Snapshots of London

For the month of January, while the skies are grey in Aberdeen, I’m sharing a few photo essays of days I want to remember from 2015!

From a very quick trip I made in November, here are Snapshots of London!

Whenever I go to London, I try to fit in something new.

Or a few new somethings.

I flew down on the first flight out of Aberdeen to London City Airport, which I highly recommend, because as the name suggests, you are already in the city.

You just hop on the DLR, which connects you to the Underground.

I stopped first in the London Docklands, an area which has been completely remade into a hip business district where food trucks dedicated to falafel and fancy barbecue line the water.

I went to the Museum of London Docklands, an old warehouse full of a fascinating history of the shipping industry in London and of the area.

Out of all the exhibits, the one that disturbed me most was dedicated to one kind of cargo that came through these docks.

The exhibit explained that most of London’s great wealth and prosperity came from England’s monopoly on the slave trade, and the slave ships passed through these docklands, where slaves were sold and sent off to work in America.

Our history with slavery continues to be heart-wrenching to me, partly because of how slavery still exists. In some ways, instead of slavery’s being eradicated in the world, it has simply evolved.

It was raining when I left the London Docklands with a heavy heart.

On to the British Library.

Home of treasures such as the Magna Carta, original Dickens manuscripts and napkins with lyrics scrawled by Paul McCartney.

I loved seeing the Lindisfarne Gospels after having pilgrimaged to the Holy Island a couple of years ago. I’d read about St Cuthbert and these manuscripts when Anna and I walked St Cuthbert’s Way. They are from the year 700. (So like, super old!)

Next I headed off to find my room (and a cup of tea!) at the YHA near St Paul’s.

If you are facing St. Paul’s steps, and you look down the street to the right, you will see the YHA.

It is in an older building, delightfully close to St Paul’s.

Hello familiar little green triangle.

Up the stairs.

And into my little happy single room.

After a cup of tea and a little rest, I headed off to Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral.

I have been to a service at Westminster on another visit to London and I went to Evensong again on a visit to York.

This is easily my favorite way to visit a grand church. You get to hear the organ and be a part of the church as it was intended to be, filled with singing and worship. This service, so soon after the attacks in Paris, was very special.

I wrote down a beautiful reminder in the middle of the liturgy that only God can bring peace to our world.

I loved watching people file in and end their day on their knees, souls being fed before heading home for an evening meal.

When the service ended I walked down to the Thames, turning back to look at St Paul’s at night, with buses going by.

I crossed the Millennium Bridge to make my way to Southwark and The Cut.

I passed a Christmas market on my way.

I met a friend at The Old Vic to see a play, because on my last trip to London, I went on a theatre tour where our guide mentioned that The Old Vic and The Young Vic were some of his favorite venues in the city for plays. Such a fun night out and The Old Vic was all lit up for La France!

The lights in the staircase at The Old Vic were my favorite!

I woke up the next morning to a little bit of sunshine coming through my window.

I hit the streets just outside my room in search of coffee and fruit.

As crowded as London is, it amazes me that you only have to get a street or two away from the main thoroughfares to find quiet.

I turned off the main roads several times to look for new spots in London.

So many parts of London can feel like little English villages all tacked together on a map in a string.

Back at the Thames, London’s grandeur astonishes all over again.

PS. I am super grateful to World Vision UK for the opportunity to be a part of #FarFromHome in London in November and to YHA St Paul’s for giving me a cozy bed for the night while I was down!

PS If you enjoyed this post you might like to see more of London or more on our YHA Hostel Stays. Or even subscribe to the Chino House?