Standing astraddle the
0 Degree meridian at the Royal
Observatory one can look down the hill and see the museum
below, and off to the right , the Millennium
Dome scheduled for a 4£
billion makeover into a sports arena---and it's only 3 years old!
It's really quite large and the odd modern sculpture to its left
here reminds me of one I once saw constructed of a large number
of deer antlers[Above]
The Cutty Sark --the last surviving clipper c.1869--sits at the ready in a dry dock AT GREENICH ready to set sail, though curently a museum.
The shot below is from the sea side of the "Barrier,"
the bottom end of the river tour. These huge
devices hold great steel plates, one of which can be seen rotated to the up position in the shot
below. The extend completely across the mouth of the Thames to protect against extreme tides.
Their size is really quite impressive, but they need to be to do the job!
Going back upstream one finds the battlecruiser HMS Belfast, c.1938, now a floating museum It was instrumental in the Normandy Landing....
As one travels back upriver one sees the Mayflower pub,
so named because it's from that location the Maylower launched
its journey with the Pilgrims
from our Grammar School books. Remember them? [Below left] And a reproduction of Shakespear's Old Globe on the original site--the original
burned down in 1613 during a production of Henry VIII.
And here is Cleopatra's
Needle, a stone Obelisk first erected in Egypt under Pharoah
Tothmes III in 1500 BC. How it got there is a story in itself.
It reminds me of the Ramses' Obelisk in Paris, though much worse for the wear and tear. And there's the GC tower peeping over the horizon at the
left of the picture. It stands at river's edge just in front ot of the Victoria Embankment Gardens, and just to the right and back of the large
hotel is Covent Garden (more on this hot spot below) which one should not overlook on a trip to London!
This golden-topped monument, (c. 1677) called, aptly enough, "The Monument" is a 202 foot tall (311 steps up the spiral staircase inside) Doric
column commemorating the Great Fire of 1666 which destroyed most of the then wood-built city. A great view from the top and on a clear day
a great photo-op.
Visitors should not miss Covent Garden, where there are many shops, eateries, and street events. The easiest way to get
there on a casual walking tour is
to navigate to Cleopatra's Needle, just a bit down-river from
Big Ben. Put your back to the Needle, look
inland through Victoria Embankment Gardens past the statue of Robert Raikes (founder of Sunday Schools), and through the slit in the
buildings to the rear. Walk up through that slot and there you are! Get there about 5:30 so that you can experience the beginning of the
evening's activities. The picture to the right shows the front (left of picture) of the Covent Garden Market place, and to the rear at right
is the London Transport Museum.
Here's a nice shot from the London
Eye of Westminster and the clock
tower housing Big Ben (the bells).
And here, diligently cleansing the sidewalk is a city worker.
Couldn't resist this shot. London has a great program for keeping
clear of gum and other such refuse....
Below are a couple of shots of the Queen's Guard just next
to Downing Street on Whitehall. There is a regular changing of
the guard, both
foot and Horse Guard; a favorite photo-op spot for UK tourists.
If you were to shoot a straight line shot through the building--as seen above, and past the guard, you'd see Kensington Palace, albeit a long
walk through 4 parks: St James Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.. I did it several times.
Below is a distant shot of Buckingham Palace (Green Park)
and a shot of the facade with the guards, the changing of the
guard here is another ritual
ceremony presenting another photo-op when the Horse Guard moves every day like clockwork to the Palace.
Now on to Page 3 ....