So, I spent the weekend mostly sleeping. Jet lag always seems worse when I get home. I’d think I was ready to be up and busy, but then I’d crash hard. I think I’m all better now, though. Ready to get back in the game.
Something everyone can recognize! It’s the clock tower that holds Big Ben, the giant bell. And it sits next to:
Parliament! As luck would have it, Mom and I decided to visit Westminster on the one day that parliament offers tours. We got to see inside, but they don’t allow pics of that. In fact, most of the places we visited didn’t allow pics inside. Parliament is a pretty awe-inspiring building. Despite that, I was having a really bad day this day and almost hurled in the house of lords.
These are both of Westminster Abbey, which is across the street from the parliament building. They also didn’t allow pics inside, but I’ll do my best to tell you about it. It’s a massive crypt with lots of famous people buried there, including various kings and queens of England as well as Sir Isaac Newton and famous writers like Lord Byron. Quite a trip. Some of the crypts in the floor were so old that all the writing had been “walked” off them. Yeah, they’re all over the floor, and you have to walk on top of them because there’s no room to go around.
Buckingham Palace, another structure everyone can recognize. It was so cold while we were in London that we didn’t want to spend all that much time outside taking pics. That’s why I’ve just got the gates here. There weren’t any tours inside in the winter, so we came and left pretty quickly. Want a shot of something cold? Check out the huge gate guarding Kensington Palace:
Yes, that is snow. That was our second full day there, and man, it was cold! You can go into Kensington, but it wasn’t that impressive. They’re in the middle of transitioning it from a stately home to kind of haunted house thing. I take it they weren’t getting many visitors the old way.
That’s the Tower of London where both the crown jewels and very famous prisoners were kept. Kind of ironic, no?
Tower Bridge, right near the Tower of London. That is actually an old pic from a previous visit. There were only a few moments of blue sky during this visit. I’ve got London down, now. If any of you are going and need a tour guide, I’m your girl.
That’s St. Paul’s cathedral. We also didn’t hang around this one outside for long, and all my pics of the huge dome turned out blurry, so this is the front. The inside is absolutely amazing! The ceiling is covered with carvings and frescoes, and I couldn’t imagine laying on my back on top of a scaffold, painting this roof. I guess it would be easier not having to look down…
Outside of London, we visited Hampton Court, which is famous for being one of the homes of Henry VIII, among others. The architecture of this place was really something, as each King that lived there made it his own in some way. The building is kind of a hodgepodge of time, taking you down a Renaissance passage:
to a Georgian courtyard:
all in the same building. And don’t ask me how they keep that grass so green in the winter.
That’s one of the gates of Windsor, our second outside-of-London trip. It’s a huge, sprawling complex, and we had to walk a lot outside, but here’s a shot from inside the huge wall:
Unlike Hampton Court which was one large building inside a wall, this was several stone buildings all inside a larger wall. Again, no pics inside, but it was a large, sprawling place with some over-the-top furniture. They had one dining room inside that was almost entirely covered in gold leaf.
So, those are some of the best of my pics. It was a cold, hard, outstanding time. When I got back, I heard they were having the worst weather in twenty years. I may be able to guide you around London, but I shouldn’t pick the time that you go. ^_^
What’s your best trip? Your worst? This one broke my top five best, hands down.