For all the years I worked and visited London it was only a few times I ever really stopped to marvel at what the rest of the world flocks to see. In full tourist mode I was delighted to spend a day walking with my camera around some of the best London sights. I was tickled pink to actually remember my way around without a map walking from Victoria where I met for coffee with my friend Penny to the Royal Festival Hall to meet up with family for lunch.
Those familiar with London will immediately tell this is not a difficult route – Victoria – Buckingham Palace – Green Park – Piccadilly – Trafalgar Square – Embankment – South Bank. I did stop for a spot of shopping on the way – more on that in a future blog. For the moment I’m happy to share a few of my snapshots of London tourist hot spots.
The thing I love most about Buckingham Palace is the bling. There is no-one else in the world that does royal show off like Britain does. I’m pleased to say that at least the tax payers can now benefit more from what they fund with the Royal Palace and Collections now open for viewing. I do remember vividly visiting the Royal Mews when I was a child – the painted coaches are still clear in my mind now.
For today though I was content to watch the guards on duty although it would have been nice to have seen the full blown changing of the guard.
There were plenty of other people out looking at the palace. It never ceases to amaze me how long people linger at Buck House – I wonder what they think will happen.
No time to linger on my photo walk. Next photo stop was Piccadilly where Eros was spreading some love. Seems that the pigeons are up to their usual statue sitting routine.
There was plenty to see at Trafalgar Square with masses of people milling around to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Pity they couldn’t keep off our London icon Lions.
I was interested to see what was on show on the fourth plinth. Imagine my disappointment to see that a topless woman had decided to get her fifteen minutes of fame by lying around showing off her breasts. What some people will do to draw attention to themselves. I was pleased to move on an look at the centrepiece of Nelsons Column. He is much more majestic than the show off woman.
I was able to sneak a view of Big Ben before I left the square. I was happy with a sneak peek rather than going right up to Parliament as I have spent many hours stuck around there and didn’t fancy the crowds.
Just as well the Metropolitan Police have special police horses to keep the crowds under control. I love to see them sauntering around London.
You also can’t beat seeing a London bus. The traditional Routemaster buses are my favourite. None of this modern look for me!
By this stage of my walk I was feeling quite at home and enjoying myself. It was nice to be out and about with my camera even if I did feel a little rushed with the crowds around. After meeting for Lunch I was able to pick up with a few photo stops – firstly St Pauls Cathedral. which I think is best enjoyed from the south bank.
And the gherkin building which I used to see from my desk when I worked in London.
And last, but not least, on our walk was the Tower Bridge London. The classic London Icon.
To see these London tourist icons through my camera made me stop and enjoy more than I ever did when I saw them frequently on my travels around London. As always when you live in a place you take such things for granted. There is no doubt that as a visitor to London there is plenty to see and explore. But I only had one day – my last day for visits during this trip. Tomorrow we leave for the start of our journey back to New Zealand.
It was a wonderful way to spend mooching around London – with my camera, with friends and with family. We completed the day with a trip on a sweaty London Underground train. This is something that doesn’t seem to have changed at all. Hot, busy and expensive. It was however good training for the heat and crowds we’ll be facing when we reach Hong Kong. I’m looking forward to the photo studies I’ll be able to pull together from the couple of days we’ll be spending there.
For the moment, I must say goodbye to London and it’s icons and just remember them fondly.