Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thoughts on Adventure - Installment 5



Day 6 (Sunday) - Blitzwalk tour "Thames on Fire"
The weather was supposed to be cold & rainy.  I wore layers of clothes & a scarf & my rain jacket.  Within 30 minutes I was sweating like a pig.  UGH.  Took the bus to Piccadilly Circus.  This is the area with all the theaters.  It was early in the morning, but I passed several well known actors whose names I cannot remember. Walked 30 minutes before I came upon the place to meet for the Blitz walk tour.  It was a long way, but I found several places that were on my list, including the church of St Martin In The Fields - the bells were ringing to call parishioners to service... it was lovely!
St Martin in the Fields
The BlitzWalk tour included the St Clement Danes church, which is dedicated to the RAF & all things air force.  This did not actually happen until after the war.  The church was almost completely destroyed during the Blitz bombing & the exterior still has the deeply embedded scars from the bombs.  When they rebuilt, they commissioned the church for the RAF.  To give you an example, my hand fits completely inside some of the bombing scars.
St Clement Danes - RAF church



St Clement Danes - bomb damage
St Clement Danes - bomb damage
We walked for nearly 3hrs, back & forth from the Strand to the River, up & down stairs & along very narrow alleyways, looking at buildings that had been destroyed completely & either simply removed or rebuilt in a modern style.  I learned a tremendous amount of history, and saw things I had not really thought about seeing:  St Paul's Cathedral (and the Firemen's Memorial), the pretty glass buildings across the river - The Shard, The Gherkin, The Wedge - Tower Bridge & The Tower of London.  
** The Church below has some interesting history.  St Dunstan in the East Church Garden. This church was originally built in 1631 but severely damaged in the Great Fire of 1666. Rather than being rebuilt, the church was repaired and a spire added to the design of Sir Christopher Wren in 1695-1701. The church was destroyed on the night of 10/11 May 1941 and rather than rebuild the church, it was decided to retain the ruins as a garden.**  As soon as we turned the corner to the interior, this place felt peaceful, for all its rather violent past.


St Dunstan in the East Church Garden
 
St Dunstan in the East Church Garden



St Dunstan in the East Church Garden







Across the Thames
St Paul's Cathedral

3 comments:

  1. Gosh you must be fit to do all that walking! I was always frustrated at not being able to get a decent picture of the whole of St. Pauls. London is crowded with all sorts of fascinating things, but it's still too crowded!

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  2. Shelly, I am not that fit, but very determined. I did not allow myself to be rushed faster than I was comfortable with, and got used to public transportation very quickly. The Blitz walk was murder, especially as it was the day after Oxford & the ankle injury. I ended up getting a brace for the ankle & spending my last day at the hotel with foot propped up to reduce the swelling.

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  3. Shelly, I am not that fit, but very determined. I did not allow myself to be rushed faster than I was comfortable with, and got used to public transportation very quickly. The Blitz walk was murder, especially as it was the day after Oxford & the ankle injury. I ended up getting a brace for the ankle & spending my last day at the hotel with foot propped up to reduce the swelling.

    ReplyDelete