Archive | September 2014

So Much To See In The City Of Westminster!

The City of Westminster has so much to see – this is where Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace are.  Therefore, I would say this is a very important part of London.

Cromwell Green, outside Westminster Hall

Cromwell Green, outside Westminster Hall

The Oliver Cromwell Statue at Cromwell Green, outside Westminster Hall

The Oliver Cromwell Statue at Cromwell Green, outside Westminster Hall

The Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster

In this post, let’s continue with Day Three in London – July 25th, 2014.  After we saw Big Ben, we continued walking just a few feet away, and we were near St. Margaret’s Church, and Westminster Abbey.

St. Margaret's Church, next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret’s Church, next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret's Church, next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret’s Church, next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret's Church, next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret’s Church, next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Time for a family picture

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret's Church

St. Margaret’s Church

Now, isn’t this lovely?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

What about this?  I just love the architecture!

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

The statue is that of King Richard 1, who was also known as Richard the Lionheart (known as this because of his reputation as great warrior and military leader)

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Back to Westminster Abbey again

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Niki’s taking in all the history, culture and the beauty of her surroundings

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Well, wouldn’t you like to live here? I’m afraid you can’t, and it seems like this place has quite a bit of history to it, you might want to read up on it.

Old Palace Yard

Old Palace Yard

This is the only visible reminder that Old Palace Yard was once a residential street.

Old Palace Yard

Old Palace Yard

close by to Old Palace Yard and Westminster Abbey

close by to Old Palace Yard and Westminster Abbey

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

King George V Statue near Westminster Abbey

King George V Statue near Westminster Abbey

Wow, the bus almost looks bigger than the Palace of Westminster!

London Bus and the Palace of Westminster

London Bus and the Palace of Westminster

This sundial is between the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey by Old Palace Yard, it features in it’s outer circle, a quote which is hard to show you here, unless I show you several pictures that I have of the different words.  So instead, I will include the quote below taken from William Shakespeare’s play, Henry VI, part III: “To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, thereby to see the minutes how they run: how many makes the hour full complete, how many hours brings about the day, how many days will finish up the year, how many years a mortal man may live.”

The Queen Elizabeth 2nd's Golden Jubilee Sundial

The Queen Elizabeth 2nd’s Golden Jubilee Sundial

Here it is closer up

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Sundial

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Sundial

There’s the sundial in the picture below wedged in between two magnificent buildings

View from Old Palace Yard

View from Old Palace Yard

This is where we came from a few hours ago, and now we are looking at it from Westminster Abbey

The view from Westminster Abbey

The view from Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Again, the magic of Big Ben being next to other buildings when seen from different angles just amazes me!  Do you think about this yourself, or do you not ponder upon it?  I really wonder whether you do or not.

Big Ben and St. Margaret's Church

Big Ben and St. Margaret’s Church

Just added these last three pictures because I love the color red, and of course you can get a lot of that in London – you don’t have to walk far to see either a red London bus or a post box, or phone booth.

City of Westminster

City of Westminster

City of Westminster

City of Westminster

City of Westminster

City of Westminster

I think I have shown you a lot of pictures now of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament (which is also known as Palace of Westminster), St. Margaret’s Church, and Westminster Abbey.  I hope you feel like you know this part of the City of Westminster a little better just by looking at my pictures.  Don’t miss visiting the City of Westminster, there’s nothing quite like it!

14 Pictures of Big Ben

Big Ben as seen from the London Eye

You think you only need one picture of Big Ben, well how about ten?  How about fourteen –  I think that’s plenty.  You know me, I love London, and I love taking pictures of it.  However, I think I love taking pictures just in general, not just of London.  However, London is a special place – the place where I once went to when I was eighteen when I didn’t know where I would stay and just showed up.  When I saw it, I was besotted – it didn’t seem like the rest of England, the England I was accustomed to – the up north England of Yorkshire, or even the few other places I had been to occasionally for weddings such as Leeds, Birmingham, Derby, Walsall or places such as Bingley, and Halifax that I had also gone to quite a bit.  London was different.  London was grand, elegant, majestic, breath-taking, and ever so different.  It was like being in another country.  I ended up staying in a bed and breakfast for a few weeks, and then rented a studio flat in Paddington.  Anyway, let’s get back to reality and to pictures and not my story of another time.  I will leave that for another time.  

