Day 02 – London

Our second day in London started with a visit to the Tower of London, one of the main tourist attractions. It is an old castle (dating from the year 1066) at the bank of the river Thames. Many visitors come here not only to see the castle but to see the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

London Tower

London Tower

 
For such an old castle it looks really well preserved.

London Tower, a beautiful Castle

London Tower, a beautiful Castle

 

London Tower

London Tower


 
The Tower of London gave its name to the nearby Tower Bridge over the river Thames.

Sign of Tower Bridge

Sign of Tower Bridge

 
Tower Bridge, probably the most famous landmark of London, is known throughout the world as it appears on thousands of calendars, postcards and in many movies.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

 
It’s worthwhile crossing the Tower Bridge, not only to get a better view of the bridge, but also because of the beautiful view of the river Thames.


Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

 

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

 
Our next stop was St.Pauls cathedral. If you want to get inside you have to “donate” 12.50 pound sterling. We took a free look at the exterior and kept the money for our next fish and chips.

St Paul Cathedral

St Paul Cathedral

 
It is good to know that traffic in Great Britain drives on the left side of the road. For a continental pedestrian this may create some confusion when crossing roads; Do I have to look left or right? Luckily, the city of London in its wisdom provides some guidance.

Look right

Look right

 
Or is it a test?

Look right or left

Look right or left

 
We walked back to the Thames river for a long walk along its banks. On this beautiful day with sunshine and clouds we enjoyed many great views over the river.

London Eye near River Thames

London Eye near River Thames


 
Near the river we suddenly came upon an obelix guarded by a very British sphinx with a stiff upper lip.

Sphinx

Sphinx

 
There is no way to avoid seeing the big London Eye when walking through London. It’s very popular, with hundreds of people waiting in long lines for an expensive “flight” (18.90 pound sterling).

London Eye

London Eye

 
The big Eye is about 135 meters tall, and spins at an incredible speed; One revolution takes 30 minutes.

London Eye

London Eye

 

London Eye

London Eye

 
More beautiful views over the river Thames, with in the distance the houses of parliament and the Big Ben.

Thames River with Westminster

Thames River with Westminster and Big Ben Clock Tower

 
A lion overlooking the river Thames.

Lion statue

Lion statue

 
Now we directed our walk towards the Palace of Westminster and the clock tower Big Ben.

Big Ben Clock Tower

Big Ben Clock Tower

The Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster

 
A look back over the river towards the London Eye.

The London Eye

The London Eye

 
The Big Ben clock tower is know for its Great Bell, which is a bell of over 2 meters tall and weighing 13.5 tons. Every hour you can enjoy the sound of the Big Ben.

Big Ben Clock Tower

Big Ben Clock Tower

 
Now the Underground took us to Hyde Park.

Sign to the Underground

Sign to the Underground

 
Hyde Park was crowded with Bobbies possibly enjoying their lunch break with a walk in the park? Or are they here for another reason?

Security for the Pope

Security for the Pope

 
This is what we expected from Hyde Park.

In Hyde Park

In Hyde Park

 
But this happened to be a special day, and this is what we got.

A lot of people in Hyde Park

A lot of people in Hyde Park

 
With this crazy crowd we were expecting at least Mick Jagger to show up, but we got …

Pope visits London

Pope visits London

 
… 10 seconds of blessings.

Pope visits London

Crowded Park when Pope visits London

 
We realized it was getting dark and we were getting hungry, so we ended our visit to London near Picadilly Circus, an area with thousands of pubs and restaurants.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

 
Did you ever try ale? We did, and that concluded our visit to London. There is plenty more to see in this city so we are already planning to come back some day, for example to visit the British Museum.

After two days in a busy city we now look forward to tomorrow when we will be leaving town to see Windsor Castle and Stone Henge.

Goto Day 3