Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2007 - London

Up early in Brussels - catch the EuroStar - zoom across part of Belgium & France - less than 20 minutes under the English Channel - and soon we roll in to London - still fairly early in the morning.  We only have one day in London before we fly on to Norway.  How to spend one short day seeing as much as we can of this famous city...?


Across French farm land before entering the Chunnel.

After the Chunnel, our speedy train slows a bit, but soon we will be at the Waterloo Station in London - then find our hotel & checkin.

Peg with the quintessential symbol of London in background -- the London Eye. Having only the one day in London, the question became how to see a much as possible.

Always interested in boat rides, Peg chose a Thames River cruise from Westminster to Greenwich. Among the ships moored along the Thames, here we see the old Queen Mary.

A distant view of St. Paul's Cathedral's dome towering over various buildings along the waterfront, notably a brick edifice of City of London School

We approach the Millenium pedestrian-only bridge joining Tate Modern and St. Paul's Cathedral.

The Globe Theater is visible on the far bank.  It is a faithful replica of the original one associated with William Shakespeare which was located near this very site.

Next to the Pickford's Wharf building we catch this glimpse of the "working copy" of Sir Francis Drake's flagship, the Golden Hinde.

Soon thereafter we come to a more modern ship, the HMS Belfast, a Royal Navy cruiser that served in WWII & now serves as a museum ship.

A view of the Tower of London area as seen from the Thames. Old? Why construction was started here by some guy named William the Conqueror in 1078!

Photographed innumerable times, this view of Tower Bridge has Patient Peg in the foreground.

The prominent building in center is Oliver's Wharf, now converted to apartments. If our memory serves us correctly, this is the area in times past known as "execution dock" where pirates were hanged.

Captain Kidd's Pub - this 17th century structure (now white) has been a pub for over 100 years.

A more modern part of London is now the financial center of the city.

We near our destination of the Greenwich Pier with the Royal Naval College in the background.

From the Pier we walk past the College along the waterfront to the Trafalgar Tavern where Peg orders their "traditional Whitebait Dinner" (deep fried minnows) & a Guinness. 

Keith also tries the Whitebait & a local beer. Tradition satisfied but not the best of meals & this British beer paled in comparison to those in Belgium.

Keith pays tribute to this image of the famous Admiral Nelson while reflecting on his naval history courses as a US Midshipman.

After lunch & a stroll through the Naval College grounds, we catch another tour boat back to our point of origin in the shadows of Big Ben.

Sadly for us, Big Ben was silent as it was undergoing repair/restoration work.

Walking from the river to the parliament building, this protest caught Keith's eye because it seem compatible with some of his political concerns.

Nice statue of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) as well as his guardian lion.

Guards & barricades remind us of the fears & political climate these days.

Back to being simple tourists, Peg pauses here with Richard the Lion Hearted in the background.

Peg was pleased to be able to see this casting of The Burghers of Calais by Rodin.  It is located  in Victoria Tower Gardens. Under French law no more than twelve casts of this piece were permitted after Rodinís death. This one was purchased in 1911. 

Westminster Palace or Houses of Parliament clearly and impressively dominate the view here. UNESCO classifies it along with neighboring Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's as World Heritage Sites.  

This little piece of confectionary statuary reminded Keith of the Spirit houses we saw in Thailand. Actually this was some sort of commemoration of the emancipation of slaves in 1834.

Westminster Abbey really needed a tour.  We were sorely tempted, but had to pass because of time constraints.  Another day . . . .

How very London is this?  By the clock, rush hour is nearly upon us.  We are wearing down a bit too.

The lions of Trafalgar Square resplendently invite picture taking.  Younger folk climb upon them which likely contributes to their sleek coats.

The obligatory photo of Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square.  Widely considered the heart of London, it was busy on this late afternoon.

A bit of a rest break in this convivial Covent Garden market area.  Lots of street theater activity hereabout.

After a dinner in a very loud sports pub on a game night we finally got back to our hotel, the Georgian House. We must rise early the next day to catch our flight to Norway.

Back to Europe 2007 Index Page

Hit Counter