Sunday, May 04, 2008


Here are some pictures I took of the Monster in London over the weekend.

On the Thames cruise with the houses of parliment and Big Ben in the background. Never knew before that Big Ben (the name is for the bell, not the clock tower) was named after the man who worked on putting the bell into the clocktower. His name was Ben and he was small and round and was (I guess) 'Little Ben' while the workmen knicknamed the bell Big Ben.
The London Eye, as seen from the Thames. Think of it as a giant, very slow Ferris wheel. It cost 75 million pounds to make and is sponsered by British Airways.
Tower Bridge. In the olden days, people could ascend the towers and walk across the upper walkway to cross from one side of the river to the other when the bridge was raised to allow ships through. However, the walkway was home to theives and prostitutes so most people waited the three minutes that it took for the bridge to raise and lower rather than run the gauntlet of the upper walkway. It is now used as a museum.
The Gerkin (big building in the background). A modern marvel of glass and metal, it is now an iconic part of the London skyscape.Westminister as seen from the London Eye.
The Monster at the Apex of the London Eye (the 'flight' on the eye was a bit of a let down. The cruise was much more exciting)Taking pictures of each other on the Gatwick Express, on our way back to the hotel after a long day. The public transport system in London is fantastic. The underground and the trains to and from Gatwick airport are brilliant. We were a little confused by the tube system at first, but once we figured out how it worked, we were flying. It was fantastic (if crowded, hot and a little scary - those escalators are not for the faint hearted!)
I loved London. The buzz, the people, the places. There was so much to see and do, I wish I had a few more days. It was so cool seeing places I had heard so much about - especially Westminister and along the Thames. They are places I have grown up seeing on the tv so I feel like I know them really well and seeing them in the flesh, so to speak, gave them an unreal quality. Went to the Mousetrap on Satruday night. We were a little late because our plane was over an hour delayed and had to enter the stalls through this tiny little door and then down these funny little stairs, so it worked to our advantage in a way. The theatre - St Martin's theatre on West Street - was really lovely and old fashioned with boxes and curtains and everything. Really enjoyed the play and then had a nice meal at a nearby restaurant. Very good price as well. I couldn't believe how many people were in London, especially around Covent Garden. The street was wall to wall thick with mankind. Everytime I went on the underground I thought of Neverwhere and London below. I'm sure some of the tunnels are quite ancient. It is so hot below ground. I didn't look down at the tracks to see how far the fall was because I was sure if I knew, I wouldn't be able to get on the trains. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. London is certainly a place I want to revisit.


Random York said...

Great pics! I am jealous!

Valpot said...

Lovely photos all right!

Glad you liked London.

Thanks for taking the time to post while on hols!

Anonymous said...

Great photos and a great introduction to London above. Impressed at you getting on the ferris wheel thingy otherwise known as the London eye as I know your great love of heights. Looking forward to the Medeira pics- the monster looking well, why none of you??

Inkpot said...

Thanks John :)
You're welcome Valpot.
Thanks Anon. I forgot to mention, getting on and off the London eye was rather scary. It moved quite fast and there was a big gap between the platform and the cabin, with people standing waving their arms and shouting for up to hurry up and get on or off. There are no pics of me because all the ones the Monster took of me make me look like the back of a bus, while all the pics I took of her are lovely!