Here are some Big Ben pictures, who could have known it could be next to so many different things and look different in each picture.

Here it is is, alongside the Houses Of Parliament

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with people in front of it, well that was bound to happen!  And a bus, and now that building on the left crept into the scene too.

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with more of a glimpse of another building behind it (the white building).  The trees show up more in this, and the sun must have just gone behind a cloud too.

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with more people, and a sightseeing bus in front of it.

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with the London Eye showing up.  How did that happen?  Magic!  Well actually no, just get pictures from all different angles and you’ll get different pictures – pretty amazing!

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with the London Eye and a London Bus.

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with a London Bus, as seen from Westminster Abbey

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with a sign from St. Margaret’s Church in the corner, and the London Eye and the London Bus.

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with a London tree, St. Margaret’s Church sign, the London Eye and a London Bus.

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is in just it’s plain grandeur, next to a spiral tower on a ceiling (not just any ceiling, mind you).

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is next to historical buildings – this part of the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament is known as Cromwell Green and if you look closely, you can see a statue of Oliver Cromwell at the bottom right).

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is is with a bit of the London Eye to the left of it

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Here it is with a very nice building to the left of it

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

I hope you enjoyed seeing the changing scenery that included the Big Ben in it.  Also, the fourteenth picture I added in right at the end as the featured image, and that was Big Ben as seen from the London Eye.  As you can see, you will get a completely different look of Big Ben from there.  Well, until next time.

Trafalgar Square to Houses Of Parliament

King Charles Street Bridge

We are still on Day Three of our Five Day Trip to London which was a three week trip in total.  Another week was spent in northern England where my family lives, and one week was spent in Antalya, Turkey (I’ll have to write a post on that at some point soon – I hope).

Today is July 25th, we had left the USA on July 22nd at around 8 pm, and arrived at London Heathrow Airport on the 23rd at around 3pm local time, which was 7 am USA Pacific Time – we were lucky to have caught a direct flight which was a total of 11 hours.  Of course, when you get to England, you kind of lose a day with traveling and then have to put the clock eight hours forward.

This post carries on from the previous one – Trafalgar Square via Whitehall to Horse Guards Parade.  We had just finished looking at the Horse Guard’s Parade grounds, and this is opposite to the Ministry of Defence.  Can you imagine that nearly all buildings in London – even if not exactly touristy, are so beautiful!  To me, they are a treasure, and are all worthy of being photographed!

The Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

The Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

Another picture in the same area.

Whitehall, outside of Horse Guards Parade

Whitehall, outside of Horse Guards Parade

This person, the Eighth Duke of Devonshire, apparently turned down the job of Prime Minister – his statue is shown in the picture below

Spencer Compton, Eighth Duke of Devonshire, outside Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

Spencer Compton, Eighth Duke of Devonshire, outside Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

Whitehall, City of Westminster

Whitehall, City of Westminster

Now, let’s not forget the women of World War Two, they had a significant part in the war too – they served, fought, and nurtured the wounded – here’s their memorial.

The Women of World War Two, Whitehall

The Women of World War Two, Whitehall

We are coming up to Downing Street, now the home of David Cameron, and when I used to live there, it was home of Margaret Thatcher.  There’s been a few other Prime Ministers in between of course.

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

Downing Street, SW1

London Eye from near Downing Street

London Eye from near Downing Street

This memorial is significant, it commemorates the end of World War 1.

The Cenotaph - the UK's primary war memorial

The Cenotaph – the UK’s primary war memorial

The Cenotaph - the UK's primary war memorial

The Cenotaph – the UK’s primary war memorial

The Cenotaph - War Memorial commemorates end of World War 1

The Cenotaph – War Memorial commemorates end of World War 1

Well, look what else I saw….King Charles Street Bridge.  The arch connects the Treasury building to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building.

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

King Charles Street Bridge

Now, I’m not sure what this building is exactly….but it is on the way from King Charles Street Bridge to

Westminster, near Whitehall

Westminster, near Whitehall

Here’s a building that just looked nice, so I took a picture of it.

