On London

We started our vacation with 4 days on our own in London, England. Because of its activity, offerings, and place in history, I previously described London as “the most grand” of the cities on our trip. This post features some random thoughts about this wonderful city with images that may or may not go along with the statement. Enjoy!

London is a blend of many cultures – especially white, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Black. Although I’m sure issues and bias exist, successful integration is obvious. The thought of over 300 different languages being spoken by its inhabitants is mind boggling.

London Bridge and Tower Bridge are not the same. Since 1209, 3 different London Bridges have existed – but none of them had towers. (In this image, London Bridge is behind Tower Bridge)

The River Thames has always played an important role in London’s economy and history. Once lined with warehouses, today many of the warehouses have turned into luxury condominiums and apartments or have been destroyed and replaced by upscale buildings for residents. I never realized that “wharf” as an acronym – warehouse at riverfront.

Big Ben is the bell – not the tower – not the clock – not the building. For the record, it sounds in the key of E.

Although Westminster is home to many buildings we associate with London, today they are separate burroughs – and the occupant of the throne (who resides in Westminster) must ask London’s Lord Mayor for permission to enter London.

London was the first city in the world to reach a population of 1 million – today’s population is approaching 9 million.

 

When visiting Buckingham Palace, look for the flag being flown to know whether or not the Queen/King is present. With the Union Jack flying above, we knew Queen Elizabeth was not in the palace as we watched the changing of the guard.

London offers much to see, but many come at a cost $20-25 per person (so married couples thing times two).

London is home to 13 professional football teams: of which 5 are in the Premier League.

Greenwich is a London borough a pleasant ferry ride down the River Thames. The Royal Observatory provides a wonderful view of the Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College below with the city looming in the background.

A toast to London till we meet again.

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59 thoughts on “On London

    • Raye,
      Being that your are English, receiving the thumbs up from you is extra special. Thank you … and I was pleased with the food … especially my first meal, which was in a pub near the hotel .. excellent meat pie with broccoli and an English beer.

      Like

  1. That was fun Frank! It’s been 25 years since I left the UK and many of London’s now familiar sights were not up and running then – much was added with the millenium turning over and the 2012 Olympics. I don’t miss the crowds and crowding and trains and waiting – or the cost of living there – but I do miss the history and the beauty and even sometimes the ugliness- of it all……. London is an amazing city!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline,
      I think I knew you were British, so did you live in London? Busy it is – and then some! … but offers so much. I can see how living in the busy surroundings can toss one into a frenzy.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed your visit. Being a Brit and having lived in London for a year, albeit more than 40 years ago, I have a soft spot for the city. It’s just a bit too busy for me now and the only time I can relax there is on a Sunday morning when the place is blissfully quiet and visiting a museum or walking along the river is a pleasure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Phillip,
      Being a visitor and living there are definitely different experiences – so I can only attest to being a visitor. But while there, I did (at times) wondering about the live of locals amongst the hectic life it offers. Meanwhile, we walked a lot! 🙂

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  3. I have visited London three times – during the summer in 1962, 1978, and 2003. From all three trips the same image is fixed in my mind: I’m walking down a street with a big crowd of people coming toward me with every color of skin, every type of dress, from seemingly every corner of the earth, and speaking 300 languages. Hail Britannia!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Important landmarks are nicely captured here, Frank, looking as posh as the original sites. Like “wharf”, posh is another colonial acronym for ‘port out, starboard home’, denoting stylish luxury and elegance. Cheers for London…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raja,
      I struggled with trying to capture London in one post while not burdening readers with too many images … so your kind words made me smile … and thanks for the info about “posh”, which I didn’t know.

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  5. Hi Frank, I’ve been to London a handful of times and each time I was there I was impressed by something different! I like the view of the City from the Observatory – which is something I haven’t experienced in person.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tom,
      You’ve been to London more than I’ve been to New York … probably New York and Chicago together! … which means you’ve suggested that I get to those cities more! The Observatory area of Greenwich was interesting … a beautiful setting … and a maritime museum is the nearest building …. the old Naval college on the other side was interesting to see! Check it out next time!

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  6. You made a grand decision to spend time on your own before starting your cruise. I have never been, but I am no less fascinated! I thought it was a very interesting fact to learn that London is the first city to have reached a population of 1,000,000!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wander,
      Even though we had multiple days, it still felt like a whirlwind because London has offers so much! Sorry to say, we didn’t make it to the food market – so that’s another place for the next-time list! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mention of London always makes me think of Churchill and WW II. I understand that Winston’s underground HQ is a tourist attraction now and wonder if you saw that. I knew that England contained many ethnicities but was surprised by your comment on their extent. It gives one hope for peace despite the occasional terrorist attack.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim,
      I’m with you about London’s ethnicities. I’m sure there are problems, but the degree of their integration did give me hope!

      Churchill’s underground HQ is called the Churchill War Rooms. Yes, it’s an attraction. (See the pic below Buckingham Palace).

      We visited it … fascinating … and it also included an exhibit about Churchill. I recommend it to others! Here’s a 6+-minute segment from CNN about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngISnYWwypw

      Liked by 1 person

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