Friday, June 29, 2007

Day Six In London

Wednesday, September 5

Westminster Abbey
Central Hall
Dean’s Yard
Gewandhaus Orchestra Of Leipzig

We will have breakfast at our hotel again. We plan to depart our hotel at 9:15 a.m., and take the subway to Westminster Station.

Our entire day will be devoted to Westminster Abbey.

We intend to arrive at 9:45 a.m., when the Abbey opens for the day. We plan to walk around on our own, exploring the Abbey, for an hour or so. Then at 11:00 a.m., we will take a verger-led guided tour, which provides access to parts of the Abbey otherwise closed to the public. For instance, the chapel and shrine of Edward The Confessor, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, may only be visited as part of a verger tour. At the conclusion of the verger tour, we will continue to explore the Abbey proper on our own for another hour or so, until it is time to get something to eat.

For a lunch break, we will walk over to Central Hall, owned and operated by the Methodist Church, and have lunch in the cafeteria in the basement. It is the best place to have lunch in Westminster.

After lunch, we will take a short tour of the interior of Central Hall, and visit the chapels, and visit the large, historic main hall, where so many notable and historic events have occurred. When we leave the building, we will examine the exterior, London’s finest example of Beaux-Art architecture, and one of the greatest Beaux-Art buildings in the world.

Afterward, we will return to the Abbey and explore the Cloisters, and the magnificent Chapter House, and the Museum, which is excellent. Then, if they are open that day, we will explore the Abbey’s three gardens. The gardens are very simple, and very peaceful, and very quiet, and visitors to the gardens are hardly aware that the gardens are situated in the very center of noisy and bustling Westminster.

When we have completed our visit to the Abbey, we will walk through adjacent Dean’s Yard, and see Westminster School.

Afterward, we will go to Westminster Station and take the subway back to our hotel.

On this day, we will all have a chance to rest for three hours or so before the evening’s Proms concert. Josh and my brother and I will probably go swimming in the hotel pool, but my parents will probably welcome an opportunity to rest, and to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Early in the evening, we will walk over to The Royal Albert Hall for a Proms Concert. We probably will get a little something to eat in one of the Hall’s dining venues before the concert.

This evening’s concert will feature the Gewandhaus Orchestra Of Leipzig, under Riccardo Chailly, performing the “Coriolan” Overture and Violin Concerto of Beethoven, and the Symphony No. 4 of Brahms. The violin soloist will be Sergey Khachatryan.

After the concert, we will walk back to our hotel, and we will find a suitable place to have a late supper en route.

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