This morning, we first said goodbye to Uncle Steve. Then, the three of us who remained decided to go to mass at Westminster Abbey. (Some of you might be surprised to learn that I was the one promoting the idea. Me, go to church? It wasn't church...it was sightseeing :) We didn't know if they'd let us in. After all, the previous evening they were closed to visitors. But we took the tube over there and told the guy at the front door we were there for mass. "Right this way," he said, and pointed in a direction for us to head. There was a boys choir that sounded absolutely magnificent. It brought back memories of singing in other churches when I took my Europe trip with The Chorale in high school. The acoustics in the Abbey were gorgeous. There was a sermon about loving for the sake of love. He tied it in with current events (Iraqi prisoner abuse and football hooligans). I'm really glad we went.
After mass, we went to the National Gallery. On the walk over, we passed the Queen's Life Guards as well as some phone booths. There's a nice fountain in front of the gallery. Again, we got in on a guided tour (I feel that you can get much more out of things that way). The guide seemed to be college professor caliber in his ability to talk about the paintings. The hour-long talk only covered about four paintings. It was enjoyable. There was also a Dürer exhibit. Some of his paintings have incredible detail. A Young Hare and The Large Turf are amazing when you can press your nose up to them.
We had lunch at Pret A Manger, a Panera-esque restaurant. I had a chicken and avocado sandwich. It had plenty of mayonnaise on it, as well as fresh basil leaves and a bit of lettuce. It was delicious! After lunch we took a little rest back at the hotel.
After our break, we went to the British Museum. When you step inside, you are greeted with some fabulous architecture. Inside of the round structure is the British Museum Reading Room. The Museum is home to the one-and-only Rosetta Stone (like that reflection?). The African art section had this chair, made from old guns, on display. There was also a piece called Cradle to Grave by Pharmacopoeia. "Cradle to Grave explores our approach to health in Britain today and addresses some of the ways that people deal with sickness and try to secure well-being." The piece chronicles the medical lives of two people. For each person, the work "contains over 14,000 drugs, the estimated average prescribed to every person in Britain in their lifetime."
For dinner, we went to a great Indian place called Rasa. I never quite know what I'm getting when I order Indian food, but I've always enjoyed what I've eaten. One dish had kingfish, another had prawns, both in curry sauces. We also ordered a vegetable curry. I feel sorry for people who are afraid to try new foods. There's a lot of great stuff out there if you're just willing to try it!
Back at the hotel, we began packing. The cab that David and I were taking to the airport left at 4:00am; our flight left at 6:20am. Sleep that night was little more than a nap.
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