03 March, 2014

Da Vinci - walking in London

by Diana Studer  
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

The Ungardener focussed on The Eye, but I focussed on the chestnuts. Roast chestnuts - the smell of heaven! 

The London Eye

London Walks setting the scene in 2009 - People have long sensed the high strangeness of London. That the Monument and Nelson's column - can it be a coincidence that they're both 202 feet high? - cast significant shadows at the summer solstice; that a 1960 mural of Jean Cocteau in a hidden little London church suggests that he and Leonardo da Vinci were collaborators across the centuries - and that their religious beliefs were not nearly as orthodox as the history books would lead us to believe. Dan Brown's best-selling novel lifts the lid on some of these matters. 
As does Gerard de Sede's The Templars Are Among Us. "Heretical beliefs", the goddess mystery, sexual alchemy secrets, mastery over time itself, gateways where the human and divine worlds meet; a church that's allegedly denied its true roots.

Our Mysterious London & the Da Vinci Code walk was in July 2009. While this walk is history, there are many fresh choices at London Walks

Round Church London from the outside
Temple Church

Inside the Round Church in London

Thursday morning we went to Liberty's, where I was delighted to find Moleskine notebooks in delectable colours. One claimed as my holiday diary - reading back, I can relive the day. We ate lunch frequently in this church. Central, convenient, effortless to find, self service so it's quick, and they cater for Vegetarians! 

Flying horse in stained glass

We started from Temple Underground station. That is Temple for the Knights Templar. Off to the Round Church. When I showed my mother these photos, she remembered going to the Round Church in her London days. Now I wish I could ask her - was it a church service or a concert? 

Arch Toots
Desmond Tutu

To King's College to see the Chapel. The advertising on the windows of the College was testimonials from very famous past students. Arch Toots. We were in London with the Hampton Court Flower Show, where they launched two new roses, Desmond (red) and Leah (fragrant and gold) Tutu. We chose to go to Southwark Cathedral (the choir in Mr Bean?). Arch Toots was presiding at two baptisms. Followed by lunch 'together' in the Refectory at the Cathedral. 

Mary Magdalen and Mary the Virgin
in stained glass

The Round Church has stained glass windows, from the Fifties, after the bombing in WW2. Also reamed glass, made with a scratched surface, so it lets the light in, but you are not distracted from worship, because the view out is obscured. Rather beautifully, which becomes distracting in its own way? 

Reamed glass at a church in London

At Inner Temple, the hands are 'Justice' by sculptor Tanya Russell

The sculpture of hands is Justice by Tanya Russell

To Westminster. Parliament. Big Ben, is the name of the bell. Which is cracked. 

Big Ben and memories of London

Isaac Newton is buried in Westminster Abbey. And the pope in the Da Vinci Code is the poet. 

Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night: 
 God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light. 
Epitaph written by the poet, Alexander Pope 

Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer  
of  Elephant's Eye on False Bay

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  1. I so enjoyed our trip to London in October. Your post is bringing back some lovely memories. I think I need to get back there someday--so much to do and see. I felt so at home there.

  2. only now as I edited this post, do I discover the meaning and significance of the Hands that caught me.

  3. I lived in London for about 5 years in the 70s, so this post has brought back memories for me too. In countries like SA and Australia, you just don't get buildings old enough to have the sense of mystery and history that those churches and other buildings in England have. But even Big Ben's bell is cracked ... how mundane! What is the significance and meaning of the Hands, Diana?

  4. in Inner Temple surrounded by lawyers, the sculpture is a commissioned work representing Justice.

  5. I love mysteries so would really enjoy a mystery and Da Vinci Code walk

  6. there would be evening ghosts, and Docklands pirates, and Sherlock Holmes walks for you

  7. The smell of roasted chestnuts! Delicious memory. P. x

  8. Another great walk and I would be thinking about chestnuts as well.