Trafalgar Square, Westminister Abbey, Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge

London Travel Blog

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Nelson's Monument by day!

We'd just been running in and out the last 7 days that we were so used to it. Never for a minute did we even think that our holiday would one day, end. For me, I  wasn't feeling too bad. After all, Dubin and Ireland next. But for mum and dad, I'm sure they were going to miss both London and me.

The day started by grabbing a muffin and coffee, and heading back to Trafalgar Square. Why? Because we liked it so much the previous evening that we we decided we wanted to see what it looks like in the morning. It was as spectacular even now. My best shot was this view of one the lions by Nelson's monument with Big Ben in the background.

National Portrait Gallery
Amazing, it's the same photo that's used in the DK Eyewitness London book as well. The three of us pretty much split up, me with my digital camera, and dad with his video camera, and mum just looking around. The weather was good, and surprisingly the place was not too crowded (it's amazing, you read about these places on tourist books all the time and you're thinking that they'll be packed, but not really). Thank God for a Pret-A-manger across the road where we had an early lunch. The nice part about this place was that it seems to contain everything from a London postcard point of view. I got pictures of myself in front of a telephone booth, double decker buses, the fountains in the square, etc.

From here, we caught the tube and went to Westminister Abbey. The walk from the Southwark station to the Abbey was itself a treat with majestic Big Ben.

Trafalgar Square
Anyway, so we arrived at the Abbey and this place is even more beautiful than the pictures. We bought the tickets and opted to be guideless (both tapes and tour). The place was packed. But it was lovely. It was amazing seeing so many luminaries and great people burried here. I don't remember the names of all,but it was all too impressive.

We spent 2-3 hours here, all 3 of us loved it.

From there, we bought tickets for a Blue badge guided tour of Houses of parliament. All through the process of even JUST buying the tickets, the 3 of us were going - "can't believe we're going to THE Houses of Parliament". The place is so majestic, so old and so grand. The lady that did the tour was great. As usual my dad kept taking his own sweet pace despite the lady telling us upto 3 times that we all have to stay as a group.

Tube station near Trafalgar Square
My favourite was the house of Lords. They showed us the chairs where the Queen sits, we were truly going wow. The House of Commons was having some kind of renovation done, and didn't look all that big. Looked a bit messy too infact, we were all having this laugh that Blair has to sit here. In such a tiny place! The tour took us about 1.5 hrs. It was about 2pm now and we were HUNGRY!

The only problem I had with this area was the lack of rsnts nearby. It's bad that it had started to get sunny, now the last thing we needed was to walk and walk to find some place decent. We finally did, in the form or some italian cafe with a rude waitress. But the food was good, and cheap. That's what counts. We walked back to Southwark taking in views of the London Eye, Saatchi Gallery, over the Westminister Bridge to the other side to take pix of that Lion statue as well as Big Ben + Houses of Parliament.

outside Trafalgar Square
it was really hot by now and we were feeling the heat.

Around 4pm, we went to the Tower Bridge. We'd just seen it whilst at the Tower of London, we'd gone now for a view from the other side of the Thames. My dad loved this! And the bridge also opened to allow a boat pass through, so dad was just impressed, and shot the whole thing on video as well. We went to the Tower Bridge show where they show you a movie, and then you go on top and you see landmarks along the Thames... I honestly wasn't that impressed with the Bridge. Probably cos I had no expectations to begin with? But it's just a bridge. It looks great during sunset (a picture I managed to capture too) but just a walk and a bunch of pictures are enough I feel, nothing that important to actually stay there and do.

The nicest bit was, from the Bridge we walked to this place where there were pictures along the walkway.

buses and teleophone booth - postcard material from London!
Diff artist pictures and diff pictures of the world. It was fabbo! They had these notes put on the pictures about what each picture is, and stuff. Very informative too. We spent some time sipping coffee and looking at these pictures. Around sunset, we walked for a quick last minute shopping round to Oxford St, and went home finally at about 9pm.

My GOD! We were so tired. And we couldn't believe that the trip is OVER. Or at least the London bit. We all got busy packing that we didn't notice the night go away. I booked for a cab at the reception for t'row 4am. We finished packing around midnight and slept, I'm sure we were all so tired and excited that none of us slept well.

The cab showed up prompt at 4am, we were all packed, showered and caffeine-d by then and left for LHR.

And there I am....
They took a Lufthansa flight back to Bangalore (connecting in Frankfurt) and I caught the Aer Lingus to Dublin. My experience in LHR was bad, it's such an old airport and I always get this feeling my head's going to hit the ceiling, LOL! Not to mention the walk to the gates. Esp T3... you walk and walk and walk...I was feeling guilty throughout my London trip that I was just eating Thornton's and drinking Guiness and no exercise blah blah, I think this one walk from T2 to T3 made up for everything!

So hard to believe the London trip was over. But one thing was for sure, I'd definitely go back. There's still so much left for me to see in the city, and now that I know my way around as a backpacker, I can find enjoyable yet economic ways of taking it in.

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Nelsons Monument by day!
Nelson's Monument by day!
National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Tube station near Trafalgar Square
Tube station near Trafalgar Square
outside Trafalgar Square
outside Trafalgar Square
buses and teleophone booth - postc…
buses and teleophone booth - post…
And there I am....
And there I am....
in front of the Clock Tower
in front of the Clock Tower
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
back of Westminster Abbey
back of Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
Clock Tower (Big Ben)
Clock Tower (Big Ben)
London Eye
London Eye
Saatchi Gallery
Saatchi Gallery
Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
Tower of London
Tower of London
Tower Bridge opening up
Tower Bridge opening up
Gallery near the Tower Bridge
Gallery near the Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge by sunset
Tower Bridge by sunset
Lovely view of Tower of London
Lovely view of Tower of London
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photo by: ulysses