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Big-Ben-in-the-rain

An Eye on London

Visiting London in England is the equivalent, in many ways, of visiting New York City in the USA. Both are exciting cities, fast paced, full of must see iconic sights and lots and lots to do, maybe not that representative of the rest of the country, but you just have to go. I had not been to London in many years, though to England  fairly frequently, it was time for a revisit and the perfect time was at the co-mingling of my sister’s visit coming to an end and my step-daughter’s arrival!

Steve and Austin

 

And I can’t forget about flat Audrey, who arrived with Austin!

Flat Audrey on the Big Bus

So here’s a whirlwind tour of just a few things we saw.

Tower Bridge

This is the Tower Bridge. People often confuse it with the London Bridge, however, London Bridge fell down and was picked up and moved to Lake Havasu, AZ many years ago.

Tower of London

This is the Tower of London.  A bloody history lies within these walls where Anne Bolyn was beheaded and the two young princes murdered. The crown jewels reside here and apparently quite a few people.

a residence in the Tower of London

Bet you didn’t know this about the Tower of London, kings and queens kept many different wild animals within the walls including a lion that tore off a young woman’s arm back in the 1600’s. Can you imagine? She was just petting his paw and whack, arm gone. This is why you don’t play with wild animals people. The animals stayed around though until a monkey attacked someone in the 1800’s and the animals were sent to live at the zoo by 1835.

In memory of the live animals who lived within the walls of the Tower of London

There is Piccadily Circus, which is not a “circus” as we Americans think of circus, but hearkens back to the latin word meaning circle, a large open space that is now quite occupied with people, cars and busses, as well as being known for the first electronic signs.

Piccadily Circus from the Big Red Bus

Trafalgar Square is home to the four lions.

Trafalgar Square

You can see their enormity by looking at the visitor having his pic made with the lion.

And if the lion’s aren’t your cup of tea, then how about this:

Blue Rooster

This is a rotating sculpture display and the people get to vote on what they want to see there. Obviously, the Brit’s have a great sense of humor! I loved the stark blueness against the mizzle color of the square. Imagine on a rainy day how it must be a welcome splash of color!

Want to see the city from a whole new angle?

The London Eye

This huge “ferris wheel,” constructed in 2000 with the intent of it being on display only for a year, is still going strong and giving tourists like me a total new outlook on London.

Thames River from the London Eye
Big Ben and Parliament from London Eye

Well worth the wait in line for this thirty minute bird’s eye view of London and what luck having such great skies!

Monument to the Women of WWII

This stark sculpture was on a quite high pedestal in the middle of a street, viewed perfectly from the upper deck on the bus. I would bet a lot of people have never even seen this.

Westminster Abbey

An evening view of the Westminster Abbey. We were sort of lost, stumbling around looking for a pub when we came around a corner to this!

Big Ben tower

Big Ben is the bell and this is just the tower that houses it. An iconic symbol of London.

Big Ben and Parliament skyline

I think my favorite shot of London.

So there’s a snapshot tour of London in jolly old England. This barely even scratches the surface of all there is to see and do. We had little time in the city so I didn’t even make it to my favorite place, the Tate Gallery, to have a look at the Lady of Shalott, one of my favorite paintings. Maybe next time.

Cheers!

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