The first thing Maya and I noticed when we arrived to London was the poppy pin that everyone seemed to be wearing. Even contestants on The X Factor with Simon Cowell serving as a judge (the British equivalent of American Idol) were wearing it. It turned out that November 11th was Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, a day dedicated to remember all men and women who lost their lives in two World Wars and other wars.
When we got to Westminster Abbey on our second and final day on our London getaway, we saw a sea of tags made out of red paper poppies beautifully laid out in the cathedral’s courtyard, each flower representing one soldier who served and died for his / her country. We spent a long time there looking at each flower, thanking each of them for their courage, and praying for their families.
We went inside the Abbey and took a self-guided audio tour, narrated by actor Jeremy Irons. I was actually more impressed with Westminster Abbey than Notre Dame in Paris. The detail of each sculpture that slept in this abbey was absolutely breathtaking. Even though he is buried in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, there was a tribute to William Shakespeare there.
After we left the Abbey, we headed to Buckingham Palace. It was perfect that we went to the Palace when we did because the next day, the monarch announced the engagement of Prince William and his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. We watched later on BBC News that it was a paparazzi-fest at the Palace when we returned to Paris later that night.
On the final hours of London, before we had to catch Eurostar to return to Paris (we definitely made sure that we had enough time this time), Maya went to London Eye and took the farris wheel to view the city from the sky, and I went back to the hotel to relax and catch up on my journal. It was a wonderful way to end our mini trip to London! Now, back to Paris again!