Sunday, May 16, 2010

London - Day 8

My last full day in London so I make the best of it by heading to the famous Abbey Road.

What else is there to see on Abbey Road other than Abbey Road studios?

Zebra crossing on Abbey Road.

After my time at Abbey Road was over I walked to Hyde Park, despite it starting to rain.

Speakers Corner in Hyde Park gives anyone who wants to, a chance to speak whatever is on their mind.

Hyde Park is lovely. Lots to see and do or just enjoy a leisurely walk. At the moment I'm enjoying a walk around the pond.

On the other side of the pond, I ran into the 'Princess Diana of Wales Memorial Fountain'.

A closer look at the fountain.

One last shot of the park before I head back to hotel and start packing for my trip home.

While leaving I saw the Isis statue and had to take one final, last picture.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

London - Day 7

Back in London the following day, I decide to spend the day at the British Museum.

I haven't even entered the exhibits and I'm already impressed.

From a second level I take another picture of the atrium.

Nothing I love more than ancient weapons and armour.

Okay, I also have a soft spot for ancient Egypt.

Ancient stones with ancient writing. I want to start blogging on stones.

Spent more time here than the Louvre, but enjoyed it so much more. Had to take a break for lunch. Chicken curry and a piece of cheesecake.

One of the few busts without the nose broken off. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm thinking it's Augustus.

So much to see, really wish I had taken notes. Was impressed with these structures.

Ancient armour, ancient writing and now ancient coins. What else is there to see at the British Museum?

Oh that's right, the awesome sculptures.

The day was drawing to a close so I stopped at a local park to rest and reflect.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Paris - Day 6

Riding the Chunnel to Paris. This is a bit of the French country-side.

First stop of the day is the Louvre. I'm guessing no matter what time of the year, it's always busy.

It's a slow and steady process, but you almost have to fight your way through a crowd to get close to the Mona Lisa.

Mission accomplished, I got a closer picture of the Mona Lisa. It's true what they say, it does look smaller when you actually see it up close.

Almost walked past this till I realized what it was. What can I say? I was on a mission and had lots to do. Venus de Milo

It was just a day trip to Paris and this was next on my list. The Arc de Triomphe, built in honour of those who died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

One of the few times I actually posed for a photograph.

From the top of the Arc de Triomphe you can see the Eiffel Tower.

Many of the roads surrounding it lead directly to the Arc de Triomphe

One last photo as I look towards the Eiffel Tower. Guess where my next stop is?

On my walk to the Eiffel Tower I stopped to get some authentic French Pastries.

Getting closer to the Eiffel Tower I'm impressed by the size. Photos do not do it justice.

The Eiffel Tower is a popular place. The queue is almost a three hour wait. At least you don't have to leave the line to find a trinket to purchase.

On my way up, I take one last look.

On top of the Eiffel Tower, I take a look out over the city. Such an impressive view.

It's tradition to enjoy a glass of champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower. So I had to order one.

Cheers from the top of the Eiffel Tower!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

London - Day 5

In my desire to visit less touristy type of places, my 5th day was devoted to visiting places of more 'local' interest. First stop of the day was to tour the BBC in London.

Here's a view of the main courtyard. Hard to tell from this vantage point, but the entire BBC facility is designed as a question mark. And no, it wasn't built that way for Doctor Who.

But Doctor Who is the most notable show (especially for Americans) to come from the BBC. As we are about to head in for our tour, we were allowed quick photos with the Tardis.

Certain shows with celebrity guests have 'green rooms' where they wait before being called onto stage. This was a view of the green room at the London location.

Here is a view of the green room from the other side of the room.

Once the tour of the BBC was over, I spied a mall a block down. I'm a mall rat so I was anxious to check out the Westfield Mall. The mall is bigger than what it looks like here, this is just an open court area.

A view of a second level. Notice the VUE, it's essentially a cinema inside the mall.

I'm not generally one for eating inside malls but this time I had to. In the US I'm used to seeing McDonalds, Arby's and other fast food restaurants, but this was fancier. I probably paid a bit extra, but it was still cheaper than take-away.

In a way I'm glad I didn't rent a car. For the short time I was in London it was so much cheaper and more convenient to take the Underground. Here is one of the few stations where the Underground platform was outside.

Okay local UK'ers. Explanation please.

On my way home I passed the 'Queen's Market'. Try as hard as I might, I never did run in to the Queen shopping. We must have kept missing each other. As the theme of my day went, this certainly didn't look like it was being over-run with tourists. Still it was interesting to check out.

A long hard day of trying NOT to be a typical tourist, I finally arrived back home. This is one of the few shots I took of the Falcon Hotel. Some would call it and the rooms tiny. I called it quaint and I'd stay here again.