a bit about the person ... it's blood cancer awareness month
 I was still early, so took some pictures of St Paul's
 the column in Paternoster Square is, (I have looked it up to find out) a memorial to the Great Fire of London (similar to the larger Monument) and to another fire in 1940 that also destroyed much of the area.

 Love that there are giant draughts board and also two table tennis tables for people to use

Temple Bar

 it's hard to get it all in
 the clock chimed 12... I was very early!
 so I took some pictures of the surrounding buildings

 and statues
 the columns are enormous
 view down Ludgate Hill

 huge doors to the Cathedral
 carvings (protected by netting from pigeon damage)
getting a little cloudy now...

sat down on the steps to wait..
We went for a pizza, and after we'd eaten, had a little time before Miriam had to go back to work (she works opposite St Paul's)

so had a wonder down the road - looking up all the time (trying to avoid bumping into people!)

don't know what these buildings are, I just liked them!

 as you can see, the sky didn't know what it was doing... no rain so far!

 this you may be just able to make out is the St Bride's Foundation  (in my book, lol!)

my book tells me it is named after the nearby church (see next photo!)
and is a "stimulating cultural centre"
The building (St Bride Institute as the brickwork states) was founded in 1891 to meet the educational and social needs of the community working in the growing print industry
(Fleet Street, down the road, is where all the newspapers used to be produced years ago - my Mum worked for a magazine on Fleet Street till she married)
 St Bride's Church - turns out Miriam loves this place and wants to visit but it's always shut...
soon, Miriam, hopefully!!
 we had to head back now,
the sky bright blue...

I left Miriam at her office... which is in the building I'd been photographing earlier...

and I headed along the side of St Paul's

 I could see bubbles across the road, so went to look..

 someone creating big bubbles at the top of the road down to the "wobbly" Millenium Bridge

 yikes, those clouds look a bit more threatening now...

always seem to get great reflections in this modern building

I was heading for another tube station and my next destination...

 never seen such a deserted underground station!

 yes, the Tower of London...

 oh that sky ....
 these steps have been planted with lavender and box (I think)
 don't think this time it's going to go by....

dramatic skyline behind the "walkie-talkie" office

 Nope!!  got inside (luckily I have an annual membership to the Historic Royal Palaces so don't have to pay) and the heavens opened... took shelter with a group of (I think) Italian tourists...

it absolutely chucked down, but for no more than 5 minutes...

so I had a quick trip round and looked at a few things..

 the Shard, on the other side of the River.
 saying nothing!
 inside the White Tower.  I know I've shown these before, but they are impressive!

 as I came out of the White Tower, there were some soldiers on inspection...

before marching off down to do their duty
 the clouds were threatening again, so I decided to cut short my visit and head home
 the Chapel, with all the modern "stuff" in the background!
 but had to capture Tower Bridge first

 the sky one side of the river... but
 turn round to see the Tower... still blue!

 yep, time to go!
 the covered walkway to Tower Hill tube station has some fabulous artwork on show (all by Stephen B Whatley)

I have to share the photo Miriam took of me waiting for her...
which I've borrowed from her FB feed.

Was great to meet up, Miriam, thanks for lunch - think my afternoon was probably more fun than yours! Although you may not have got wet...


Miriam said...

Fabulous photos Helen... You carried the sunshine with you!

It was great to see you too.... Shame we can't do it more often and for longer xxx

Kirsten said...

Wonderful photos!! Great that you were able to spend some time with Miriam.

craftimamma said...

What a wonderful post Helen. Covent garden has changed a whole lot since I last went but it was quite a few years ago. What a treat we are having on your travels this week. Glad you had a chance to meet up with Miriam as well as managing to keep dry.

Lesley Xx

PaperArtsy Rubber Stamps said...

Ohh that's looks like a fantastic day!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Oh how I enjoyed this view of London, beginning with the flowery swings you could sit and relax on, especially if the market got too intense. I see MORE English roses, too.

I loved the photo of the Covent Garden Underground (or tube as I think you call it). And I fell in love with Paternoster Square. It is a beauty and I was also impressed with the names denoting blood cancer victims, a cancer I've never heard of before And can you imagine coming for lunch, then enjoying a game of checkers afterward?

The ancient architecture is fabulous and the armor inside the White Tower was most impressive. Loved the dragon.

Tower Bridge and the Tower itself were almost intimidating. Actually, I would LOVE to see some of that modern stuff, too. It's amazing that I am suddenly drawn to steel and glass. Don't ask why. You've seen pictures of my home and I certainly don't collect anything like that and it doesn't fit with my lifestyle.

I thoroughly enjoyed this day with you in London, and I didn't even have to get wet or fight the rain.

My name is Cindy said...

Beautiful photos!!