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First impression about London, United Kingdom

 
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danpop's pictureby danpop review
added on 29th of June, 2009

In April 2007, I visited London alongside my three colleagues I was with at a scholarship in Lille, a friend from the hostel where we stayed and a colleague from the university lab.

Of course we were very excited about this trip and eager to see the whole London in a day. The first stop was without doubts the icon of London, Big Ben. The name is given to the clock, but nowadays is used for the whole tower. The clock was installed in 1859 on the tower that stands at a height of 96.3 meters. The first 61 meters is build from stone, with the rest being steel. The clock mechanism weights approximately 5 tons and gives the exact hour, but also at a 15 minutes interval. A recent survey revealed that Big Ben is the most popular landmark in the United Kingdom. Next to the Big Ben is the Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster). Here you can find the two houses of the British Parliament: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. A superb representation of the two structures was made by the French Impressionist, Claude Monet, in 1903.

After this we went to Westminster Abbey, the most famous religious landmark in London. Its building began at the beginning of the XI-th century. Almost all crowning in the Kingdom take place here. Because we were in London during Easter, we went to Westminster Abbey to celebrate it, and I can tell you it was a totally new experience, for me and my friends. The cult that serves in this church is the Anglican Cult, one significantly different from what I am used to in Romania. The Abbey is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. After we were impressed by the grandeur of this monument we wanted to see its catholic correspondent: the Westminster Cathedral. This is the largest Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales and it’s really famous four its choir, a musical excellence.

London Eye, our next stop during the first day is indeed a wonder of engineering. Standing at a height of 135 meters, Millennium Wheel (as this monument is also known by), this marvelous construction offers a one of a kind view over the town. Unfortunately I didn’t go inside it, mainly because of its price and the fact that we were in a hurry. We wanted to see as much as we can during out stay. But now I’m sorry, so I strongly advise you to pay this money and go for a ride you’ll surely remember over years. The London Eye is located on one side of the river Thames, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The “Eye” is equipped with 32 capsules that can hold each a maximum of 25 people: that means a total of 800 exiting visitors. I can tell you that this is one hack of a ride judging by their faces when they come down from there. As they descend from between the clouds back to a ridiculously human world. You have to be thought a bit fast, because, even if id doesn’t look like this, the wheel never stops, not even when passengers need to embark. So the 25 travelers need to be quite quick, even if sometimes, for elderly or disabled passengers, the wheel stops. But don’t count of this. The fares start from 17 pounds for adults (16+) and 8.50 pounds for children (4-15 years). Children under four years don’t have to pay a thing, and seniors and disabled people only 14 pounds (this are 2009 prices, that are likely to increase a lot over years – like they are not big enough now – due to the financial difficulties and the ever increasing rent). If you ask me, London Eye, still in its infancy, will become something like Eiffel Tower is now for Paris.

One particular building that drove my attention was the Egg shaped Building that stands out from the other old buildings that surrounds it. Later I found out that the name of that building is St Mary Axe, and it was completed in 2003 and opened in April 2004. So I saw a 3 years old beauty. Really impressive with its 180 meters, the construction marks a new age in buildings construction in the capital of United Kingdom.

Piccadilly Circus is a famous road junction that connects Regent Street with other shopping streets in the area. Speaking of Regent Street, one of the most famous shopping boulevards in the world, I want you what an old Londoner told us. We were intrigued that on many stores on that street, clothes and jewelry didn’t have a price tag on the shop window. He told us that these stores are so exclusivist that they don’t even put prices on their merchandise. If somebody enters the store, than surely this is a certain buyer and he will be treated like a king. Only then the buyer will know the real price, but most like it won’t matter. Only the richest one buys from there. If you are looking for some “wow”-s, this is the place to be. Related to Piccadilly Circus, the brands that advertise there have really reasons to be proud of. This is one of the most circulated areas in London, and it’s a privilege to advertise here. Just ask Coca Cola, Sanyo, TDK, McDonald’s, or Samsung.

I almost forget: I want to apologize now, because we guys lay the girls when we said we will not go anywhere that night. We went to Piccadilly Circus and I can say now that sometimes, but only sometimes, lying is better J.
 

Things about London you may be interested in

 
 
London Trip, 2007 - overview

1. Apr 8, 2007 A short trip to London from Lille (London)  (* 58)
2. Apr 8, 2007 First impression about London (London)  (* 158)
3. Apr 9, 2007 The Second Day of my London vacation (London)  (* 213)
4. Apr 10, 2007 The third day of my London trip (London)  (* 120)

Start from beginning1 - 4          Journal overview


Read about London in our travel-guide
A short trip to London from LilleThe Second Day of my London vacation
 
 
 
guides

Recommended London Guide

London Sights

London, EnglandWith its exciting mixture of tradition and contemporariness London has something to offer everyone. London’s ancient heritage ensures that there are many historical hotspots in the city that offer a wealth of cultural richness but the city is also one of the most developed and modernized places in the world offering a truly international multiculturalism that will delight aficionados of popular culture. Some of the must see locations in this charismatic city include no less than four World Heritage Sites: Westminster Palace and Westminster Abbey along with St. Margaret's Church; the historical hotspot of the Tower of London; the... Read more »

 
 
reviews

Recent reviews for London

What to do in London - Feb 22, 2006, by travelgrove-editor
London, one of the world's greatest cities, offers a bountiful array of attractions and activities. For those intrigue with the royals, to the adventure seeker, to those who want to take in all the major museums and attractions this city... Read more »

Big Ben, a must see in London - Apr 30, 2009, by cipristb
Big Ben is the largest four-dial clock in the world. The bell inside is 13.5 tons, and the clock with the four dials has a diameter of 7 meters. The name of Big Ben comes from Benjamin Hall, the man who commissioned its installation. Big... Read more »

London is the best place to visit - Aug 30, 2009, by bicska
I am sure I am not alone with the feeling that London is the best city ever and anywhere... Well I really love that capital city and only because I spent there one of the best weeks in my life, but because that city is alive and you can... Read more »

What to know about the Buckingham Palace - Apr 30, 2009, by cipristb
Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 and was expanded in 1761, with a total of 600 rooms is the official residence of the British monarchy since 1837. Ever since Queen Victoria moved here brought the custom to fly the flag on the building as... Read more »

Visiting European capitals - May 23, 2009, by bicska
if you would like to travel in Europe, this could be a nice idea for you: from London to Rome(London, Paris, Bern, Rome) in 20 days! A few tips: 1) with a group of 8, I would start working on accomodations... though you didn't say when... Read more »

 
 

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