Home Page Link


Day Two - Bridges, Towers, a Palace and a Circus

We dutifully minded the gap on the District line, but ran into trouble regardless. Weekend construction interrupted service and we were forced off the tube at the Mansion House station, walking the rest of the way through a very subdued financial district on a Saturday.

The Tower Bridge image
The Tower Bridge
(Click to Enlarge)
Our destination to begin this day was the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The Tower of London has stood for nearly 1,000 years, having spent time as a prison, a zoo, an armoury, a treasury, a mint, an observatory, and currently houses the Crown Jewels.

The Tower Bridge, which gained its name due to its proximity to the Tower of London, was unpopular locally when first constructed. Since then, however, it has risen to become one of the most recognizable icons in London. So much so, it is often mistaken for the current London Bridge, which is much simpler and is the next bridge down along the River Thames.

Discovery image

We stopped at the nearby Hung, Drawn, and Quartered pub for lunch and I made a fantastic Discovery -- a new blonde beer by Fuller's. It was very crisp and fruity and an excellent choice for a summer day.

The London Eye image
The London Eye
(Click to Enlarge)

After lunch, we checked out the London Eye, a 450-foot ferris wheel, the largest of its kind, which sits on the south bank of the Thames. In one of its 32 glass capsules, you can take flight for a grand view of London, seeing up to 25 miles on a clear day. We mulled the notion, but after observing the long lines and cloudy skies, we decided to stay grounded at this time.

Crossing the river, we ventured over to the Clock Tower and the Houses of Parliament.
"Don't call me Ben, dude!"
(Click for Full Image)
Buckingham Palace Guard image
Buckingham Palace Guard
The Clock Tower is widely mistaken as "Big Ben," which is actually the main bell housed within the Clock Tower. It's the largest four-faced turret clock in the world and reknown for its accuracy.

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, contains nearly 1,200 rooms, 100 starcases, and 2 miles of corridors. In it the House of Lords and House of Commons meet to conduct their business.

From there, we walked over to The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey. This Gothic church serves as a memorial to the nation, filled with the tombs of the country's geatest monarchs, poets, scientists, politicians, and musicians. It also contains the Coronation Chair, on which most British monarchs since 1066 were crowned.

Journeying back west, we visited Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British monarch and took a walk through Green Park, one of the Royal Parks of London , which was until the 16th century a swampy burial ground for lepers from the nearby hospital at Saint James's.

Piccadilly Circus at Night

A quick ride back to the hotel to change clothes and we were off to perhaps the most famous traffic intersection in London, Piccadilly Circus. The latin word circus (meaning circle) refers to a circular open space at a street junction. Piccadilly Circus is the convergence of the major shopping and entertainment areas in a central location at the heart of the West End, making it a key meeting place and tourist attraction in its own right.

We walked around the area a bit, taking it all in before having dinner with a streetside view of the action up on the second floor of a place called Adam's Rib, then calling it a night.


Day Three

Day: 1 23456789101112      London, Dublin, Paris