Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Visting Nat in London

After our night in Doncaster, we caught the train to London's King's Cross station.  I've referred to Britain as "Harry Potter Island" and I was proved right.  At King's Cross is Platform 9¾.  Obviously there was a queue of people waiting to take photos.

On Saturday, we went to the British Museum.  There is so much to see that I could spend days there.  But after a few hours it was time to further explore London's West Side.
Krasimir as a constable

Later that evening we took a spin on the London Eye.  Europe's tallest Ferris wheel is on the South Bank of the River Thames.  It is 135 meters (443 feet) tall and from 2000 to 2006 it was the tallest in the world.

There are 32 passenger capsules and each can hold up to 25 people.  One full revolution of the wheel takes 30 minutes.  It does offer a nice view of Big Ben and parliament.  And although I'm not a fan of heights I managed to survive the ride.

On Sunday morning we went to the Columbia Road Flower Market.  The street market takes place in East London, near Shoreditch, every Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm.  The vendors start setting up around 4 am and you can find all sorts of flowers, bulbs, shrubs and plants.  It's a lot of fun to hear the vendors shouting out offers. 

About ⅓ of the world drives on the left side of the road.  Please note that I didn't write "on the wrong side of the road."  For many tourists, it can make crossing the street dangerous.  There are reminders throughout London as to which way one should look before crossing the street.  It's funny though when you see people look down at the "look left" but then still end up looking right just out of habit.

Tower Bridge is a London landmark.  Construction on the suspension bridge began in 1886 and it opened in 1894.  The bridge crosses the River Thames and there are nice views of the city and the Tower of London.

The HMS Belfast was the largest cruiser in the Royal Navy.  She is permanently moored on the River Thames and is a museum open to the public.  The Belfast was commissioned in 1939 and saw action in WWII and the Korean War. 

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress is better known as the Tower of London.  It's on the edge of the square mile.  The palace was founded in 1066 it used to be the royal residence.  It was a prison from 1100 until 1952.
Partial view from Tower Bridge

Front, west entrance to St. Paul's
After a late lunch, we made our way over to St. Paul's Cathedral.  It was consecrated in 1708 and it is the second largest church building in the UK.

The dome is 111 meters (365 feet) high and, until 1962, it was London's tallest building.  We were fortunate enough to visit at the right time because we were treated to a free organ concert in the cathedral.

We had a fab time visiting Harry Potter Island and it was lovely to see Natalie.  We hadn't seen her since Thanksgiving.  Now to start planning our next trip back for more adventures in England.

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