Saturday, 3 September 2011

August 6

Last Day in London - sad face!

We had our last traditional English breakfast at the Jesmond Dene this morning.

Then we hopped on the London Tour Bus - we had not yet done this!  Just like in Cambridge, the buses are "hop on/ hop off" so you can visit the site and catch another bus later! 
~passed through Mayfair (home of Sally Bowles of Cabaret)
~went down Fleet Street (home of Sweeny Todd, the demon barber)
~passed by Margaret Thatcher's house
~drove through Piccadilly Circus during some mad traffic
~learned that J.K. Rowling has more money than the Queen
~saw the Hard Rock Cafe (the first one in the world) which has Jimi Hendrix's guitar, Sir Paul McCartney's bass guitar, and Rod Stewart's leggings

The Great Clock Tower of Westminster...which holds Big Ben...

Westminster Bridge - this is our view from the dock.  We were about to get on the River Cruise!  The cruise took us to Greenwich, where we could glimpse the Observatory where Greenwich Mean Time begins.  All time in the world is measured that that exact spot. 

Did you know that the word "wharf" is an acroym for "ware house at river front"?  We learned that.  We also learned that the River Thames is considered a royal highway and advertising on the banks is illegal.

Another cool view of the London Eye and the London Aquarium.

Waterloo Bridge is also know as the Lady's Bridge.  It was built during WWII when the men were off at war, so 60% of the construction was done by women.  Awesome.

The picturesque Tower Bridge, often mistaken for London Bridge.  Don't be fooled.

This battleship was used in the Battle of Normandy, I believe, and was constructed in the same shipyard that produced the famous Titanic!

The Tower of London.  Scary place.

You can see Traitor's Gate here.  The people accused of treason typically had their heads cut off and placed on a spike on this prevent others from committing treason, of course...sent a powerful message.

The tall building under construction here is called the "shard of glass."  When it is finished, it will be the tallest building in the London skyline.

Scott wanted bagpipes.  If I can't get them, here is a least.  We was playing on Westminster Bridge.

Nelson's column - Trafalgar Square. 

A better view of Trafalgar Square - home to the National Portrait Gallery of England.

A beautiful area - the fountain in Trafalgar Square.

We decided to visit Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral. 

This statue was more impressive in person that in this picture.  I don't know who the angry woman is.

We hopped off the bus to explore the Tower of London...not to pay to get in, but just to look around and check out the gift shop. 

How wonderful!  You almost never get to see Tower Bridge actually open!  A vessel has to schedule for the bridge to open 24 hours in advance! 

This is the tower that Sir Thomas More was held in - he spent his final days here.

Tower of London art work in the Underground entrance...Sir Thomas More.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at O'Neill's before we prepared to leave England.

Here is our last view of the Jesmond Dene as we head for King's Cross...then to Victoria Coach Station...and then to Edinburgh, Scotland!  Look closely and you'll see the rainbow!  :)

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