Thursday, July 29, 2010


Wednesday 28th July 2010
Off to London for the day.........
We caught the train from High Wycombe, which terminated at Marylebone. We then had to catch the "tube" or "underground" to get to Picadilly Circus.
The train (peak hour, more or less) was an interesting experience. The passengers were completely silent! No groups of people travelling and talking together. It was so quiet you felt self conscious if you spoke.

The "tube" was unbelievable. I never want to hear anyone complain about Sydney's rail system ever again. I have no idea why they call it the tube. it should be the can - as in sardines. Thank goodness we only had to go a couple of stops.

The first thing we saw as we emerged from the underground was a statue of Eros. According to my tour guide this is a very famous statue. I really have led a sheltered life.....
London is chockas with statues and memorials and I have not included many of the photos here.

The photo below is of Green Park. It's not very green at the present time, but it actually has no flower beds in it at all. This is because one day when King Charles II was walking here with his wife she told him to pick a flower and present it to the most beautiful woman he saw. He picked a flower and gave it to another woman!! She was so angry that she ordered all the flower beds removed from the park - hence Green Park.

We took a "hop on, hop off" bus tour and the first time we got off was at Buckingham Palace. Ray actually wanted to see the changing of the Horse Guards, but we were given a bit of a bum steer and we ended up with the rear end of the horses on video.

We got several views of Big Ben. Actually this is not Big Ben. You can't see Big Ben, unless you go inside here - this is St Stephen's tower and clock. Big Ben is actually the bell that chimes.

Many, many, many of the buildings in London are highly ornate. This a frieze from above the entrance to the supreme court. It depicts the many faces of justice.

We went into Westminster Cathedral - lots of dead people in here and absolutely jammed in! Kings and Queens and Nobles and Actors and Writers and the list goes on.

As we only wanted to spend one day in London (city-phobia), we had prioritised the things we wanted to see, but the bus tour gave us glimpses of things that were also interesting but we didn't want to spend time (or flagging energy) on.
Our next stop was the Tower of London. For me the highlight was The Crown Jewels. Of course no photos allowed.

Below is the Traitor's Gate where traitors were brought in via the river to await their fate - usually execution.

We were lucky enough to get a close up of a couple of Grenadiers as we queued for the Crown Jewels. They walked straight past us.

I couldn't resist the opportunity to have a photograph near one of these guys - just to prove I really have been there!!

The Tower of London actually has several towers. One of these houses an exhibition of instruments of torture. They say they didn't really torture people very often, but who really knows..............

This is a replica of the instrument depicted above. 'Nuff said!

"London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down......."
Now - anyone who is as dumb as me is about to get a big shock. This picture is London Bridge. Well - it's actually the 4th version thereof, but it is very unspectacular.

This is the Tower Bridge! All my life when I've sung the song above I thought I was singing about this bridge!! Live and learn...............
I take comfort in the fact that this is a common misconception.

Included in our bus tour tickets was a river cruise as well, so in order to sit down for a while we took advantage of it.
We got a glimpse of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral from the boat.

We also saw the London Eye, which we had intended to go on, but saw from the boat that it was standing room only and we just couldn't take it, so we gave it a miss.

As we left the boat the tour guide drew our attention to this statue of Boadicea. He said she was London's first lady driver, he horses are each heading in different directions, he passengers are hanging on for grim death and she is looking to the heavens - perhaps that's how you need to dive if you want to drive in London.

We went from there to Trafalgar Square
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag...." There are very few pigeons in Trafalgar Square now. We did see one or two, but they have managed to clear them all out by banning people from feeding them. You can actually be fined now if you "feed the birds". I would have taken a photo of the steps, but they were literally covered in people, so I settled for the fountain and and Nelson's Column. I think I missed Nelson's head!!

This massive ship in a bottle was also noteworthy in Trafalgar Square.

No trip to London would be complete without a London Bus. In the realms of transport I have never seen so many cabs in my life. Buses, taxis and people!!

"Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross" (yep - there really is a song, poem or nursery rhyme for everywhere you go). Our train home was going to Banbury. That was the last stop - luckily for us we were getting off at the first stop.
My feet will never be the same again!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh narelle I so wish we were there, minus the sore feet, mine took weeks to recover but worth every step. You are doing so much, I feel like we missed so much. Just keep going guy's it's a long way to go back. I bet you are already planning your next trip, Take me miss !!!!!
    Love kay & Gil