April 1, 2010

1 London!

Waiting For Godot starring Ian McKellen and Roger Rees was playing in West End and I really really wanted to see it.  Paul begrudgingly agreed, so we planned a short break to London, 29-31/3.  It was very dreary, cold, and extra rainy (winter is hitting UK again, Scotland and Northern Ireland actually had some weather labeled as "horrendous"), but we were able to fill most of our time.  

We did several touristy things: we "flew" on the Eye (apparently it's a flight, not a ride), 
we spent quite a bit of time in the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery (yay for seeing paintings I studied in art history!), 
we went through the London Dungeon, 
and we walked around a lot.  

On Monday after we arrived early afternoon we went to the British Museum. It is only a few blocks from the hotel we stayed at, so it seemed like an obvious place to start.  The museum is quite extensive and we didn't get a chance to cover much of it, but we did see the Rosetta Stone (a lot more massive than I thought it would be!) and a TON of Egyptian and Greek artifacts.  We decided the museum should be renamed "Museum of Other People's Stuff the British Have Stolen".

The Elgin Marbles are the most controversial items, but there are extensive Chinese and Egyptian collections as well.   Like any major museum, it is awe-inspiring to think these items are thousands of years old. 

The London Eye was pretty cool, it gives a great view of the city and is close to some of the more popular sites, like Big Ben and Parliament.  Definitely worth the money.  The Film Museum is next door, in the curvy building, and I wanted to see the Charlie Chaplin exhibit they had on, but our quick trip didn't really allow the time. 

The area along the Thames near the Eye is a nice riverside walk, although the river is quite murky.  This is a view into the immediate area from up in the Eye, there are several street performers and musicians along the walk.

Paul shot this image of the Eye itself.

 The view out across Parliament and Westminster. 

As usual for a city trip I took a lot of pictures of the various architecture styles, but for sake of space I only posted this one that looks like a building is crumpling up from the street.  

The Tower Bridge is now probably the most famous bridge in London, since the real London Bridge now resides in Arizona.  We both found the Tower Bridge fantastic. We walked across it and used our London2Go app on the iPod to read it's history, you can just click on the Wikipedia link.  It is possible to go up in the ramparts, but we didn't this trip.  Next time we're hoping to go at a time that the bridge is open, as that is supposed to be a great image as well.

We finally got the the Tower of London on our busy day, but unfortunately we were just 40 minutes before close.  We opted not to go in, because of the time (and it's not free!) but we walked around the area.  This is Traitor's Gate, which if you know any English history you've heard of.  Originally the river port for Tower deliveries, during the Tudor years many historical figures were brought into the Tower to die through this gate.

No pictures from the London Dungeon, it's quite dark and no photos allowed.  It is a great overview of dark periods in London's history, the Great Fire, Jack the Ripper, the Plague, etc.  It's pricey though, and took over 2 hours, so if you travel to London now you can decide if it'd be worthwhile for you. 

 As I said, I have a lot of pictures, but you'll have to visit to see all of them. The play was fantastic, Ian McKellen and Roger Rees were at their best.  I feel so lucky to live only a train ride away from one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.  We can't wait to go back and see more of the great city, but it was nice to get back to Yorkshire (and the furries!) 

1 comment:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I can't wait to read your comment!

Next Post Previous Post Home