After a relatively painless (and mostly sleepless) overnight flight, we arrived at Heathrow and decided to take a tube ride to our hotel. The directions were to take the Picadilly line toward Cockfosters Underground Station...*snicker* went my inner 14 year old...
Onward ho to our hotel, the Arosfa on Gower Street.
We were warmly greeted by the lovely Liga, checked in and then headed out to see to St. Cyprian's Church. St. Cyprian's is only open a couple hours a week: during mid-week low mass Thursday at noon and again during Sunday morning high mass. We planned to attend St. Paul's on Sunday, so we rushed over Thursday as soon as we dropped our bags in our hotel room.
We took the tube to Baker Street Station, which claims to be the world's first underground station - cool! Walking to the church, we passed 221b Baker Street and the Sherlock Holmes museum...
We didn't stop in there though, as we were so excited to see St. Cyprian's, having heard it described thus:
"The most joyful church interior in London … Religion singing and dancing, as it does in Bavaria, light and space bounced about from wall to wall." Ian Nairn Nairn ‘s London Penguin Books 1966 p.98
"To our surprise — to our inexpressible surprise — we discovered it was absolutely lovely. Not everyone’s cup of vodka, perhaps, but indubitably the work of an architect — with a remarkable feeling of space and clarity of planning." H de Cronin Hastings Letter to John Betjeman 1938
It was definitely worth the visit. Our souls were well fed in this gorgeous space.
Next it was time to feed our bellies! We found a pub around the corner called The Volunteer and enjoyed a tasty meal of fish and chips and beer. We then took a stroll around in the rain.(We figured we couldn't very well spend time in London and not have at least one walk in the rain! lol) It had been pounding down while we ate, but had subsided to a light shower by the time we hit Regent's Park. Wow, what a lovely green space! Lots of waterfowl and super cool trees with branches that swept downward into the ponds.
The sun came out just as we were returning to the hotel for a rest. (A brief rest so as not to interfere with a good night's sleep - we wanted to get past jet lag as fast as possible!)
Next up...a ride on the double decker bus! A perfect way to look around when you're physically tired but super excited to see everything!! We cruised by Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery and along to...
Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament...woot!! London is as fabulous as I remembered from my one day whirlwind tour a few years ago.