Richmond House, 79 Whitehall

Richmond House, 79 Whitehall

Well, a glimpse of the Houses of Parliament, and now we are getting close to where I was supposed to share more photos of – in this post.  I think I dawdle too much along the way, and get way too distracted.  Just to let you know, it is not that far from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament – I think you can make it in about twenty minutes if you walk fast.

Close by to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster

Close by to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster

Next post….I have to share more pictures of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church.

Trafalgar Square Via Whitehall to Horse Guard’s Parade

Horse Guard's Parade

Day Three in London on July 25, 2014 started off in the Trafalgar Square area.  I already showed you some pictures in my previous post Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church, however, I didn’t want to bore you with too many pictures along the way to Westminster, so now I can bore you in this post…..excuse my dry humor!

So let’s continue the journey!  This is very close to our hotel in Trafalgar Square, and is on the corner of Whitehall and Charing Cross

Whitehall and Charing Cross

Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square

Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Sqare

Trafalgar Sqare

Just a bit of London for you, with some Londoner’s of course!

Whitehall, City of Westminster

Whitehall, City of Westminster

London Bus No. 12 - Oxford Circus at Whitehall

London Bus No. 12 – Oxford Circus at Whitehall

Looking back at the Trafalgar Square area

Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square

Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square

55 Whitehall – Sherlock stood atop here in the “Empty Hearse”, so did James Bond 007 in “Skyfall”.  This building now houses the Department for Energy and Climate Change

DSCN0585

55 Whitehall – think Sherlock and James Bond!

Talking of Sherlock, here’s a pub named after him and that is close by to Great Scotland Yard.

Sherlock Holmes Pub

Sherlock Holmes Pub

It is on the junction of Whitehall and Great Scotland Yard, which is pictured below

Great Scotland Yard

Great Scotland Yard

Some of my pictures are quite self-explanatory, so I won’t write the same info above them as the info is captioned on the picture. This building is right next to 55 Whitehall – it is the Ministry of Defence

DSCN0586

The Ministry of Defence, City of Westminster

And this picture will show you both 55 Whitehall and the Ministry of Defence in the same shot, as well The Clarence (restaurant)

The Clarence Restaurant, 55 Whitehall, and Whitehall Place, City of Westminster

The Clarence Restaurant, 55 Whitehall, and Whitehall Place, City of Westminster

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Statue, outside the War Office, Whitehall

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Statue, outside the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

Want to see the Duke of Cambridge (not the present one mind you) up closer?

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Statue, outside the Ministry of Defense, Whitehall

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Statue, outside the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

I bet you didn’t know Whitehall was such an interesting place.  It’s the area that houses a lot of the government departments and ministries, and of course the terrific Horse Guards Parade, which is a parade ground used for royal parades and ceremonies.

Horse Guards Parade Whitehall

Horse Guards Parade Whitehall

Life Guard, Household Cavalry - Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall

Life Guard, Household Cavalry – Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall

Life Guard, Household Cavalry

Life Guard, Household Cavalry

Household Cavalry, Horse Guard Parade

Household Cavalry, Horse Guard Parade

Please beware – the horses may kick or bite you!

Horse Guard Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guard Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guard Parade, Whitehall

Horse Guard Parade, Whitehall

Guard's Memorial, Horse Guards Parade

Guard’s Memorial, Horse Guards Parade

This is the Old Admiralty Building at Horse Guards Parade

1st Viscount Wolseley Statue at Horse Guards Parade

1st Viscount Wolseley Statue at Horse Guards Parade

Wow, now they are all taking a picture of what I took a picture of before – the Ministry of Defence Building (sorry, I am spelling it the British way, Word Press wants me to put an “s” instead of a “c” in “Defence”, but right now I want to stick to the way I used to spell it while growing up in the UK).

The Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

The Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

I meant to share more pictures of Big Ben, St. Margaret’s Church, and Westminster Abbey, but I will have to share them with you the post after the next one.

Do you like taller pictures on Pinterest vs. horizontal pictures?

Sherlock Holmes Pub

Do you like taller pictures on Pinterest vs. horizontal pictures?  The reason why I ask is that you sometimes have to keep it in mind when taking pictures especially if you want to pin them to Pinterest.  Your taller pictures will be more prominent and your horizontal pictures won’t stand out that much.

