Saturday, July 29, 2017

London Dubai 2017 13 - Westminster Abbey

After our visit to St Paul's Cathedral, we quickly moved to Westminster.  Before that, we grabbed a bite from the nearby Tesco minimart, and enjoyed our lunch just opposite the famous Downing Street.

Street Entrance to Downing Street

Thinking of paying Mrs May a visit?  Well, more likely than not, you will be stopped at the street entrance by the police.  Not even a chance to get close to 10 Downing Street.

Again, here there is a huge cultural difference.  I don't know how the street got its name, but in English, down means down, bring or knock to ground.  Downing means in the process of being brought to ground.  No Chinese leader will ever reside in a street with such a name.  It means bad Fengshui.  The citizens won't be happy either.   If leader lives in a downing street, does that mean the country will go nowhere but down?  Oh, I just found from Wikipedia how Downing Street got its name, it is named after Sir George Downing, who built the street in 1680s.  Anyway, UK as a whole is going down to the toilet these days.  Even changing the name from Downing to Upping is not going to help much.

Entrance to the Westminster Abbey is from the North Gate.  Again and again, the advice is to get there early.  The queue for security check was long, and visitors had to wait under the sun, or rain, before they got checked.

Once you enter the abbey, the first impression was it was very dimly lit.  There is little light along the aisles, save some faint light rays penetrating from the unblocked windows on the side.

The entrance fee was ₤22.00 at the gate, came with a free audio guide, but no photography inside.  I thought I was to visit the British Coronation Church, with religious stories, but I found myself in a huge graveyard.  The moment you walk in, on both sides you could find the burying places of various people.  Then Isaac Newton on some floor, Charlies Darwin on some side wall, along with many that you don't know.

There are tombs on both sides of the high altar too.  And then tombs of this king, that queen, one after another.  For me, the most notable tombs probably belong to Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary of Scot.  Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary of Scot were cousins,  Queen Mary was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth I for plotting against her reign.  Ironically, their tombs are side by side in the same chamber in Westminster Abbey, almost equally well-decorated.  You know why?  Queen Elizabeth I executed Queen Mary of Scot, but after Queen Elizabeth died childless,  the son of Queen Mary of Scot succeeded the British throne, and became King James I.  He made sure his mother's tomb is not any less well decorated than Queen Elizabeth I's.  Well, that's life.  Chinese saying, no matter how calculative someone can be, he can't beat heaven's will.  人算不如天算.

West Gate of Westminster Abbey

At the end of the tour, you will see the coronation chair used by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.  And then you will come out from the west gate of Westminster Abbey.

Wow... it was so nice to come out from the gloom and doom of all that graveyards and ironic historic past, and see the blue sky again.  Human in-fighting is so meaningless and pointless, nonetheless we humans enjoy doing it, sometimes for some trifle matters.  Let's fight less, love nature more.

Until my next post, bye...

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