The Second Day of my London vacation, United Kingdom
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After we woke and I had to stay in line to brush my teeth, because we only had one sink and there were 13 of us, we brought in a hurry something to eat for that day, and we went to see the ceremony of Changing the Guard at the Buckingham Palace. But, before this we stop a bit in Hyde Park, which is one of the largest parks in England, spread over 140 hectares. We even saw the Speaker’s corner, and because it was Sunday it was even filled with … speakers. There anyone who has something to say, or just like to talk in vain can do it, and park visitors will listen to him or her. Well, at least some of them.
The official London residence of the British monarch, Buckingham Palace, is an architectural wonder. Even if the Queen doesn’t actually live there (this place is located nearby, and it’s a bit discrete, something that I truly understand), the palace is primarily used for welcoming official guests or state entertaining. The total number of proud visitors is close to 50,000 per year. Such a busy queen.
A really handy tip about the ceremony: Location, Location, Location. If you don’t find a good spot, or make use of your gymnast skills and clime a fence or something, you will miss the whole show. Not the whole, because only a part takes part in front of the Palace, but the most important part. The whole spectacle is one of a kind, but the really big crowd kind of ruined it. I hardly saw a thing. After this we went (of course, you guessed) to take photos with the famous soldiers. I know I’m not one of the mythbusters, but I want to say this: it’s not true that they don’t laugh at anything. It was quite easy for a person in a crowd (a little girl) to make the big red guy smile. I just thought at that moments how irritating and boring is for them to take photos all day long with all kind of persons in all kind of funny positions. If I were in their place, at least one time I would scare them so much that I will make sure they won’t return.
Going back to Hyde Park, after the ceremony ended, one thing really surprised me. Although there weren’t any garbage cans in the park, except for the entrance, the park was faultless regarding its cleanliness. And the park was far from empty. We saw youngsters sitting on the grass and playing guitar, dancing, or just enjoying this exceptional place. Indeed Hyde Park is the oxygen tank of London.
Next, we saw, but only from outside, the Kensington Palace. This is set in the Kensington Gardens and it has been the residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. This was the official residence of Princess Diana. For anyone interesting of visiting this palace, I must inform you the adult price is 12.50 pounds, and children under 16 pay 6.25 pounds. Students and seniors can visit the palace for 11 pounds.Towards the evening we went a bit to the Trafalgar Square, the heart of London. Though is treeless, a fact that I must say I don’t like, this place is filled with statues, sculptures and artesian wells. We didn’t stay long because we were in a hurry to see the Tower Bridge. Despite being night, despite being tired, this monument surprised us by its dimensions, even if we saw it numerous times in photos. It’s not the same, trust me: it’s really big. There is also the possibility to go inside the two massive towers, and the prices are not exactly prohibitive: 7 pounds for adults, 3 pounds for children age 5 to 15, 5 pounds for students as well as seniors (prices until 31 March 2010). Just next to the bridge on Thames River, is the Tower of London (the long name is Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress) and nearby are some nice gardens. Even if during the day isn’t something special, the London Bridge shines during the night. And I’m not talking only metaphorical here, but truly the bridge is illuminated in red, giving this rather dull monument a touch of light.
Things about London you may be interested in
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)
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Read about London in our travel-guide
First impression about LondonThe third day of my London trip
Recommended London Guide
From 1837-1901, Queen Victoria reigned. For some, it was a city of wealth yet at the same time a city of colossal poverty because of its growing population from 1 to 6 million in 100 years. London was shaped by two world wars in the 20th Century. Many monuments were then built as remembrance of the many people who perished in the Great War from 1914-1918. These wars led to many immigrants coming in from different countries and together with European Jews they found shelter in London during the 30s, thus contributing to the city’s multi-ethnic makeup. This is how London came to be a multicultural community. These people made a huge... Read more »
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