For our last day and a half, we had some more literature inspired spots to hit! First off, The London Zoo, home of Winnie the Bear, inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. A.A.Milne took his soon Christopher Robin here all the time.
|Born in Captivity|
After the zoo, we booked it over to Westminster Abbey for our tour.
The cathedral is amazing. I'll give some pics, but they aren't mine, since no photography is allowed.
How does this connect to literature, you ask? Well, lets take a look at some of the graves and monuments in the Abbey. Some are buried here, some just commemorated.
Though you can't see it well, this is Chaucer's grave. This is the centerpiece of what is now called Poet's corner, full of graves and monuments to famous creative individuals.
Also, some other notables...
One of the most notable is the grave and monument of Isaac Newton:
But pride of place goes to these two, just inside the main west doors.
These are the doors everyone enters through for mass each day, not tourists. Also the doors used for every coronation for hundreds of years, and the recent royal wedding. The coronation chair is through those black gates. The first plaque on the floor is this one:
He's not actually buried there. When they showed him this spot as a planned burial place, he refused, saying he didn't want everyone walking all over him. So they buried him elsewhere, and left this plaque.
The other is the tomb of the unknown warrior, famously and humorously known as the only place in England no one walks on. Even the coronation procession must veer to the side.
We were lucky enough to get to pray at the shrine of Edward the Confessor, nearly a thousand years old. They described it as our chance to make our journey from tourist to pilgrim. It was very moving.
|This area is not open to tourists. We were in the right place at the right time.|
After our tour, we got to attend mass and take communion from the Dean of Westminster himself. Sunlight and rainbows streamed through the windows. It was amazing. Afterward, we rounded out our last full day with a bit of wandering around Westminster, lounging in a park by the London Eye, enjoying some street performers. A good guitarist was there, and a knife juggling-unicycle rider.
Then we went home and slept. Our flight left at noon the next morning, so of course we had to leave four hours before that. Heathrow reccomends a three-hour buffer for your flight, and we needed it. But we had to jump off the tube at Earl's Court for one last picture...
Too bad the door was locked, or our trip home would have been a lot quicker.
So long, England!