London sights May, 2016
I was staying near Paddington Station to make it easier to get to Heathrow with the Underground making access to the sights easy. I went to Green Park to walk across to Buckingham Palace in a little bit of a drizzle but when I got there and looked around I realised I was way too early so I walked back through the park to the Horse Guards but here I was still too early so I continued on to Trafalgar Square and went into the National Art Gallery and had a look at the Rembrandt and Turner paintings.
Trafalgar Square, National Art Gallery
Saw Rembrandt and Turner paintings while waiting for the Horse Guards.
Horse Guards, 11am
Then I walked back to the Horse Guards. I was still a bit early and had to stand around with quite a few others waiting as there are no seats. When the men on horses did arrive I took both still photos and video with the Canon 700D.
I edited the video to about a minute as can be seen on the video of the changing of the guard.
As you can see the men and horses are very impressive.
I then walked over to Westminster Abbey. I walked along Whitehall, saw No 10 Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister, behind a steel fence and many police.
English kings and queens since William the Conqueror in 1066 have been crowned here. Saw the Coronation Chair, made in 1300, eventually, as it was in a different place to my map. The map was to accompany a handset which gave you information about particular locations in the Abbey but I did not use one as I thought I had enough information in my head and I had been there a couple of times before. I did see Poet's Corner, the graves of Elizabeth I and her sister Mary, not Oliver Cromwell (the attendant pointed out he wasn’t there as he was dug up and got rid of when the king came back), Richard II (I called him the Lion Heart but the attendant I got directions from pointed out that was Richard I and his body was in France), the Unknown Warrior, and also Darwin, Newton and a huge number of others.
When I came out I went around to Westminster Bridge to take some photos and then realised I had not been on a boat trip along the Thames so I hurried down, bought a ticket, and got on the next boat leaving. The driver started a commentary which I thought was going to be a painful experience for the next hour or so but it turned out to be extremely entertaining, as well as informative. Got to Greenwich and ended up at the Observatory puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff puff. Stood over zero longitude and had a brief look at the exhibits. My written comment was (Ridiculously steep hill and not worth GBP7.50 (GBP9.50))
This was departure day so I took my cases to the Left Luggage at Paddington Station. It was GBP12.50 per case but then I did not have to worry about them.
Then by Underground to Green Park and walked over to Buckingham Palace.
Took still photos and videos with the Canon 700D of the Changing of the Guard which started at 11.30. It took an hour with stirring band music and a very colourful display.
I then walked away and decided to follow the path I had in 1999 when the maximum that day was 3 degrees Celsius and I had no gloves. I thought the shop I bought gloves at might be findable. It wasn’t and I ended up at Victoria Station where I perused a map I thought was the Underground before finding it was bus routes. And there was a bus passing St Pauls Cathedral. A stop for it was just across the road. Off I went and lo and behold a number 11 was just pulling in. Used my Oyster card once more and off we went. Actually not that fast. Actually very slowly. Good for people wanting to observe the sights along the route but not what a normal passenger would want. Eventually got to St Pauls and discovered I had forgotten they wanted GBP16 to go in and look around. Paul and I went there in 2008 so I gave it a miss and went looking for the Underground. Buses were too slow. Found a pub instead and realised it was eating time. Had a pie and chips with a beer. Once more disappointed with British beer.
After the meal got help from some friendly locals to find the Underground and after getting on and knowing where I was going changed my mind and got out at Marble Arch. Knew I was near Hyde Park but confused where to go and ended up walking miles before getting to Paddington. Too early for the airport so sat at a restaurant table on the footpath and had a coffee. Got a scoop of icecream to go with it and the good guy waiter did not charge for the icecream. Thanked him by getting three nonlocal ladies on the opposite footpath considering where to eat to give him their business.