Monday, March 11, 2013

Running with IPADs....Cameras, cameras, cameras....Safety vests.

"Has she gone mad?" you may ask, upon reading the title to this post.  Well, that is always up for debate, but here I'm just trying to share a few of our impressions of the charming, strange, fun and amusing city we had the privilege of visiting for a week:  London.  After considering trying to cram Ireland and various UK destinations into the one-week time slot we had between our arrival in Europe and our need to arrive in Germany, we realized how ridiculous that would be the moment we arrived in London.  Why not take advantage to get to know a world-class city with huge historical significance worldwide and particularly in the culture and politics of our adopted country of Canada?  We proceeded to book lodging in London right up until our departure for Germany, and packed in as many sights and activities as we could.

Unexpected and intriguing sights in London included a number of people around the city jogging while holding full-size IPADs (hmmmm), loads and loads of security cameras seemingly monitoring every square centimeter of the city, schoolchildren, joggers, construction workers, and random individuals clad in neon-green safety vests, and a woman beating her husband with a vomit-covered scarf....  

Top ten highlights of London for Los Globesters:

10) Hitting four large, free museums in a week: The Natural History Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum.

9) Catching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, as well as a horse guard ceremony.

8) The dinosaur exhibit at the Natural History Museum, which included a terrifying life-size T. rex robot!

7) Visiting Abbey Road and interrupting the flow of traffic (sorry, Westminster residents.... :( ) with about 50 other people taking pictures of themselves crossing the street...

6) Taking cheesy pictures in front of Buckingham Palace among hundreds of other visitors.

5) Chilling with fellow travelers over beers at our guesthouse, talking about everything from health care to miniature cows.

4) Witnessing two warm, sunny days in London and joining the throngs of people strolling through Green Park.

3) Riding in the upper level of the red double-decker city buses.

2) Nighttime stroll along the waterfront and over the Tower Bridge, taking in the classic London sights like Big Ben, Tower of London, and the London Eye.

1) Afternoon tea at the National Gallery, with scrumptious sandwiches, biscuits, eclairs and other delightful snacks.

Our London Photo Album:

Our room in a guesthouse on the outskirts of London: 25 pounds per night!  The owner even threw in free toiletries and a constant supply of tea and cookies :)

I was really cold, but trying to imitate this statue in Green Park.

The Canada Gate at Buckingham palace.

Marya and me at Buckingham Palace.

Horse Guard ceremony that we happened upon.

Horse Guard up close.

Residence of the Prime Minister.

Big Ben and the House of Parliament.

Westminster Abbey!

Harold poses in front of House of Parliament.

Big Ben strikes noon.

Afternoon tea for Harold's birthday!  At the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square.

The National Gallery.

Mario and Luigi get down during an impromptu concert in Trafalgar Square.

Harold and the lion.

Los Globesters.

Stunning London by night.

A Mexican restaurant, with "Oaxaca" spelled phonetically for English-speakers.

A reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe theatre.

Harold chilling outside the Anchor bar.

Marya and me with a 16th century galleon.

The RMS (?) Belfast warship.

Tower Bridge.

Sherlock Holmes Restaurant.

Poetry on the Tube.

Family names on the Abbey Road graffiti wall.

Funky T at a shop on Portobello Road in the trendy Notting Hill neighborhood.  

Picturesque Notting Hill.

Old sewing machines.  Tons of 'em.

Put a bird on it.

Kickin' it with Darwin at the Natural History Museum.

Extinct giant armadillo.

The world's largest emerald, at the Vault exhibit in the Natural History Museum.

Every color of diamond.

A huge jewel, the name of which I don't recall.

Amazing museum architecture.

T. rex robot!

Harold examines a whimsical statue. 

London's Chinatown.  Pretty, with really expensive restaurants.

Ads at Piccadilly Circus.  

Harold with our future food cart, outside the British Museum.

Me and the 'gyptian stuff at the British Museum.

Of course the mask of Aztec emperor Moctezuma is at..... the British Museum?

Freshly unveiled horse statue near Marble Arch.

Outside Buckingham Palace.

The Canada Gate.

Green Park.

Goodbye, London!

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