Around and About
“Jolly Old London Town”
This is Day 7 of my visit with Archie. Today we wander around London a bit. Stretching our legs after our 4 day 3 night 612 mile jaunt through Normandy.
On the ferry back to Portsmouth I found a discarded newspaper and read a piece about an infamous panhandler with a pit bull dog. He actually had a home (rent subsidized) and a stipend from the government. He was such an intimidating nuisance that he was forced to leave his favorite hunting grounds in downtown London. Imagine our surprise when he turned up in Kensington outside an ATM machine. I had to take his picture.
Anyway, we took the tube to the Temple stop and walked though the famous Temple Bar to the Temple Church. I wanted to see it since talking with a Masonic friend in Maine about the connection between the Masons and The Knights Templar
The Temple Church is a late-12th-century church in London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built for and by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It is famous for its effigy tombs and for being a round church. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War but has been largely restored.
The area around the Temple Church is known as the Temple which is one of the main legal districts of the capital and a notable center for English law, both historically and in the present day.
Legend has it that if an effigy has its legs crossed, he saw combat. If not crossed he’d not been in any battles.
Just a few words about the Knights Templar You can skip this section if you wish.
Go to the end of Page 10 to read their story.
It was close to lunch time after visiting the Church so we stopped at the “Pret A Manger” sandwich shop for a bite. This is a chain in the UK that has good fast food for a reasonable price. Archie likes it because they have big cups of good coffee for 99 pence. “Good value!”
We then wandered down Fleet Street past the Sir Horace Jones’s The Temple Bar Memorial (1880).. The strikingly rampant “griffin” (as it is traditionally known) crowning the Memorial is really a dragon, the symbol of the City of London.
We walked to Covent Garden. This is a big tourist stop in London. much like Faneuil Hall in Boston. It if full of young people, food shops, souvenir stores, buskers, and pickpockets. There was a string combo playing a rousing rendition of “Bolero” that we enjoyed. And, we didn’t get our pockets picked. Whew!
After Covent Gardens we continued walking to Trafalgar Square. This commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars over the French and Spanish navies off the south-west coast of Spain near Cape Trafalgar, in 1805, during which Lord Horatio Nelson was shot and killed.In the center of the square is Nelson’s column The Corinthian column was built in 1842 and is approximately 170ft high (including the base). It was built after a design by William Railton. On top of the column stands an 18ft tall statue of Lord Nelson, created by Edmund Hodges. At the base of the column are four huge lions modeled by Sir Edwin Landseer. They were added later, in 1868.
Since it’s hard to see that high, here is a close-up of Nelson’s statue made of Craigleith sandstone. Notice that his right arm is missing. He lost it in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, On 22 July 1797, Nelson’s assaulted Tenerife and was defeated, and the remains of the landing party withdrew under a truce with the loss of several hundred casualties. Nelson himself had been wounded in the arm, which was subsequently partially amputated: a stigma that he carried to his grave as a constant reminder of his failure. (TMI?)
The RAF Bomber Command Memorial is a memorial in Green Park in London, commemorating the aircrews of RAF Bomber Command who embarked on missions during the Second World War. The memorial, located near Hyde Park Corner, was built to mark the sacrifice of 55,573 aircrew from Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland and other countries of the Commonwealth, as well as civilians of all nations killed during raids.
Here is the Wellington Arch also known as Constitution Arch at the western corner of Green Park built between 1826-1830. It once supported an equestrian statue of the 1st Duke of Wellington; It is now topped with sculpture of a “quadriga” or ancient four-horse chariot in 1912.
We continued down Brompton Rd to Harrod’s Department store. We just looked.
From here we walked to Archie’s place off Glouster road. It was a long afternoon so we stopped for dinner at Archie’s favorite: The Forum Cafe.
So ended Day 7 of my visit with Archie. I’m tired and my feet are sore! Tomorrow the Thames…
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