{LDN} the one where i refresh my memory.

kgardens, m&c's street.

On Thursday 23rd, I caught 53 into Westminster, and, after a really long bus ride, I got off at the stop on the southern bank of the Thames, figuring I would take a nice walk across the bridge and get in a few nice shots. This turned out pretty well… besides the WIND FACTOR! :( I almost lost my camera into the Thames trying to self timer when I ventured back later… but that comes later.

the river thames.

the houses of parliament and the clock tower with the big ben bell.

big ben from its various sides.

I also walked a little on Victoria Embankment, saw the London Eye from the other side… :) So so many tourists taking pictures. But hey, I can’t complain. I was one of them!

the london eye... and all the tourists.

Walked down Whitehall (yes, the one in Monopoly) and had a peek at Her Majesty’s Treasury, the inaccessible Downing Street, Cabinet Rooms and finally stopped at Horse Guards.

whitehall; hm treasury; downing street; cabinet rooms.

horses guards.

I first came to Europe with my parents when I was 6. I obviously don’t remember much, but there are some things that I have found rather familiar while I have been in London at least, that I didn’t remember before being here. I can remember crossing the bridge and looking at Big Ben, much like I did on this day, although I thought it was facing a different direction along the river, but whatever. I can also clearly now remember being at Horses Guards, and walking through the archway into that big courtyard, though my memory thought that it was near Buckingham Palace. I guess everything looked palace-y back then… and I probably wasn’t paying much attention to Teddy, our fantastic guide. :)

horses guards.

horses guards and guards memorial.

Mentioning memorials, there are a few a long Whitehall.

memorials on whitehall.

After Horses Guard, I went along Horses Guards Road, taking in more views of the stately government buildings, and Clive… some… dude, who you can see in the first pic below. Also, to his right, you’ll see the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum, which I have, of course, not gone in yet.

from horses guards rd: "clive", hm treasury, the foreign and commonwealth office.

I arrived back at Whitehall and decided to venture back towards the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. I couldn’t help but take a picture of one of the more stereotypical London images: the red telephone booth. It is hardly as exciting once I remembered that there is one in the Rocks, but still, this is a REAL London one! :)

london icon.

Oh yeah, I went back to the bridge to try to get a better picture with Big Ben. I did actually get a better one, at least I think so, but this one is more amusing. :) Self-timer was a little bit scary though, because it was so windy, and it was perched precariously at the base of one of the lightposts…. there was one point where I actually thought that the wind was going to blow it into the Thames! Luckily, it was not to be, and I still have my camera safe and sound. :)

i mentioned that it was windy right?

So yes, I eventually got to looking at the Houses of Parliament, and down through to Victoria Tower Gardens.

houses of commons and lords.

A number of statues are around the area. Richard I, or Richard the Lionheart, was a particularly surprising, but exciting one to see, after learning about him when studying Eleanor of Aquitaine in Year 5… :)

oliver cromwell and richard i

Wandered a little further down the street…

from victoria tower gardens, and 'the burghers of calais'

self timer ftw. :)

Headed back, and checked out Westminster Abbey (the outside of course) and St Margaret’s, which I could go inside.

westminster abbey and st margaret's church.

I then headed across the road and stumbled across the new UK Supreme Court. Since it was open to the public, I headed in and adventured a little bit. I actually got to talking to one of the security guards there, who was originally from Nigeria, but then came over to England to study law, and I guess working security to earn a bit of money….?

Anyway, yeah, court 3 there is used for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is still the final court of appeal for a number of UK territories and the like (you can see the countries represented in the flags on the table), while courts 1 and 2 are used for the Supreme Court.

It was a bit of a geeky indulgence. :)

courts 1 (left), 2 (top right) and 3.

One thing that I read while reading through the UKSC exhibition downstairs, was one of the reasons that the old Middlesex Guildhall was chosen as the building for the court: so that Parliament Square really reflected the three branches of government, with Legislature, in the form of the Houses of Parliament, the Executive, represented by HM Treasury, and the Judiciary, the UKSC, but also balancing the Church, in Westminster Abbey.

views of the institutions surrounding parliament square (clockwise): legislature, church, executive, judiciary.

After warming up inside the UKSC, I had to go outside again, and it was already starting to get dark… at 4pm. Headed back down Whitehall, onward to Trafalgar Square.

nelson column, statue of charles i

Interesting story about the statue of Charles I. On that spot used to stand the original Queen Eleanor’s Cross. Fun fact: all mileages from London are measured from the site of the original source. (Thank you little plaque sitting in the floor behind Charles I. You were very informative.)

My six year old memory informs me that Trafalgar Square is supposed to have far more pigeons than I saw that night. I argue back and say that it was probably because I went during the evening. Six year old me argues again and says that it was near Buckingham Palace… yeah, obviously six year old me thought that everything was near Buckingham Palace…!

fountains in trafalgar square, national gallery

I like the fact that a lot of the museums/galleries in London have free entry. So I will definitely be coming back to the National Gallery… :)

It was still early, despite the fact that it was so dark, so I decided to do a bit more wandering around. So, since I had gotten pictures of Whitehall, and now Trafalgar Square, I decided to try and take pictures of a number of other Monopoly streets. Pall Mall was nearby, so I found that, but got a little bit distracted by Haymarket…! :)

haymarket in theatreland, featuring her majesty's theatre and the theatre royal, haymarket.

Her Majesty’s Theatre is currently showing The Phantom of the Opera… :)

Wandered also through to Piccadilly and then through Coventry Street and then Leicester Square. Well, that’s all yellow done! :)

piccadilly circus needs to be photo-ed again...

coventry street and mamma mia! at the prince of wales theatre.

Found my way back to Trafalgar Square, found Strand… also Northumberland Avenue. But yes, after getting so many that night, I’ve kind of decided that I shall go and find them all. :) Then I’ll do a post dedicated to my Monopoly street signs. :)

Made my way home, changing and changing on the tube, and arrived back, a little before  M+C came back from grocery shopping… and we had meatballs for dinner, because they couldn’t fit into the freezer. :D


P.S. Oh yeah! Remember this post? Well, imagine my delight when I saw this on the street…!

bus no. 11.

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  • Comments (1)
    • Mom
    • January 2nd, 2011

    Wow. What a memory. Still remember the tour guide Teddy after so many moons. I am impressed. Dad also like your night shots. If you loose your camera, you are going to be in deep trouble

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