This is turning into a travel blog I know, but please give me some grace I’ll get back to other stuff sooner than later. I blame it on the endarterectomy (the op on my carotid artery) although I was out of hospital in two days it took me four weeks to feel like blogging again. Now I want to finish what I started about our twelve days in London. Although this is day five I have already covered some other days out of sequence. So have faith, I will get there.
The girls with Yvette finally got to trawl the shops in Oxford St while we went to the Cabinet War Rooms (where Winston Churchill held Cabinet during the War). Again we had a number of co-incidences. (I like to call them God-incidences) Firstly when we got to King Charles St near the entrance of the War museum we noticed a big round Concrete Ball engraved with Doves. The inscription on the wall above indicated that it was a monument to the Bali Bombing of 2002. All the names of the victims are engraved on the wall also
Beside the Bali monument at the top of some steps, was a statue of Clive of India. My mum always had his curry in our Cupboard at home (though really nothing to do with Clive) Right beside this were the War Rooms themselves in an underground bunker. This is also the Imperial War Museum and as usual it was three times the size we imagined with interactive displays. It took the rest of the morning to go through. We lost Doug at one stage but Fiona found him, he had doubled back through the labyrinth of passages to see some bits he had missed.
We went to find the Banqueting House/Hall around the corner in Whitehall and arrived at the Horse Guards Barracks just in time to see the changing of the Horse Guard. Afterwards we continued up Whitehall but couldn’t find the Hall anywhere. As it was now lunch time we decided that we would do what Londoners’ do – buy some lunch and eat it at Trafalgar Square – by the fountain.
After Lunch we walked back down Whitehall and found the Banqueting House right opposite the spot where our attention had been captured by the Horse Guards. The crowning glory of this Inigo Jones building commissioned by Charles 1 is the four large Canvases installed in the ceiling. They were painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and shipped to London in about 1636. Two measure 9×6 metres and two measure 13×3 metres. An audio tour guides you around the building and strategically placed mirror topped tables help you to view at length without craning your neck. Still used for functions we had to exit by four thirty so they could prepare for a gathering that very night.