Yesterday afternoon, I took a tour given by one of the official guides to the City of London. Various tours are given each day providing a great introduction to the city. The tour I went on was called City Highlights. Although it introduced me to some of the grand buildings of the city, we also visited some interesting, small sites.
One of these unusual places was Postman’s Park, a beautiful, quiet park tucked between the large buildings and busy streets of downtown London. In this park is a unique monument to “heroic self sacrifice.” In 1887, George Frederick Watts, an artist who believed in art as a vehicle for social change, proposed a monument to honor heroes in everyday life. By 1900, his vision led to the unveiling of this memorial, which consists of plaques honoring individuals who lost their lives trying to save others. There are more than 50 plaques in this memorial, with the most recent one being added in 2009.
Another interesting stop on the tour was down a small and narrow alleyway. The tour guide wanted to show us how the practice of building structures so close to one another led to the rapid spread of the Great Fire of 1666, when buildings were constructed of wood and wattle. This little alleyway shows how many of the streets of old London would have looked.
To the left of this photo is a chop house called the George and Vulture. An inn has been associated with this site since the 1200s. This particular chop house was frequented by Charles Dickens and is mentioned several times in his book, The Pickwick Papers.
In other news, I looked at an apartment yesterday. We decided to put in an offer, so keep your fingers crossed! This apartment is located on the street where Fagin had his hideout in Oliver Twist. Wouldn’t that be appropriate?