These pictures were all taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and taken with the camera held up creating longer taller pictures, rather than horizontal picures.   I have discovered that on Pinterest, these kinds of pictures (taller) stand out more and the other ones look way too small.  I forgot while I was taking pictures while I was in London, as I wasn’t thinking about Pinterest, but just the scene.  Good job, I varied my picture taking and took so many pictures.

I like this pub, the Sherlock Holmes Pub/Restaurant – I didn’t go into it….but I liked it enough to take quite a few pictures.  One of the advantages of taking a picture on a smartphone is that you can share it almost straight away.  My pictures that I showed you in my last post were taken with my Canon G10, except the Sherlock Holmes Pub and Great Scotland Yard picture that I got off my Note 3.  The Admiralty Arch pictures on that post were taken with my Nikon P600.  It is hard to share pictures quickly when they are on your camera, although the Nikon P600 is a WIFI enabled camera, I often had problems as the download would stop mid-stream – probably because I had so many pictures.  Therefore, my pictures on my traditional cameras (not smartphone) tend to get shared a lot later.

This first picture of the Sherlock Holmes Pub was shared via Pinterest pretty soon after it was taken in July, however, I prefer having it on my blog, so that it links back to my post.  Now look at the one posted yesterday, it doesn’t look as good on Pinterest because it is smaller than the one that I shared on Pinterest back in July.  I know they are two different pictures of the pub, but the taller ones looks more prominent.

The Sherlock Holmes Pub/Restaurant #3

The Sherlock Holmes Pub/Restaurant #3

I don’t think I have shared this picture before yet, on Pinterest or here.

 

The Sherlock Holmes Pub - #4

The Sherlock Holmes Pub – #4

Here’s my taller picture of Great Scotland Yard, shared earlier via my smartphone in July – but it did not link to my page.

Great Scotland Yard

Great Scotland Yard

Here’s a few of the London Eye (although I am stepping out of sequence by putting that one in).  Again, they were shared on Pinterest back in July, but not on my blog.

London Eye by the Aquarium  #1

London Eye by the Aquarium #1

London Eye by the Aquarium  #2

London Eye by the Aquarium #2

I will still end up taking horizontal/landscape pictures most of the time, as my pictures are also for my enjoyment and it feels more natural taking a picture that way – plus you can get more into the scene.  Why can’t Pinterest allot more space for horizontal pictures?   Anyway, you will still see many landscape pictures here as I often forget what’s best when I’m in the moment.    I hope you like the pictures.

Big Ben, Westminster Abbey And St. Margaret’s Church

Can you believe it is now Day Three?  I can’t.  I am already feeling sad just writing this as if I was still there.  My trip to London is half way over (almost).  I need to get out of this pessimistic mood and make the most of it!  So what to do, just go out there and see it and soak it in!

Admiralty Arch, The Mall

Admiralty Arch, The Mall

Well, hopefully, you remember that this is close-by to my hotel in Trafalgar Square, so you may have seen Admiralty Arch pictures that I have taken and posted before, but since I walked past this area quite a number of times during my stay, it is befitting to add some of what I saw on the way today to Westminster.  We are headed in the same direction as yesterday, as there is nothing wrong with repeating what you just saw yesterday.  Today is another day, and you always get a new perspective on the location on different days.

Admiralty Arch again.

Admiralty Arch, The Mall

Look what’s in the neighborhood of Trafalgar Square, here is a pub named after the great English detective!

Sherlock Holmes Pub/Restaurant

Sherlock Holmes Pub/Restaurant

Look at this great street – this was the location – well, the rear entrance of the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London.  It’s within walking distance of Trafalgar Square.

Great Scotland Yard

Great Scotland Yard

Now, we are in the Big Ben area – what a stunning looking clock and housed in such a magnificent building!

Big Ben with London Eye

Big Ben with London Eye

Wow, what beautiful architecture!

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

My daughter in front of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Of course, I had to take a picture away from my current focus of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and St. Margaret’s Church – but this is London, and why not get a London bus?

