It wasn’t until 9:30 pm, though, that I arrived at London Heathrow because of a nearly four hour layover in Vienna. My friend, Joan Ishibashi, was waiting for me after passport control and together we used Heathrow Connect to get to main London. We were trying to remember the last time we saw each other, and it was at her wedding four years ago. We figured that we’ve known each other for at least thirty years, as she moved to Hawaii in the early 80s.
After arriving at London Paddington I took a taxi to my hotel, and I must confess that it is probably the smallest hotel room I have ever been in, including those in Japan!
Joan came to my hotel about 11:00 am this morning and we set off on a walking tour of London churches, none of which I had ever visited before. I told her I had been to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and Westminster Cathedral on previous trips to London, so I didn’t need to see those churches again on this trip.
We started off with the Church of All Hallows by the Tower, which has connections to Americans William Penn and John Quincy Adams. In comparison to the ornate churches I had just seen in Eastern Europe, this church was pretty stark in comparison. Still it had elaborately carved wooden pews.
We then visited St. Mary Woolnoth, the third church with gilded organ pipes. I was starting to see a pattern here!
At the parish of St. Stephen Walbrook there was a cello and piano recital going on and we were invited inside. There was a beautiful domed ceiling, and I managed to take a picture of the organ before we left.
After lunch we set off for Southwark Cathedral, across the Thames River over London Bridge. It was by far the biggest church we had seen today and it even had a gift shop. I had to buy a photo license for £1 in order to legally take photos.
All in all we had seen 5 churches and walked 13,288 steps, nearly six miles. I think that’s enough for one day!
Dinner was at a local Lebanese restaurant and was absolutely delicious.