It is true that you could spend months exploring London and not see half of what is available. It is an incredible world class city – history, architecture, the arts – food. London has everything.
We continued our tour meandering through Parliament Square, home to some serious history and equally serious architecture.
Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the famous ‘Elizabeth Tower’. Ben is attached to the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Finished in 1858, the clock is the largest (4 faced) chiming clock in the world, and the tower ranks 3rd.
We happened upon a (mostly) peaceful (messy), anti-globalization/anti-capitalism type protest – a precursor to the ‘occupy’ movements that were about to explode across the globe.
We didn’t spend much time lingering or analyzing the cause. We weren’t there for current events – we prefer historical events!
We continued on to spend a moment viewing the prominent statue of Oliver Cromwell pictured below (also known as ‘Old Ironsides’ or ‘Lord Protector of the Commonwealth’). An important figure in British history – regardless which side of it you stand on.
St. Margaret’s of Westminster Abbey is another celebrated historical, architectural masterpiece – and the parish Church of the House of Commons. It boasts Flemish stained glass windows depicting the betrothal of Catherine of Aragon to King Henry VIII. Sir Winston Churchill also married here in 1908.
It was while enjoying the architecture and history of Parliament Square that the deluge hit. It didn’t last long, but what I experienced surely compares to monsoon season in southern Thailand.
An incredible, dramatically forceful downpour that overflowed streets and left us soaked to the bone.
Just as soon as it started, it stopped, and a bit of blue sky showed itself. We continued our way to Trafalgar Square, sopping and smiling – just happy to be overwhelmed by London.
Trafalgar Square (formerly Charing Cross), is located in central London, in the borough of the city of Westminster. The Nelson column in the centre is flanked by four, often photographed, giant lions.
It is here that the biggest English New Years celebration takes place, along with traditional Christmas festivities that have occurred on this spot every year since 1948.
Now that’s an idea – New Years in London. I am sure that would be quite a fantastic experience – one that we might be too old for now!
- St. Margarets (wikipedia)
- Oliver Cromwell (wikipedia)
- Big Ben (wikipedia)
- London’s Big Ben’s Twitter Feed (motleynews.net)
- Parliament Square (wikipedia)