Sunday, May 20, 2007

London, Day 2

I got up (fairly) early Friday and spent all day doing the tourist thing. I caught the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace and then wandered up the Thames seeing all the must-sees in London: Westminster, Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey. I even bought a ticket to see a performance at the Globe Theatre...a replica of the one where Shakespeare's works were performed. Here is a smattering of photos from my day:

The famous Tower Bridge, 2 minutes from Dan's place:

No caption needed:

The luxury SmartCar, shorter than me!

Guards at Buckingham Palace:

The changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace was quite the ceremony. It lasted upwards of 45 minutes. The band played a bunch of patriotic music, as well as classics such as....Everything's Coming Up Roses...? The soldiers got yelled at by their superiors if they were not lined up correctly and there was a lot of ceremonial shuffling of feet in the gravel to get lined up again. All and all, an impressive show, but I don't think there will ever be anything quite as eloquent and emotional as the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Storm Troopers, I mean palace guard, waiting to escort the queen out of the palace before the ceremony. At least I think it was the queen...a couple of flashy cars pulled out of the palace with the motorcycles escorting them. The crowd started clapping and someone yelled, "she's wearing a purple hat!" Therefore, I'm maintaining that I saw The Queen leave the palace, even though I really have no idea who it was, or what was going on. She probably was just headed to the mall or something.

Nice view of the palace gates:

Some of the gardens near the palace:

Big Ben:


Westminster Abby:

Hogwarts was also taking a field trip in London on Friday:

The London Eye:

An unexpected tourist attraction: The Dreadlocked mullet:

The Scientology center of London. I thought about hanging out to see if I could catch Tom Cruise, but instead I might go back to see an informational video on Monday. It's the only free thing that Scientology offers.

Artsy-fartsy picture of a pedestrian bridge:

Dan and I also went out for tapas and then met some of his friends for drinks. Most of the pubs in London have a midnight last call, so drinking starts pretty early! Places start filling up with people around 8 o'clock and the place we went to for tapas was packed with people starting their weekend right after work! As I travel the world, I become more and more convinced that no one knows how to booze like the British. Their stamina and tolerance is staggering.

Perfect lighting for an evening shot in front of Tower Bridge:

Random pose:

American Girls in London:


As tempting as the name was, we decided to find a different place:

My humble "bedroom":

I'm still working on my post for Saturday's events, I'll probably post it tonight!