Wednesday, January 22, 2014

London! - St. Pauls

We tried to go to St. Paul's earlier in the week but due to an overnight storm knocked out many of the overground train lines so they didn't have enough people to open the cyrpt or the dome.  We opted to come back later in the week so we could get the full experience!  The outside is just beautiful but capturing it was difficult since you couldn't get far enough way for it to fit in the picture.

You can tell these pictures were taking on two different days because the sky is completely different colors in the sets.

The pictures do not do the size of this dome justice.  It was enormous and visible from most anywhere in London.

You were not allowed to take pictures of the inside so I stole a few from online just because it is unusual and incredibly ornate.

Interior pictures from here, here, here and here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

London! - Changing of the Guard

These will not be the best pictures of the Changing of the Guard these are the pictures by way of what I saw!  The royal standard flying between the fence of Buckingham Palace

Lining up of of the guards.


The amount of people who come to see this daily is astounding to me.  It looks like they expect the Queen to come wave hello!

More guards walking into the Palace.

Guards stationed in front of the Palace.

Queen Victoria Memorial.

Friday, January 17, 2014

London! - Royal Mews

One place I found very interesting was the Royal Mews also know as the Royal Stables.  The Mews houses about 30 horses that pull the state carriages.  Also the state motor cars are also kept on site.  All coachmen, grooms and chauffeurs are housed on site at the Mews.

The coaches vary in ornateness.   I believe this is one of the Landau Carriages.  It can be converted to an open top carriage similar to the one that Kate and William rode in the day of their wedding.

The Irish State Coach

The Australian State Coach.


One of the Queen's limousines. This is a 1948 Rolls Royce Phantom IV.  

We were in the Mews while the horses were coming in from their morning ride.  They are ridden each day in London's traffic to get them accustomed to cars, horns and people.

The most ornate of all the carriages is the Gold State Coach.  It was built in 1762 and has been used in every coronation of a British Monarch since George IV.  It takes 8 horses to pull this 4-ton carriage.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

London! - Chinatown

We met Sarah for a dinner and afterwards decided to walk through London's Chinatown.  It's pretty legit with the lanterns and archways.

Took a few pictures, too bad the lighting wasn't great.

I didn't get a picture during the day with a guard so I settled for ones in front of a store. :)

We then ventured into a pub for some beers.  Beers in London seem to be served in their offical glass as often as possible.  Sarah indeed had a Peroni, I had a Nicholson's and Darren had some Pilsner that I can't remember.  Beer in London is also not as hoppy as in the United States and I don't think Darren was incredibly impressed with what we had!

Monday, January 13, 2014

London! - Tower of London

Since the ferry dropped us off right at the Tower of London even though the weather was dreary, we decided to go for a visit thinking it wouldn't be quite as busy. 

The tower functioned as different purposes over time.  It was a castle, a prison, a place where executions took place and now is where the Crown Jewels are housed and protected.

Outside walls of the Tower.

The tour guides and protectors of the Crown Jewels are the Beefeaters or Yeoman Warders. Most are typically ex-military and all live at the Tower with their families.

From the Tower there were great views of the Tower Bridge.


The white tower within the Tower of London.

This building houses the Crown Jewels.  No pictures were allowed inside.

In this yard a number of executions occurred including that of Anne Boleyn.

Inside the White Tower was an exhibit on armor. This is thought to be some of the largest and smallest armor ever made.  The little boy armor couldn't have been any bigger than an average 4 year old.

 This dragon was made all out of armor and shields.  He was quite impressive.

Gate into the Tower.

 We tried to take a picture but it was so dark only we were illuminated.

The view of the Tower in the twilight.