on April 12, 2006
This was our own walking tour from our Soho hotel. We left in the morning, down Charing Cross Road to the Strand, to view the Royal Courts of Justice where the trial against Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code novel had been going on. The building is a very impressive Victorian era Gothic style. Visitors may enter but we just admired from the outside. Across from the courts is a statue of the great writer, Samuel Johnson, looking less than dignified with a pigeon on his head.Continuing on the Strand, it changes to Fleet Street and then to Ludgate Hill before you see St. Paul’s Cathedral. Our stop at St. Paul’s is described in a separate entry. After an hour at St. Paul’s we follow the signs to the Millennium Bridge which provides lots of photo opportunities back towards St. Paul’s, across to Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s New Globe Theatre and up and down the Thames River.We take the elevator to the 7th floor of Tate Modern to see if we can get a table for lunch despite no reservation. We’re in luck and have a quick bite while enjoying the fabulous view. The restaurant quickly fills as we are eating.Tate Modern is rehanging its permanent collection so only two special exhibits are showing. We have a quick look at one exhibit of two modernist artists. After a stop at the gift shop, we head over to the New Globe Theatre. We take a look at the exhibit but pass on touring with two noisy school groups.We walk along the south bank of the Thames passing under Blackfriars Bridge to join the Queen’s Walk. Again, lots of photo opportunities of sights across the river. At Hungerford Bridge, the walk becomes busier with people and much more tourist like with live statutes of silver or gold people and buskers. The reason, of course, is the proximity to the London Eye, the London Aquarium, the Football Association Hall of Fame, and other attractions.There’s a long queue for the London Eye and we have too many plans for the evening to wait to go on the Eye. We cross over Westminster Bridge admiring the Houses of Parliament as we walk, then continue along Victoria Embankment. We walk to Leicester Square, up to Trafalgar Square, past the National Gallery and take a quick visit to the National Portrait Gallery. We then find ourselves in the small area of Chinatown, make our way to Shaftesbury Avenue and back to our hotel. Our loop was about 6 miles and we finished around 4:30pm after starting about 10am. Like all travels on foot, it was a great way to see one area of London.
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