Finally posting the first of my spring vacation entries! Surprisingly managed to take 16 gigabytes worth of RAW pictures every single day when I was in Europe, so it took me a while to pick the best ones out from my folders, and to try to create a proper (and coherent) entry to jumpstart my London and Paris entries off. Based on the title, yes, I am really dividing my stay in London into two parts! I also went to Windsor Castle, the city of Bath, and the Stonehenge, so expect a separate entry for those places too. So many pictures, so little time!
Here’s a photo of me and my brother Juju in front of a mirror in our hotel’s lobby. We stayed at this dainty place called Ashburn Hotel, which my family and I loved to bits. They had free wifi in all the rooms too (SURE WIN!)
The morning after we arrived, we decided to take a bus sightseeing tour to familiarize ourselves with London. Finally got to ride one of those open-topped red double decker buses! We didn’t have a strict itinerary, but we did kind of list down the places that we could go to on the dates we were there.
Took advantage of the early morning sun to take landscape photos of different landmarks. It rained during the whole duration of our trip, so I had to be extra careful not to get my camera soaked. So many people were apologizing for the weather back when I was tweeting about it. No need for apologies, really! I’d like to think it was all part of the London experience. We had “brollies” in our backpacks anyway!
The Union Jack is one of my favorite flag designs of all time.
This is the National Gallery, found in Trafalgar Square.
Established way back in 1824. I love European culture in general for this reason! Everything just seems to be so well-preserved. This is even considered one the relatively newer buildings.
You can see Big Ben from this angle.
As you can see, all my pictures from London seem darker than my usual travel photos. I don’t consider it a bad thing though! The raw photos + the post-processing is a marriage of what my image of London is and how all the movies and books describe it!
This is the Admiralty Arch, as seen from Trafalgar Square. The opposite side leads to The Mall, which leads to Buckingham Palace.
Just a pretty building, among all the pretty buildings in the city!
The iconic Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly. The Palm Court inside the Ritz were once frequented by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, and the Queen Elizabeth herself.
We didn’t eat here, but I just found it so cute that a restaurant was named after William Shakespeare. Well, why not? He’s known as the greatest writer in the English language!
St. James Court! Legit old English typography right there.
It started to rain before noon, so I snapped all the pictures I could before it got worse! Here’s the London Eye, the tallest ferris wheel in all of Europe, as well as one of the most popular tourist attractions in London.
I wish we had time to take a ride on it. I’ll definitely make time for it the next time I visit London!
St. Paul’s Cathedral from afar.
This is such a magical picture of the Big Ben. The rain was getting out of hand, so my family and I decided to halt our bus tour for a while to grab something to eat. The clock turned 12 as soon as we got out of the bus. Perfect timing!
When in London, eat fish and chips.
Silly Sherlock and Watson fans left comments on the restaurant’s guestbook. Sherlock Holmes’ comment: “Not up to par. Awful.” John Watson’s comment: “Very nice. Don’t listen to him.”
Now, did you just read that with Robert Downey Jr.’s and Jude Law’s voices? (Edit: Or Benedict Cumberbatch’s and Martin Freeman’s?)
There’s a heart. Aww.
Sorry for the reflection – I started taking pictures from the first deck of the next bus we hopped on. This street needs no introduction. Sweeney Todd!
The iconic red telephone box.
The Tower of London was founded in 1066. It played a crucial role in English history as it served different purposes, including being an armory, a prison, as well as the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
Just a cute dog that kept on snuggling my shoe.
One of the sentries guarding the place. The Queen’s Guard are situated in all of the royal residences in London.
My brothers taking pictures and listening to the audio guide in the middle of bad weather.
It’s a little hard to imagine how I managed to take all these pictures while doing so many things at once – holding my camera, umbrella, bag, etc., walking in the rain, listening to the audio guide, fighting the wind, and just pretty much trying to survive this whole thing by forcing my tourist level to increase to level 99.
What some Tower of London prisoners wrote on the walls of their cells.
Sadly, I couldn’t take proper pictures of the place where the “Princes of the Tower” were confined, but their story was one of my favorites from all the Tower of London events.
Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, were the “Princes of the Tower”. They disappeared in 1483, but their bones were supposedly discovered in 1674. People believed they were murdered, but until now, nobody has really proven what happened. There are, however, suspects and evidences that lead to their murder, making the princes’ story such an interesting mystery topic for fiction and non-fiction writers.
Too pretty! As a kid, I loved reading about castles and princesses. As I grew older, I found myself totally falling in love with all things medieval – video games and movies that involved knights and whatnot turned out to be favorites.
Don’t these pictures remind you so much of Final Fantasy Tactics? Or King Arthur?
Took a picture of this for all my geeky graphic designer friends to see. Lovely logos.
The Line of Kings, on display in the New Armouries of the Tower. It’s a 17th century gallery displaying wooden versions of horses that different monarchs used.
A 16th century double-barrelled wheellock pistol.
This 14th century basinet weighs 7 pounds. It’s like you constantly have a baby on your head.
People are free to put their faces in and try to see through the thin slits for the eyes. I tried it and it was so difficult to see anything! But then again, I guess people back then also had to protect their eyes from being gouged out.
The Tower of London and part of the Tower Bridge in the background!
This is one of the Victoria Embankment dragons. The two mark the boundary between the City of London and the City of Westminster.
This is how the London subway looks like! Or at least one of the stations. I loved how it was all decorated with not only product advertisements but also music, museum and art exhibit advertisements.
It’s really weird – some people warned me about the weather being erratic all the time, the subway being messy and expensive, or the food not being that great (I guess they were comparing it to French or Italian cuisine?), but IDK, London was such a charming place for me. Although I do admit that my love for English accents should be partly blamed for this feeling. G’day! Fancy a cuppa tea? Or crumpets? Seriously, I could listen to an English accent the whole day.
Part 2 of my London pictures to follow soon. I wanna go back!