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.
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
The Tower Bridge
(Click to Enlarge)
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
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
(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
Crossing the river, we ventured over to the Clock
Tower and the Houses
The Clock Tower is widely mistaken as "Big Ben,"
which is actually the main bell housed within the Clock Tower. It's the largest
turret clock in the world and reknown for its accuracy.
call me Ben, dude!"
(Click for Full Image)
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
Chair, on which most British monarchs since 1066 were crowned.
Journeying back west, we visited Buckingham
the official London residence of the British monarch and took a walk through
one of the Royal
Parks of London , which was until the 16th century
a swampy burial ground for lepers from the nearby hospital at
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
The latin word circus (meaning circle) refers to a circular open space at a
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.