Weekend Outing to London

Last week I decided to use some British Airline air miles to visit London again. When I was there in July, it was very warm, and due to the heat, I was kind of sluggish while visiting everything I wanted to see. London is much different, and more enjoyable, when cooler.

I got into London late Saturday, but walked around area of the hotel that evening and enjoyed the neighborhood nightlife. A number of restaurants serve food until very late in the evening. Ending up having dinner at a Lebanese / Turkish restaurant. (No, didn’t take a picture.)

In the morning, got up late and headed out towards Westminster. Along the way, I found myself in St. James’s Park and enjoyed watching everyone taking advantage of a late September afternoon.

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While walking through the park, not really paying attention to where I was, I saw something golden through the trees – it was a gate that looked very familiar. It was my good friend, Buckingham Palace. Took a picture of one of the guards next to the palace to point out how immense it is.

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img_20160925_204356 img_20160925_204333                                            Can you see the guard in the first picture?

From there I walked down the Mall (road between the palace and Westminster) – the one used by the royal family to travel down for weddings, funerals, coronations, opening of Parliament. Took a picture of a monument that I hadn’t seen before and then headed to Trafalgar Square.

img_20160925_204307 The Mall

(Looking back toward Buckingham Palace)

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At Trafalgar Square, there was a Japanese festival in the square. Was getting a little hungry so sampled some of the food offered and enjoyed the performances from the main stage, including a group of youngsters from the Suzuki Institute who were a crowd favorite.

img_20160925_204158 Admiral Nelson (at the top)

The festival – Japan Matsuri: http://www.japanmatsuri.com/

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While leaving the square, I saw a contingent of horses and their riders heading my way. As they approached, saw they were part of the metropolitan police force – and what they were doing parading down the street I do not know.

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Close to where I first saw the mounted police contingent, I saw where Her Majesty’s mounted patrol are based. At the entrance was this officer.

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And a few blocks from there I saw this street sign.  Downy Street – do I know anyone who lives there? (Hint: Prime Minister)

img_20160925_203920 Downing Street?

img_20160925_203900 (See the red brick home.)

I had no idea that the Prime Minister lived so close to “the store”. See next picture. Palace of Westminster (the side away from the river that we usually see in America).

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Attached to the Palace of Westminster, is the tower (Elizabeth Tower) that holds “Big Ben”, the great bell of the clock. This time, I took a video (with sound) of the clock striking 4:00 p.m.  You’ll want to get your headphones to listen.

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Video (uploaded to YouTube): https://youtu.be/NAowt2wKz0E  (Cut and Paste) Enjoy!

(Note: There is a lag between when the chimes end and when the bell begins.)

 

 

 

 

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