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London Sites

The City

My roomates
Me in front of The Monument located in Central London.
(This is two pictures stacked together)
London has a lot of history! Everywhere you go there is some monument or really old building (for you Canadians, the age of a really old building is not 50 years .)

The monument in the picture is called “The Monument” and it is right out of Monument station. Fancy that. It is right in the middle of Central London it the banking district.

The history in London is phenomenal. In Whittington, there is a grave of a cat right in the middle of the sidewalk! The symbol for the hospital right by the grave is, of course, a black cat.

London is dirty. I mean really dirty. There are hardly any garbage cans around, due to terrorist bombings, so everyone just throws their litter on the ground! While this is the norm in London, being a Canadian it is appalling. I have even seen Bobbies do it.

The Cat Grave
The Cat Grave

British Museum

Front Enterance of the Museum
Front Enterance of the Museum
It took me quite a while to find this place the first time. I was planning on visiting it after I stopped by a bookstore, which I thought was pretty close to the Museum. It wasn’t and since there is no such thing as a straight road in London, it took me nearly an hour to find it.

The museum is immense. Upon entering the building, you walk into a large circular breezeway. Around the edges are the individual exhibits, I think there is 4 or 5 floors. In the middle of the breezeway is a massive library. It is a large building in its own right, and it is inside the Museum! In it are old and rare books of all types.

I was surprised at the large amount of Egyptian and Roman artefacts in the Museum. This shouldn’t have been quite a shock as a lot of the exhibits in the museum were plundered from their original countries many years ago. Some of the highlights of the Museum are the mummy of Cleopatra and the Rosetta Stone. My picture of the stone didn’t really turn out because of the flash, but I will try and get another one. DONE!

Me in front of the Library
Me in front of the Library
The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone

Imperial War Museum

Me in front of the museum
Me in front of the 15″ guns
The museum is great. There are quite a few cool exhibits. There is a lot of stuff from the World Wars, and they have an excellent Holocaust section. I think that everyone should go to a museum like this in order to experience the horrors of war. It is a good lesson for everyone and like the famous saying goes: “Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

One problem that I had was that when I went there were quite a few school groups in the museum. Some of these groups were real brats, a little too young to appreciate what they were looking at. None of the students went through the Holocaust exhibit though.

If you have the time, I defiantly recommend taking the time to see this museum. As a bonus, it is free, as well.

The front of the Museum
The front of the Museum
A Nazi eagle from Berlin
A Nazi eagle from Berlin

National Science Museum

This is the third of the three museums that are right beside each other (the V&A and the Natural Science are the other two.) I really enjoyed this place. It has a lot to offer all age groups. There are sections that specifically for kids, to help them learn, but there are a lot of areas that have numerous scientific objects throughout history. One area, has over 300 ship models of every shape and form. Most of them are very large. They also have a great optics and holography section. It is also very large, I spent 4 hours there and I still didn’t get to see everything!

If you have kids, and you only have time to visit one of the museums, this one is probably your best bet. It doesn’t have the culture that the V&A has, but it also has enough interesting things for you and your kids, which won’t wear you out as fast as the NHM.

Me beside an old mill
Me beside an old mill
Apollo 10 Re-Entry Module
Apollo 10 Re-Entry Module
Old Telescope
Old Telescope
First Gas Turbine Aircraft Engine
First Gas Turbine Aircraft Engine
Ariel Shot of one Section
Ariel Shot of one Section
One of the Many Model Ships
One of the Many Model Ships
747 Jet Engine
747 engine

Natural History Museum

Meteorite Exhibit
Me by the Meteorites Exhibit.
First off, if you have a limited time in London, skip this place (the V&A museum is right beside it.) While it isn’t that bad, a lot of the exhibits exist, with better presentation, elsewhere. Being from Alberta, and seeing the Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller, the exhibit in the NHM is pathetic. Most of the taxidermy work is sub-par to today’s standards (being a son of one.) There were some cool objects, such as the large mammals section (including a replica of a life size blue whale), a coelacanth, and a skeleton of a dodo bird. There were also some cool sets of horns from ancient animals. This place is good if you have small children as most of the exhibits are geared towards the younger crowd, and provide a lot of basic information.
A hunter.
One of the patrons of the Museum.
Ancient Moose Horns
Ancient Moose horns

