Posted on July 7, 2010
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,-
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
King Richard II
Vacation: I define it as a time to leave routine behind and do something new–or do nothing at all. After a year of living as expats in Czech Republic, we needed a break from the post-communist atmosphere, a change from the life we’ve managed such a long way from our native Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. We needed to spend a few days speaking English, eating “normal” foods, and enjoying a place more similar to our own, in lieu of the journey and expense of treking our family of five back across the Ocean. Instead, our family ventured out and had an extraordinary vacation, refreshing and relaxing and rejuvenating, in the heart of London.
The sights in London were magnificent, as was the weather. All a gift.
We didn’t know many specifics of London before our trip. But the crown city of London holds vast treasures like the set stones in the Royal jewels. Many thanks to our fabulous tour guide who narrated the significant sites while we cruised atop a double decker red bus …
The famous Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Thames and the recent London Eye– all beautiful, polished, and drawing throngs of tourists like us.
I remember watching Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981 at a friend’s house … the dazzling dress, the innocence and grandeur. The unforgettable ceremony took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral, below.
Our boys loved the hands-on displays inside the White Tower, where they could try their hands at swords and long-bows and cannons. Of course, with dungeons and lore of prisoners and brutal torture, London held their attention quite well!
From nursery stories and children’s books, of course we know of London Bridge, and the Tower of London, but I didn’t know that the Tower of London was actually a castle originally called the White Tower. Beside it, my favorite, the Tower Bridge spans the Thames River (below).
We loved London, her treasures and the friendly people. We look forward to someday returning again …
Starting the Conversation: Where do you enjoy taking vacation? What recharges you from the wear of daily life?