London Day Two: A Quick Visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral And The “queue” At Millennium Bridge
I was still tired from lack of sleep and my six mile walk to Westminster Abbey. But on Friday afternoon, during my recent visit to London, after a short rest in my room at the Standard Hotel near Kings Cross I was looking for something to do. I decided to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and then walk to the Thames River to observe the historic “queue” as it wound through London on the path along the river. Theses sad and dedicated folks would stand in line for over 12 hours to honor and pay respect to their Queen and longest serving Monarch. It was a beautiful September afternoon when I left the hotel and walked over to the Kings Cross Underground Station. Cumulus clouds floated on the breeze in deep blue skies.
Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the majestic church. I wish I could have shared it’s beauty. Here I saw the first of many services being held in all of the churches in Great Britain for Queen Elizabeth II.
There was a portrait of the Queen and a condolence book. It was the first of many I signed on my week in London. The love the British felt for their Queen could be seen everywhere and everyday on my week in Great Britain. I left the cathedral and explored the memorial park in the back of the Cathedral.
Crossing the bridge I again encountered the “queue”, the five mile long line of dedicated mourners waiting for up to 12 hours to walk past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II and show their love and respect. The line wound along the Thames well past the Tower Bridge in the distance. This outpouring of love and respect for the Queen was historic. Although I didn’t enter the “queue” I was honored to be London and be a small part of these outpouring of love and respect.
I took the tubes back to my hotel. It was late afternoon and after a quick shower I was again walking the streets of London. I was off to eat. I walked a lot, over 8 miles and I love to eat. I walked past some local pubs, although filled with folks enjoying an evening drink.
and came to the North Sea Fish restaurant.
It was a quant little restaurant and the waitress, of Polish descent like me, made me feel at home. I enjoyed some more people watching and Facebook as I waited for my meal. Of course it had to be the traditional British “fish and chips” with mashed peas. The fish was delicious. The chips were too, but they are the same as what we call French Fries and I am not a fan of French Fries. It was the third time I had them. It seems the British serve them with every meal. I learned not to order them again on my week in London. The fish as I said was delicious, as were the mashed peas, and induced me to make reservations for the next evening.
I left the restaurant at dusk and enjoyed my walk in the darkening streets of London. It was a long and eventful day. I still hadn’t adjusted to the time and was soon asleep reflecting on the day and the great love this Nation and the world had for this fragile and witty 96 year old woman. Queen Elizabeth II’s place in history will be remembered by the lines of her subjects who waited for so many hours to pay the last respects to her. Here is a link with some more photos from my afternoon and evening walks. London Day Two. Afternoon and Evening walks September 16 2022.
“London goes beyond any boundary or convention. It contains every wish or word ever spoken, every action or gesture ever made, every harsh or noble statement ever expressed. It is illimitable. It is Infinite London.”– Peter Ackroyd