Friday, October 17, 2014

Gadding About London

We walked to Trafalgar Square to see what, if anything, was new. Nelson is still guarding the square.

These gentlemen are Chelsea Pensioners, residents of a retirement home called the Royal Hospital Chelsea. They would have served in the army and have surrendered their pensions to the Hospital. They wear these coats when they are away from the home. Love all these traditions!

Canada House is used for special events, hosting conferences and receptions. It is also the centre of the annual Canada Day street party in Trafalgar Square. We were hoping the big blue rooster didn’t have anything to do with Canada.

Nope, turns out the rooster is new, unveiled in 2013, and nothing to do with Canada.

The National Gallery had the usual people on the steps enjoying the surroundings. At one time, the pigeons had moved from Trafalgar Square to here. Now, they are nowhere to be found.

We noticed many of these buses with different designs on them. Turns out 2014 is the Year of the Bus, which they are celebrating with events throughout the year. This was a poppy bus to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of WWI.

Buckingham Palace...

A busby...

 The church in the background is St. Martin-in-the Fields, where excavations in 2006 found a grave from 410 AD. So much history here...

Rock 'n' Royal...

We left Trafalgar Square and went by the Admiralty Arch, which was completed in 1912. It used to be government offices, but has now been sold to a developer for a luxury hotel.

Heading up the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, we were curious about the flags with the moon and stars. We found out later it is the flag of Singapore and the president of Singapore was visiting later in week.

It is a beautiful walk along the Mall going towards the palace...

Buckingham Palace with the Victoria monument. We walked past and headed towards St. James's Park.

In the pavement, a memorial to Princess Diana...

Part of St. James’s Park...it's lovely to have this green space right in the city.

If you’re wondering where all the pigeons have gone from Trafalgar square, they’re here.

OK, birders...what is this cool looking bird?

Bottoms up!

Interesting bird...you can just make out his striped feet...

A duck, a pigeon and a squirrel in one shot. Bonus!

Buckingham Palace taken from the Blue Bridge...

In the background you can see the Palace of Whitehall with the London Eye on the right...dang bird!

Some of the trees are massive...

Where to next? The Horse Guards Parade...

The flowers along the way...I wondered if my topiary bicyclist was still there?

There he is, quite a bit fuller than the last time I saw him.

There were posters along the sidewalk, all commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI. Very sobering...

A lovely memorial...

The massive Horse Guards Parade and the Palace of Whitehall. The palace was the main home of English monarchs until 1698, when most of it burned.

One of the guards...lots people were pausing to have their photo taken with him.

A walk through to the street where there is always a horse with a guard (and a sign warning you that horses can bite!).

A memorial commemorating the Women of World War II...

We were looking for 10 Downing Street, the home of the Prime Minister, but now it has been blocked off for security reasons.

There seemed to be something going on that day with many police, sirens, and helicopters...or it might have just been a typical day in London.

While we were walking by another group of police ran in...

Westminster Abbey and Big Ben...

That night we decided to go to Granary Square in Kings Cross, which was quite a lengthy tube ride. I had read on Trip Advisor that the fountains are something to see. As we were trying to find the square, we walked past several signs. I need to remember this one...

Good one!

We finally found the fountains. They were pretty, but not something I’d go out of my way to see, as we did.


Ah...little boys and water...

video

This is part of the underground that goes back to Kings Cross Station. It was just amazing...beautiful, clean, and...empty.

Tomorrow, we're off to visit my cousins, Ann and Dot...

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