London Bus in Westminster

London Bus in Westminster

Here is a lovely church – St. Margaret’s Church – right next to Westminster Abbey

St. Margaret's Church

St. Margaret’s Church, next to Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Big Ben and London Eye

Big Ben and London Eye

Do you like the name Houses of Parliament of Palace of Westminster?  This building is known by both names, but I think most commonly…..Houses of Parliament.  I once went in here and loved seeing Members of Parliament debating with each other – quite entertaining!

In front of Houses Of Parliament

Houses Of Parliament

Houses Of Parliament #2

Houses Of Parliament #2

Statue of George V

Statue of George V

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament/Palace of Westminster

Houses of Parliament/Palace of Westminster

Such sisterly love from my two daughters.

George V Memorial

George V Memorial

George V Memorial

George V Memorial

This building was right in the vicinity.

Old Palace Road, SW1

Old Palace Road, SW1

Houses of Parliament/Palace of Westminster

Houses of Parliament/Palace of Westminster

Big Ben

Big Ben

Big Ben in the corner

Big Ben in the corner

near to Big Ben

near to Big Ben

Methodist Central Hall

Methodist Central Hall

I love Dean’s Yard – I find it so picturesque!

Dean's Yard, close by to Westminster Abbey

Dean’s Yard, close by to Westminster Abbey

 Well, I really must stop now.  Do you know I will probably have another post with more pictures of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church featured in it again?  Either you will dread it or look forward to it, I hope it will be the latter.  Well, until next time!

London Is Calling

London calls, and I’d love to come running, but sadness befalls me now as I can’t obey.  Too bad.  Well, I’ll just have to write about the rest of my day – Day Two in London which was July 24, 2014 – just over a month ago – and really my first full day.  London has a power over me, I just went there, but I would like to be back there already….oh, well.  Guess I’ll just have to be content looking back at my pictures.

Here is a picture taken at Trafalgar Square close by to our hotel

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

This man seems to fit right in this picture, I don’t think he was the one who vandalized the phone booth with graffiti though, I hope not!

London is calling, excuse the graffiti!

London is calling, excuse the graffiti!

Just a recap, we headed for Buckingham Palace through Green Park (pictures show in my post Enchanting London) and this is before we did that

Picadilly, London

Picadilly, London

Why would I not want to see the Ritz?

The Ritz Hotel, Picadilly

The Ritz Hotel, Picadilly

That night we ate in Chinatown, which is close to Leicester Square.  Normally, I would have opted for Indian food as it is really great in England – where they are not afraid to add the spice, or for English food which is also superb, but my sister who we met up with this evening wanted to try Chinese food, and I’m so glad that we went to this restaurant – the Hong Kong Buffet – I will always remember how delicious the food was.

 

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

Do you know the food was extremely delicious at the Hong Kong Buffet?  It was a good price too – only £9.95 per person, compared to what I paid one of the days in a restaurant in Covent Garden.

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

That’s my sister going into the restaurant with Chandi – my little girl.

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

Sorry about the half eaten food, I forgot to take a picture of it before it got to this stage, but better to show you something rather than nothing!

Hong Kong Buffet, Chinatown, London

Hong Kong Buffet, Chinatown, London

This picture is a little blurry, but I think it shows the atmosphere of Chinatown really well.

Chinatown, London

Chinatown, London

This is where we ate on our first night in London (yesterday evening) – I did not want to eat pizza, I can get Pizza Hut in the USA, but my kids wanted it, so I had to give in.  Tonight, we walked right by it after our meal in Chinatown.

Pizza Hut, Leicester Square

Pizza Hut, Leicester Square

Right next to Pizza Hut in Leicester Square is Burger King – gladly, we did not go there on this trip, but I’m guilty of taking them there on a previous trip.

Burger King, Leicester Square

Burger King, Leicester Square

Okay, so this picture belonged higher up, but I wanted to put it next to the night-time picture of the same place – the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  We walked past it many times during our five days there, both morning and night.

National Gallery at Trafalgar Square

National Gallery at Trafalgar Square

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

My computer is acting really weird right now, and going ever so slow, I guess I have overworked it with all of my pictures in I-Photo and I think I’m running low on memory.  Anyway, time to go now and enjoy life here in San Diego!  Have a great weekend!