Wednesday, August 28, 2013

London 2013 Part 2

Day 3

I booked a ticket to the London Bateaux for a cruise through the Thames. I met a nice couple from Essex who were in London for the day while waiting to board the boat. I had booked a window seat on the Symphony boat and ended up seated with another old couple who were also quite nice. The food was amazing! The views were also pretty good despite the dreary weather. Unfortunately, most of my pictures had the camera's reflection and a general grey tone due to the crappy weather so I didn't get a lot of nice shots. Almost all of them are also not very straight but I couldn't be bothered. The route we took carried us past the Houses of Parliament (1), under the Westminster Bridge (2), past the Old County Hall (3), EDF Energy London Eye (4), the Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges (5), the Royal Festival Hall (6), Cleopatra's Needle (7), Waterloo (8) and Blackfriars (9) Bridges, St. Paul's Cathedral (10), the Tate Modern (11), Millennium Bridge (12), The New Globe Theatre (13), Southwark Bridge (14), London Bridge (15), the Shard (16), 30 St. Mary Axe (17), the HMS Belfast (18), The Tower of London (19), Tower Bridge (20) and Canary Wharf (21). There was a longer route to the Thames Barrier, but the weather conditions did not permit further travel.

(1) (6)

(3) & (4) (13)

(15) & (16) (18)

(20) (19) & (17)

As a part of my cruise package, I got a ticket for the London Eye, so I headed there next. I chose a good time, since the line wasn't too terribly long. This is one of the things that every person visiting London MUST do. It gives a 360 degree view of the city in comfort. In a lot of my shots there is this hugging couple reflected who were standing next to me. STEUPS.

Day 4

I got up really late and missed breakfast so I was hungry when I reached by the London Tower. I got some fish and chips by a stand there which was pretty good, even though I couldn't eat it all. The line wasn't excessively long to go in, but oh lordy, the line for the crown jewels was utterly ridic.
There were props all over the place. I passed St. Thomas' tower...

Then I went to the coin room where they used to press coins. I liked that they encouraged playing with the models. Except the furnace of course. Then I passed this nice little window leading to where the ravens were kept.

There was the white tower on the way past some people in costume.

Then I went into the white tower to the armory...

I stood in the queue to see the crown jewels with 60524513789 other people. There was a guard outside. Videos of the Queen's coronation were on. To see the crown jewels, they put everyone on a conveyor belt and we were passed by the main display. The other, obviously not-so-important jewels and coronation robe and dress were in another room that we could walk around.

Decorating the tower and the buildings around it were these wire metal sculptures of animals. They seemed to be made of chicken wire. I liked the baboons, but there was also an elephant and polar bear in the compound and a pack of lions to the outside.

As I was leaving, I heard the loud sounds of a band playing. I passed a sign for some event when I entered - it was essentially a 'Space Reserved' type of thing so I didn't pay any attention to it. I am now curious to know what the band and the officers were performing for.

I went walking around Covent Garden after since it was close to where I had to be for the Matilda play. I found Gelupo ice cream parlour on Archer street and ordered pistachio and hazelnut ice cream which were divine. I love the Covent Garden area. It's so quiet from crowds and there were all these little shops for more artisian&hipster-type stuff. It reminded me of Greenwich Village. There was this craft store called Magma that I got some nice paper models in and a music and DVD store called Fopp, where I got some CDs.
The play was around 7:30. I am never buying stall seats again. I was in the back of the stalls and all the tall people sat in front of me. It was very annoying. I looked at the performances between their necks and I loved loved loved that play! Everyone was so good, especially Matilda and The Trunchbull. Amazing.

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