The Tower of London

Mom with the Tower in the background
Mom in front of the Tower
The Tower of London is an excellent place to see. I took my mom there in early August when she was visiting me. I recommend that you look out for the Beefeaters whilst you are walking around, as they are usually talking a bout the tower and its history. The crown jewels are in one of the building, worth seeing once, but overall a dull part of the Tower. One can easily spend an entire day within the Tower, as there are many buildings and exhibits. If you come to London, this is one of the best places to go to get your dose of English history.
A wall of guns
A wall of guns from the armoury

Trafalgar Square

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Trafalgar Square are the Pigeons. I mean they are all around. Most of the time there are more pigeons than humans!

The statues in Trafalgar are exquisite. There are four lions surrounding an obelisk which is topped by a statue. This statue is pretty old, I am not sure of the age, but Herman Melville mentioned it in Moby Dick, which was published in 1851.”…Admiral Nelson. Also, on a capstan of gun-metal, stands his masthead in Trafalgar Square…”

On the corners of the square are smaller statues and in the middle is a large fountain.

My wanderings often bring me to this area of the city. The National Gallery is on one side of the square. Canada house is also adjacent to Trafalgar.

Atop the Lion
Sandy & I atop one of the Lions
In front of the fountain
Charlie & I in front of the fountain
Trafalgar Picture #1
Trafalgar Picture #2
The Pigeons
A picture of all the pigeons

Richmond Park

On March 16, Charlie and I decided to go check out Richmond park. It is pretty big (1000 acres) and it is on the extreme west of greater London (we, of course live on the extreme east of greater London.) After the 2 hour train ride, we had a 10min walk to the park.

The park itself is amazing. It was one of the first times since I’ve been here that I wasn’t surrounded by buildings. There were a lot of cool trees and the forest is very different than in Canada (it being an old growth forest.) The deer that we saw in the park are also very different. First off they are very small. Second, their horns are like a moose, they tend to have paddles at the ends.

Me beside an old dead tree
Me beside an old dead tree
Charlie inside the same tree
Charlie inside the same tree
Me atop a Large Tree
Me atop a Large Tree
Deer
Deer
Charlie standing by the edge of the path towards Richmond Park
Charlie standing by the edge of the path towards Richmond Park

Victoria and Albert Museum

Me in front of a pretty cool sculpture
Me in front of the sculpture that is used in the V&A ads.
Again with Dan
And again with Dan
This museum is in a block with two others. It is fairly large, and it is dedicated to the Victorian era. There are a lot of really cool sculptures and artifacts. They have a musical instrument area that is quite enjoyable. Also, there was an exhibit on Japan, which contained many interesting items. They even had a katana blade that was forged by Murasmune.

Other exhibits in the museum: India, Islam, Africa, and China. There is also a photography section that presents various artists throughout the year.

Another sculpture
A sculpture of a mother and child.
A Cool Table
A vanity with a lot of cool features.

Westminster Abbey

This place is a little morbid. Once you are inside the Abbey, you are never more than a foot away from a dead guy. Everywhere you look there is some sort of monument, epitaph or grave.

The building itself is a work of art. It is the largest gothic building in the British Isles. It is designed in the shape of a cross. Inside is even more exquisite. The architecture of the Abbey is phenomenal.

Some points and people of note inside the Abbey are: Queen Elizabeth I, the tomb of the unknown warrior, the coronation chair (minus the Stone of Scone, they returned it), Mary Queen of Scots, Halley, and Geoffrey Chaucer (maybe a memorial.)

In font of the Abbey
Me in front of the front enterance
Me by a pillar by the Abbey
Me by a pillar by the Abbey

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