Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Days 30-36... Mostly London.

Before I get to the immeasurably huge (73-ish photos long... which I suppose technically IS measurable) section of photos from our weekend in London, here is the view we had of a random medieval parade from the guys' apartment window.  We were all hanging out when we heard a marching band outside.  When we poked our heads out the window, we found rows and rows of people in robes and dresses and such coming through the streets with instruments and horses and whatnot.  Ahh, the advantages of living downtown...

But enough about Brussels!  We hightailed it to LONDON for a weekend to see some new sights.

Our adventures started in the train station when we got off the tube.  A crazy, colorful, and out of tune piano was set up for anyone to play, so Lucas and Zach both had a go.  It's only a shame it wasn't in tune, since Zach is an organist and actually knows what's what.

The whole weekend was quite rainy.  But then, it's London so I guess we can't complain.

After taking a bus tour, we gathered together with all of the other umbrella-wielding tourists in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard, wandered through a park and found our way to a river tour that gave us some great views of the downtown architecture and the undersides of bridges.  Tower bridge was decked out with the rings for the Olympic games.

The Shard (pointy glass building below) was definitely my favorite piece of architecture.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to go photograph it properly.

Westminster Abbey was quite a treat.  I only got pictures outside since we didn't do the tour, but we DID go to mass there.  The choir was there to do the chants and such, and it was really an overall beautiful service in an equally beautiful building.

We had fun just walking around, finding historical buildings and random art and red telephone booths to take pictures in.

There were a lot of cars with fun paint jobs in London.  The taxis with the strategically placed runner's legs was our favorite... especially with middle-aged cab drivers as the top half.

We did decide to expand our minds by going to the Victoria and Albert museum.  My favorites were the glass works, but the plaster repros of famous sculpture were really interesting.  It was the first time I ever realized the David statue (the had a repro) was HUGE, not life-sized.

I ran off on my own one morning in a effort to get some serious, sit-down shots.  I got this panorama of Parliament, which will be better when I take the time to edit it properly.  There's some warping I haven't corrected in this version.

After I photographed Parliament, we went for the birds-eye-view of London - the London Eye.  It's a really, really big Ferris wheel that lets you see for miles around.

The compartments were these big, white metal and glass pods that they stuffed with people really quickly while the wheel was still moving.  It goes super slow to give you time with the view.

By the way, the people down by those two circular things on the right are all in line for the Eye.  I hate queues, but love the word queue.

And of course, Andrew's dinosaur buddy, Carl came with us.

The modern ceiling at King's Cross station.  We went there to see platform 9 3/4, which was lame in my opinion.  I'll show you the pictures of the ceiling because they are better.

And on the way home, instead of taking the boring old tube under the channel, we took a bus and a ferry to get home.  We sailed from Dover, and it was honestly an awesome mini-cruise and the white cliffs were lovely.

And we put in to port in France.  I wish we'd had time to go on this super long pier.  But, the bus plodded along, we got back to Brussels, and we all took naps.  The end!

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