Monthly Archives: October 2013

What a city!

St Paul's Cathedral - One of my favourite buildings in London

St Paul’s Cathedral – One of my favourite buildings in London

Time in the UK is moving along pretty quickly.  Seems like time always is these days.  After the quick jaunt up in the ‘midlands’ it was back to London for a couple of days before heading out to Paris.

We had spent a couple of days in London before heading out to the countryside but it was mostly spent catching up with friends and family which meant that a far amount of beer and wine was consumed.

This time around I decided it was time to get my tourist act together and hit the sights of London.  We have been so fortunate with the weather for this trip and this particular day was no exception.  Late October wanderings around London in a t-shirt and sunglasses make for a pretty exceptional day.

Big Ben & the houses of parliament

Big Ben & the houses of parliament

I love the city of London, I think I mentioned in a previous post that it’s amazing to see all the old architecture mixed in with the new.  For this sight-seeing adventure I decided to focus on the old sights however I did slip in a quick stop at the London Eye.

The London Eye or Millennium Wheel

The London Eye or Millennium Wheel

The London Eye, officially opened in 2000AD, stands out in a big way and it is really just a glorified Ferris Wheel.  It is 135 metres (443ft) tall and has a wheel diameter of 120 metres (394ft).

It was ridiculously crowded around the ‘Eye’ and even more so around Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament so I didn’t stay too long.  I was there right on midday though, so I did get to hear Big Ben chime 12 times.

Big Ben - The nickname for the bell in the clock tower which is called Elizabeth Tower.  It was completed in 1858

Big Ben – The nickname for the bell in the clock tower which is called Elizabeth Tower. It was completed in 1858.

The next stop on the tour was the Tower Bridge.  And shockingly this is another sight that impresses me.  Is it easy to see why?

Tower Bridge Tower Bridge was opened in 1894AD and is both a bascule & a suspension bridge.  When closed it has a clearance of 8.6 metres (28ft) however when open it’s clearance can reach 42.5 metres (139ft).

A view of Tower Bridge & a wall surrounding the Tower of London

A view of Tower Bridge & a wall surrounding the Tower of London

The Tower Bridge leads up to the Tower of London.  The Tower of London is a relic from William the Conqueror’s successful campaign in 1066AD and the tallest tower, ‘The White Tower’ (in the middle) was completed in 1078AD with expansions coming at later dates.  It has had many prominent uses over time including being a prison and home to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

The final building I managed to get to on my big day out was St Paul’s Cathedral.  A definite favourite, a building with an incredible history as well as incredible architecture.

St Paul'sOriginal churches dedicated to Paul the Apostle on this site date back as far as 604AD, the cathedral that sits on the site today was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1720AD.  It sits atop Ludgate Hill which is the highest point (not man-made) in London.

There is so much more to London that I wish I had seen, but unfortunately it’s a tall, perhaps impossible, task. Oh well it leaves me plenty of things to do next time!

****Reference List****

All the little facts about the sites on this page were found at Wikipedia.  http://www.wikipedia.org

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The Midlands

We are very lucky to have the use of this beauty for our cruising

We are very lucky to have the use of this beauty for our cruising

Down by the River Trent

Down by the River Trent

The English trip continues.  Currently I am in London, about to head out and do a spot of touristic cruising.  Before I came back down to the capital, I spent a couple of days in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  We were blessed with a couple of glorious days and it was great to get around and see the beautiful English countryside and the River Trent.

Public pathways through farms are abundant

Public pathways through farms are abundant

Fields Clouds

River Trent

River Trent

River Trent 2We staying in this incredible converted barn which really helped attain an old fashioned English feel.  Our vehicle looked perfect outside it.  If only we owned both of them.  Oh well!

Merc at barn 2

Southwell is known for it’s minster, a beautiful building that is over 900 years old.  I didn’t get any photos of it this time around, however I’ll be sure to get some in just over a week.

Brick House

Although I didn’t get any pictures of Southwell’s most famous landmark, I did take some of the surrounding area and countryside.  I was particularly intrigued by an awesome overgrown lane way close to where we were staying.

Overgrown laneway 2

The OG Laneway

Overgrown Laneway croppedIt was just a short trip to Southwell this time around, however I’ll be back up there in just over a week to do some more exploring.  In the meantime, it’s off to the sights of London, followed by a few tough days in Paris.

Typical English country view

Typical English country view

Sun-showers never disappoint

Sun-showers never disappoint

 

 

 

UK beginnings

It couldn't be London without these things!

It couldn’t be London without these things!

I have had a rather long hiatus from posting and figured it’s probably time I stopped making excuses and get right back into it.  During my month off, I have continued to labour through my marathon training.  I ran just shy of 25km which was not as bad as I thought it would be, so I am slowly getting there.  I have been studying, working and saw out the biking season in Whistler.

Currently I am in England, relaxing in a converted barn in the countryside.  I hope to get out over the next day or so to take a few photos around this area of Southwell.  Before I made it up here I had my first experience of Norwich which apparently everyone is so proud of it that they creatively gave it the tag ‘a fine city’.

The night skyline from the Shoreditch apartment where we stayed

The night skyline from the Shoreditch apartment where we stayed

Before that I had a whirlwind trip in London.  Catching up with friends, trying to fit everyone in was full on, however it was, of course, amazing.  We had a night out in north London, then a night in south London while staying in west London and finally a great day and night in east London.

Shoreditch Street

Building 123

Towards the end of this week I hope to cruise around the town and be a proper tourist snapping photos all day long.  I did manage to take a couple over the weekend.

Red Bus 2

This one stood out!

This one stood out!

Accordion playing at the markets

Accordion playing at the markets

Although I am happy not to live here and continue on in Whistler, I absolutely love visiting this country.  Walking through London, it is incredible to imagine the history that has occurred over time.  Imagining the people of many years ago in the east end, to the devastation of the wars and seeing incredible old architecture mixed amongst the new.