Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A couple of days in the UK

I spent Saturday (my 34th birthday) and Sunday in the UK on my way back to Algeria. On Saturday Hans and I took a train to Brighton which is south of London on the Coast.
(I am a little hesitant to refer to it as either England or Britain because I had a guy I was talking to in the hotel bar get mad at me because I referred to him as British rather than English, he got even more upset when I asked him the difference. I still don't get it but I'm not going to worry too much about it.)
After wandering around Brighton for a few hours and checking out the rocky coast, we headed back to the hotel and then took the train into London for dinner. Wether it is in the restaurants or just standing in a pub, I have met a lot of really great people and had lots of excellent conversations on all of my London trips.
We stay at a hotel in Gatwick airport which is about a thirty minute train ride from Victoria Station in London. On Sunday morning we headed back into London and wandered around some more. We walked a few blocks from Victoria station and came upon a beautiful building with a tall tower. I said to Hans "wow look at that church", he said he thought it was a museum or school but really didn't think it was a church। When we walked up to the front entrance and saw the sign for Westminster Catheredral I couldn't stop laughing and had something to rib Hans about the rest of the day.
I have to say that on my first trip I was very impressed with the Tower of London and all of the old architecture, but after walking into Westminster Catheredral I was even more impressed. The outside wasn't as impressive as the Duomo in Florence, but the inside of Westminster is amazingly beautiful with all of the marble, wood, and tile work. I have seen it on tv but had no idea of the enormity of it until standing in front of the altar. It is very impressive.

After that we had dinner at a nice Spanish restaurant and headed back to the hotel. Check in for our flight to Algeria starts at 3:30am for a 6:30am flight, so it was a short night.

Outside of the Brighton train station

A kind of market street in Brighton

An art gallery in Brighton

The English coast

A very ambitious man Kaiser Wilhelm

I have to agree with Plato on this one

I really liked this building all lit up

Is this a school or museum??

Oh, it is a church...

Above the altar

The main altar

I think this is the baptism pool but not sure. There are about three to four side chapels and rooms like this on each side of the main catherdal seating area. Each side chapel is for a different church, i.e. church of Scotland, church of Ireland, etc..

Each side chapel has beautiful tile murals and writings on the walls and ceiling

The day was overcast so the pictures are a little dark but it shows how busy the streets are. This was in Covent Garden (part of London)

Another street picture