On the 24th of May Hannah and I went to visit Sassi Holford (a famous wedding dress designer that Hannahs shop carries) in Taunton which is the county town of Somerset, England. We took the underground from the flat to Paddington Station, got some breakfast then boarded our train. As luck would have it we chose an excellent day to escape London as it rained nearly all day there.
Along the way we got to see some countryside with green rolling hills, and some entire fields covered in yellow flowers. About an hour and a half later we made it into Taunton. The day consisted of us touring the workspace where Sassi’s dresses are created then made, then a delicious lunch. All in all it was a wonderful day. It was interesting to see that side of Hannah’s work, and great meeting and talking with Sassi and her husband Martin.
We headed back for London to her Majesties Theater to see Phantom of the Opera. I had seen it once in Denver but this was Hannahs first time seeing the musical. At her Majesties Theater they have had Phantom of the Opera playing for twenty five years, so they have created some amazing set pieces and effects. After that we headed for the flat to get some much needed rest.
Today we visited churches, both St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey. Both were very different in layout and decoration. St Paul’s is a grand church with everything spread out and a huge dome in the center, where Westminster Abbey is smaller and more cluttered feeling. Both are filled with so much history and that helps to explain their differences. Westminster Abbey was opened in 1090 while St Paul opened in 1675. St Paul’s was the first church built in London after the English Church split from the Catholic Church, and the style and grandness is reminiscent of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. Both churches do not allow photos from inside, so I only have photos from the outside.
The first church we visited was St Paul. After exploring the ground level we climbed to the top of the dome, walking up some 500 + stairs on the way. From there you could see much of the city and I took too many pictures. The sun was out and it was a beautiful day.
After climbing back down and riding the underground to Westminster Abbey we arrived just in time to hear Big Ben ring at 12 o’clock and take some photos.
Then we headed for lunch in a somewhat hidden away cafe inside of Westminster Abbey before touring the church. Westminster Abbey was packed with people all with their ears to the audio guide. So many historical figures were buried at the church, from Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton to King Edward I. After completing our tour of the Abbey we wandered back onto the square in front of the church and ate some cake and brownie. Just as we were getting ready to leave we saw a protest marching down the street with music and many followers. They were protesting GMO ( genetically modified organism ) which are certainly bad and a worthy thing to protest in my opinion.
Next we headed to the Churchill War Rooms an exhibit showing the bunker built under some state buildings during world war II. These war rooms were protected by huge concrete slabs and buried underneath an existing building. The English were able to create this hidden command post without anyone knowing because they pumped concrete from under the building to create the space. In the war rooms they even had one of the first telephone encryption / decryption setup to allow the US president and Churchill to communicate without fear of enemy interception.
Finally we headed for the flat to rest our weary feet. We got some BBQ for dinner from a place right around the corner called Bodeans which was amazing, ah good olde american food. Hannah and I watched a really good football ( soccer ) match between Dortmund and Bayern for the Champions League Final.