Sunday, July 17, 2011

In brief: St. Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace

Coach tour on Sunday morning, since it's the least congested time for traffic in London. We were led by a registered Blue Badge guide named Sean, and he was the best kind of tour leader -- full of facts both useful and trivial. One of our first stops was St. Paul's Cathedral, where we hopped off the bus to take pictures and enjoy a better view.

Obligatory picture of St. Paul's.

St. Paul's is one of several churches built by Christopher Wren following the Great Fire of London in 1666. The site had been occupied by four previous cathedrals, and construction of this one took 35 years.

Our tour guide, Sean, noting how the different cathedrals occupied the site over the years.

As Sean was showing us where Julie Andrews sang while the woman fed the pigeons in Mary Poppins, he pointed out that Queen Anne serves as the "bird lady" now. On cue, a pigeon landed on the statue's head.

Yep, that's Queen Anne. And that's a pigeon's rear end above her crown.

Our next excursion was a short trip through St. James's Park, arriving just in time for the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Sean maneuvered us into a spot to get the ultimate shot of the exiting guards' processional. That's what you get with a professional guide.

Our excellent position for the changeover.

My flatmate, Theresa Wondracek, posted video of the ceremony on her blog, Theresa's London Expedition.
Me in front of Buckingham Palace. We'll be returning later in the semester. Photo by Tiffanie Fisher.

I'll be saving a bit of Sean's more interesting trivia for a later post -- Ryan already established our fact-checking credentials, and I don't want our blog quality to go down now that he's back home.

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