Other than the grocery store, we didn't really have a destination in mind. The first interesting place we came across was the site of St. Augustine's church. The church itself had been torn down in 1797 when a newer larger church had been built, but the tower from the older church remains. Records indicate there has been a church on these grounds since the year 1275, but this tower part of the old church was built in the late 1500's.
The tower is almost 500 years old! Interestingly, the homes across the street from the tower were destroyed during an air raid in 1941.
Although the main church part was torn down many years ago, the graveyard remained. The churchyard was used for burials from the 13th century until 1859 when it was declared full. Many of the headstones were moved to the boundaries after the Metropolitan Open Spaces Act of 1881, which enabled clearance of closed burial grounds. This act was actually pursuing green space in the crowded city. Most of the 300 headstones were moved to the boundaries in 1893, where they remain today.
The headstones are now arranged neatly against the wall. The tombs still exist, but the area is now just greenspace.
The new church was built in 1797.
Yes, there are still phone booths around!
Lots of traffic. In fact, lots of cars, lots of cyclists, and lots of pedestrians! I find myself constantly looking left and right to make sure nothing is going to run me over! Oh yes, make sure you look right first before crossing. In fact, many crosswalks have it written on the road to make sure you look in the proper direction for oncoming traffic.
So we made it to the Tesco grocery store and picked up a few items. Expecting to be shocked by the high prices, we were actually pleasantly surprised. Yes, gasoline is expensive in England at £1.30 ($2.15) per litre ($8.12 per gallon!) and housing is ridiculously expensive with a bachelor apartment renting for £1,000 ($1,650) per month. Wages are comparable to North America though, with minimum wage at £6.08 ($9.97) which is similar to Canada's minimum wage. So not sure how these millions of people can afford to live here.
For example, here are some items we bought, and the prices...
- Cornflakes 500g box £1.29 ($2.12)
- Tortilla Chips 300 g bag £0.89 ($1.46)
- Sliced chicken deli meat 205 grams £1.50 ($2.46)
- 8 good quality disposable razors £3.50 ($5.74, taxes included)
- 3 litres milk £1.74 ($2.85)
- Small head of iceberg lettuce £0.75 ($1.23)
The one thing that really stood out is that eggs are more expensive than Canada at around $3.25 per dozen.
We went back to the house and had lunch and relaxed for a bit, then went for a longer walk later in the day. It had been sunny and warm in the morning, but had then clouded over and cooled down with a bit of a wind. Still, no rain!
I didn't realize that London has miles of canals.
And that people live on these canal boats.
All different types of canal boats. Some fancy and expensive, others run down and dilapidated. Some had solar panels, and generators and we even saw in a window that one had a clothes washing machine in it!
Feeding the ducks, geese, and swans.
Many London parks have these funny pay toilets. Costs 20 pence ($0.33) to use them. I wonder what they're like on the inside.
Walking through Victoria Park. Just the other side of the park is the Olympic stadium. We'll walk over there another day. Not sure if we can get in or not!
This apartment has different types of vines growing on the side. Neat!
Picked up some beer at the corner store. Exactly where you should be able to buy beer! Canada has got to be the most backwards country in the world in this aspect. Of course beer is cheaper here than in Canada too, but more expensive than Mexico.
We mapped out our walk after the fact and found out we had done 8.2 kms (5.1 miles). That didn't include our morning walk!
Today, we are walking into downtown London! So far, the sun is shining again!