Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tourist for a day

Recently I had the opportunity to be a tourist in London for the day.
I commuted into central London for 13 years, so I know my way around, but being a tourist is very different. With time to concentrate on famous landmarks, to wonder at the architecture and history of the city.
In the company of my husband's Spanish family, we set out from Maidenhead and took the train to Paddington, then the tube to Baker Street.

If you look at the map, it is in the top left.
Here we caught an open topped sightseeing bus, wonderful for seeing the city, but we had chosen one of the busiest days of the year for our trip.
An estimated 2 million tourists were in London!
So no seats on the open top deck for us.

We followed the red route to Westminster where we decided to take a river cruise to Greenwich.

Big Ben looked magnificent, only the day before men had cleaned the glass on the clock faces.

The London Eye has become as much of a symbol of london as Big Ben, this must be the perfect English summer sky

As we travelled down the river to Greenwich we passed under Tower Bridge, it's architecture a gothic confection.

The cloud was building and the trip on the river became distinctly chilly.
Reaching Greenwich we visited the market, too dark and crowded for photographs, but this is a flower shop just outside the entrance.

Not looking forward to a chilly return journey on the river, we took the Docklands Light Railway back into central London.
Glimpsing Canary Wharf and expensive apartments built with views over the old docks, now home to small and not so small private boats.

From the Embankment we walked up to Trafalgar Square, marvelling at Nelsons Column in the afternoon sunshine.

And took a group shot of our Spanish family about to get wet with spray from the fountain.

From there a stroll to Covent Garden, the crowds were huge, and the sky getting more threatening by the minute.

The rooftops of old Covent Garden Market in the last shafts of sunshine.

Then back to the Strand to finish the bus tour and the heavens opened. No more photographs, typical English weather, changeable!
What a fantastic day.


Caitlin said...


Thanks for taking me along!


Jennifer Black Reinhardt said...

We just recently found out that my 15 year old daughter thought that Big Ben was a red double-decker bus. Turns out that in every picture of "Big Ben" that she had ever seen, there was a red tour bus in the foreground!
What a lovely trip you shared with us, thank you.

Lin*** said...

Ahhhhh....I live in the USA, therefore, quite far from London, but I've ALWAYS wanted to visit the UK.
Love the photos!

PS: Since I live in the Pacific NW of USA, our weather is exactly like the weather in London, by the way. I sure don't mind the rain!