Monday, September 20, 2010

Some Interesting Photos

This is the office building for the Mayor of London.  It's situated on the southern bank of the Thames in the area known as Southwark and is adjacent to the Tower Bridge.  This photo was taken from the Tower of London, so it's quite jarring to be in a structure dating back 1000 years looking across the river at a structure that has been dubbed "Darth Vader's helmet" by the locals.

This is the British Airways London Eye, or "eyesore" as our tour guide called it.  It was openned in 2000 for the celebration of the Millenium and has 32 pods, with each pod making a complete revolution in 30 minutes.  Right now, they're replacing the pods one by one -- you can see that one is missing at the 2 o'clock position.  I didn't go up in it, but I understand that you can see for up to 25 miles if the weather is clear.  It also sits on the southern side of the Thames near the new Globe Theatre (built to replicate the one from Shakespeare's day).

The subway system here is amazing.  There are a large number of trains running in every direction within London and the Greater London area.  I can't imagine anywhere that you'd want to go that you can't reach by train here.  The Underground also runs into the rail stations so you can connect with the trains that go elsewhere in the country and to France.   Sometimes there is a healthy space between the train and the platform, though, so you're constantly being reminded to "Mind the Gap".  There are even t-shirts printed with "Mind the Gap" on them.

There are a lot of parks scattered throughout London (like there are in New York), many of which were originally there for the king to use to hunt deer.  The really nice part is the fact that there are all kinds of chairs -- either stacked or already sitting out -- that are provided for people to use to enjoy the park.

I love these red phone booths -- it's one of the symbols of England, really.  This particular one reminds me of the secret entrance to the Ministry of Magic when Mr. Weasley takes Harry Potter for his hearing with the Wizengamot in "HP and the Order of the Phoenix."

In front of St. Paul's Cathedral is a statue of Queen Anne, who was a bit of a tippler.  A children's rhyme after this statue was erected:

Poor Queen Anne, left in the lurch;
Facing toward a pub with her back to the church.

Even now she gets no respect as the birds perch on her head!

1 comment:

  1. Fun bits of trivia. I do like the phone booths.