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The Second Day of my London vacation, United Kingdom

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

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

 
 
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
First impression about LondonThe third day of my London trip
 
 
 
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Recommended London Guide

London History

London, EnglandThis 2,000-year old city was once a small Roman settlement on the banks of Thames.  Many Paleolithic flints and Mesolithic axes were found by Archaeologists in various parts of London. Thames being a multicultural city of over seven million inhabitants is a result of the many invaders who came to the Thames.  The Romans were the first group who established the first permanent settlement, a city they called Londinium, in 43 A.D.  Londinium was soon burnt to the ground because of the uprisings led by Queen Boudicca in 60 or 61 A.D.  London's position lead to more invasions. ... Read more »

 
 
reviews

Recent reviews for London

Top things to do in London - Jun 30, 2009, by diana_ciocoiu
Top things to do in London London is a city where you can not bother, so try to visit as many things as you can and have fun. 1. Buckingham Palace: Today is the official Residence of the queen with 775 rooms. Buckingham Palace is a... 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 »

Theatres and museums in London - Aug 29, 2009, by bicska
Well, it is my favorite city! It beautiful, it's exciting, it's busy also it can be very calm, with many huge parks in the middle of city. There are many fantastic theatres, where you really should go (tickets from 20 pounds, good places... Read more »

First impression about London - Jun 29, 2009, by danpop
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... Read more »

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 »

 
 

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