Another Shrine to Albert
I was to stay in a simply terrific Hostel (YHA) for two nights. First, though, the train ride from Cornwall to Paddington Station would take me over an enormous and exceptional bridge:
I had read of the bridge, had in fact crossed it one other time. But a person never ever becomes ho-hum about the Saltash Bridge.
This marvel of engineering was built by Brunel in 1859, and linked Cornwall (one of the dreamiest corners of England) to the rest of the UK by rail. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria and was in fact named the Royal Albert Bridge (remember? esteem and distinction).
It is such fun to go over this bridge by rail! Approaching Plymouth, I asked one of the conductors about how far it might be to the Saltash Bridge? She looked bemused and asked, 'Why?' I said that the bridge fascinated me and I wanted to be sure and get a good video as we went across. She shrugged, and said, 'I suppose in about 5 minutes.' One could almost hear the 'Sheesh! These Americans.' But I could be wrong..
We crossed, and as we did I directed the iPhone camera down to the waters of the River Tamar. There, the Men of War (warships) came in and out for the duration of World War II. There are still plenty of boats, but nothing like during those dread years.
From the Saltash Bridge, we continued through the lush countryside so unique to this land of Dickens. At last we pulled into Paddington Station, from whence I made my slow way to the Cathedral at St Paul's. Just across the street was the Youth Hostel where I would stay.
By now I had only a half hour to make it to Evensong at St Paul's! I must hurry to check in, drop the bag, and fly across the road. Surprisingly, I was able to do all of this and find a front row seat at St Paul's. Exquisite!
St Paul's Cathedral, October 2013
After the Evensong Service (October 12, St Paul's Cathedral - More Than Just a Pretty Building), it was time for dinner, and then the Youth Hostel (you know of course, that the 'Youth' part of Hostel is actually ageless?).
YHA London St Paul's, October 2013
Ted had told me to look for the Latin words etched around the YHA building, which had once been the St Paul's Boy's Choir school. I found this:
MIHI AUTEM ABSIT GLORIARI NISI IN CRUCE DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI / PER QUEM MIHI MUNDUS CRUCIFIXUS EST ET EGO MUNDO.
And here is the English translation of the Latin:
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14
St Paul's Cathedral Choir school had gifted the Apostle Paul's message, to London then and forevermore. It is unlikely that even a fraction of the Londoners and tourists who pass this building will ever know what is being said to them. But the Choir Boys knew.
And now, so do you.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/179298795/">didbygraham</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitlogan/2883749502/">Kit Logan</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>