Friday, 18 June 2010

London: Day 5

Magnificent architecture, statues galore and a very heavy presence of 5 focused mainly on the area of Westminster.

I wanted to go into Westminster Abbey but before doing so there was time to absorb some of the other local detail.

The detail on the Abbey is extraordinary.

Photos were not allowed inside, of course. I can recommend the audio guide, which is included in the admission price. There's a lot to see and the guide is very useful.

There's an incredible amount of history in the Abbey. Coronations, burials and tombs feature in abundance. Poet's Corner is the final resting place for a whole host of literary giants.

The Coronation Chair resides there too, although it is currently undergoing restoration (one can observe the ongoing work through a window).

The Abbey is a terrific attraction, worthy of repeat visits.

Parliament Square is just outside. Statues of famous people line the rim.

The Square was occupied by a group of protesters, who had set up camp.

There was some torrential rain. Luckily, I had bought a sturdy umbrella that very morning.

Stormy clouds gather behind Big Ben.
Onwards - around the corner - to see The Houses of Parliament. Cromwell was no stranger to stormy times.

Richard I is prominent in statue form too.

King George V stands opposite the Houses.

The entrance to Jewel Tower. I didn't have enough time to go in on that day; maybe next time.

The pigeon on the right carried the stick with him wherever he went.

Mr Magpie sits down for a rest.

My next destination was the combined Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms.

Some of the rooms in this formerly secret underground facility are kept just as they were in WW2.

The map room includes some contemporary grafiti which can be spotted by an attentive eye...

'Mr. Churchill is on the scrambler!'

'Good grief! Is he still in there?'

Sugar ration!

Churchill's bedside cigar.

A little further along we find Horse Guard Parade.

Preparations were ongoing for the Queen's birthday celebrations a few days later.

The Eye peeps through.

One last thing to do on this busy but very rainy day - a trip to the Odeon, Leicester Square, where many a famous person had ended up with dirty hands.

I saw 'Iron Man 2' here.

That left one more day in London, but there was no more sightseeing to be done...

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