Elizabethan London

Elizabethan London
Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

London - Part 1

This was my first visit to London and due to it's relative brevity, it certainly did not do the city it's true justice.

Every turn of the London street corner opened up new sights, new historic locations, places both new and yet of so familiar...All the place names and street corners, culled out of study, history and literature, stacked up in my mind's eye, one after the other until the unexpected and unique became just another passing point of interest.

Nelson, Wellington, Shakespeare, Dickens, Darwin, Gladstone, Palmerston, Churchill, Chaucer, Donne, Holmes & Doyle. It was an overwhelming flow of familiar names and places that, until now, for me, were just words on a page - Newgate, Aldgate, Cheapside, Southwark, Bankside, Poultry Lane, Snow Hill, Billingsgate, Ludgate, Fleet...the list was endless.

So if I sound astonished and at a bit of a loss, this is why. All these familiar names are now new to me, their cadence for me has shifted.  London, like New York, is one of those cities that actually exist at that crossroads between the practical, pedestrian everyday real-world, and the imaginary landscape of history and literature. I couldn't pass King Cross Station on the tube without thinking about Hogwarts. Baker Street will forever be home to a certain eminent practical detective just as every tribute to Nelson sent echoes of Hornblower through my memory. Don't get me started on Flashman...

I know it's a city to the people that call it home, but for me, it was that and much more.

As before, here's a short selection of photos from my visit that utterly fail to do it justice.

My sister-in-law Sharon, chilling in the cab

Not actually a TARDIS, I've discovered.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Silent Big Ben or "Quiet" Ben, as it now should be called

Sherlock Holmes Pub...solely because I like Sherlock Holmes

The Tube

St Pauls, looming, as it does.

Crossing the Millennium Bridge

"may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques that did affright the air at Agincourt ..."

I'm reliably told, this was the actual location of the Bear Gardens. Now a Pizza Express. Drink in the historical ambiance...

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

Waiting for Much Ado About Nothing...
Hanging with the groundlings at the Globe

The Thames, Tower Bridge & HMS Belfast

The Thames at sunset

On a Ghostwalk, heading to the plague pits of St, Botolph 

At the Horse Guards

Lions of Trafalger

Stonework & statuary

St. Pauls

Sneaking a photo of the dome of St. Pauls

Looking down to the floor from the top of St. Paul's dome

A grand view

Looking SW. I kept calling it the Shart rather than the Shard...

Rapacious pigeons of St. Pauls

Grand, imposing, spectacular

Nelson's backside and the moon, Trafalgar Square

One of the many shots of my feet I managed to take by accident.

Ale, for the end of a long day of walking.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ireland, Part 2 - Dublin

After five days in Galway, we snuck out to have a quick two days in Dublin before jetting off to London.

Dublin was an amazing town - vigorous, lively, music-filled. Aside from hitting all the pubs in Temple Bar, I managed to sneak in a visit to the Book of Kells at Trinity, toured Dublin Cathedral (met Joyce's infamous cat and rat) and the National Museum of History & Archaeology to visit the bogmen and the gold hoards. Enjoyed a pint at the end of the day in the the Brazen Head, Dublin's oldest pub, established in 1198.

Pics for you:

First things first....

Strolling Temple Bar
The real Temple Bar

Music, music, music - in the streets and in very bar

Trinity College

Trinity College
Dublin doorknocker

Bogman. Baronstown West Man from Kildare

Torcs and gold ornaments, National Museum of Ireland, History & Archaeology

Long Room at Trinity

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Dublin Cathedral

“…As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ…” In the Crypt at Dublin Cathedral

Brazen Head Pub, est 1198 AD

The Liffey, at sunset
Next stop: London!