Friday, 13 December 2019
We began the day after arriving in Westminster by strolling on the Westminster Bridge.
The London Eye, or the Millennium Wheel, is a cantilevered observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames. The wheel is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3 million visitors annually. The building next to the wheel, County Hall, is largely unremarkable - from 1933, once the seat of London government - housing various tenants.
Hungerford and Golden Jubilee bridges
More sights we took in before our entry time reservation to the Abbey.
Construction current main structure began in 1245, ceased in 1269, and was resumed in 1376 and largely finished by 1399.
Photography was generally not allowed within the main church, and it was loaded with sights.
Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey. There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100. As the burial site of more than 3,300 persons, usually of prominence in British history (including at least sixteen monarchs, eight Prime Ministers, poets laureate, actors, scientists, military leaders, and the Unknown Warrior).
The burial practice spread to include generals, admirals, politicians, doctors and scientists. Scientists include Isaac Newton, buried on 4 April 1727, Charles Darwin, buried on 26 April 1882, and Stephen Hawking, ashes interred on 15 June 2018 - all within a few paces of each other.
We then continued touring up Parliament Street past 10 Downing to take in more historical sights, and sounds - here are the "Horse Guards" and Old Admiralty Building.
Moving further north, we arrive at Trafalgar Square and see Nelson's Column, a long view of Big Ben, and the two lions. The Square's name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, the British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars over France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar.
The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is a Christmas tree donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo, Norway each year since 1942.