Time to visit the iconic sights of London.. So we took the Tube down to the London Bridge stop. There were the usual crowds and jostling despite the overcast sky and slight drizzle that started soon.
London Eye is a giant Ferris Wheel erected in 1999.
It is also known as the Millennium Wheel as it was opened on 9/3/2000.
Big Ben is actually the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock
The bell is housed within the Elizabeth Tower aka Clock Tower and is the north end of the Palace of Westminister.
The Victoria Tower (left) is at the south end of the Palace of Westminister where most of the documents in the Parliament are kept. The Palace of Westminister aka House of Parliament where the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet.
It is the largest four-faced chiming clocks in the world and and most prominent symbol of the United Kingdom
The Central Tower (on the right with the spire) is the shortest towers.
St Margaret Church situated near the Westminister Abbey.. Angelican church dedicated the the virgin martyr St. Margaret of Antioch.
The north entrance of the Westminister Abbey.
Since the first coronation of King William the Conqueror in 1066, all the English and British monarchs were crowned in the Westminister Abbey.
The western facade of the Abbey.
Queuing to go inside for organ recital available free of charge every sunday at 5.45pm.
No photographs allowed of course. We were allowed to stand behind the pews and listen to the magnificent music it filled the church. However there were slight distraction every time some new visitors come in.
We can see the Coronation Chair ie King's Edward's Chair, the throne where all the monarch sit at the moment of the coronation ceremony inside here.
To me this is a great highlight of my London trip... even though I am not able to go for a church service at the Westminister Abbey, but to listen to this recital is more than enough... thanks to God for all things in my life.
It is already closed for visitors..
The War Office Building (now Ministry of Defence) along Whitehall
Such awesome church and the surroundings.
A final photo of the Parliament Square, before it started to rain as we made our way to the Tower Hill ...
Statue of a Roman soldier
Take the underground to Tower Hill station. Along this pedestrian underpass are a series of the commissioned paintings by Stephen B. Whatley
.. the Crown Jewels refers to the collection of the ceremonial and symbolic objects besides the crowns used during the coronations of the British Kings and Queens. The most precious and famous jewel would be the Koh-i-Noor diamond (793 carats uncut!) set in the Queen Elizabeth's crown.
King Henry VIII's 2nd wife, Anne Boleyn. She played an important role in the political and religious intrigues involving Henry VIII and the Church of England. She won the heart of Henry VIII but she refused to be his mistress. However the Catholic church (Rome) refused to assent to Henry VII's request to annul the marriage between him and Queen Catherine. The king then started to break away from the power of Rome and began the Church of England. They were married in 1533 and she became Queen of England from 1533 to 1536. She gave birth to Elizabeth I. It was sad, that she was tried for treason and adultery by the man who loved her and she was taken prisoner to the Tower of London before being executed. Now how many wives King Henry VIII had?
the Ravens of Tower....these are a group of captive ravens living in the Tower. There is a superstition that says "if the Tower of London raves are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it"!
peeking among the buildings is the Shard-
This 87 storeys skyscraper was designed by Renzo Piano who is also one of architect that designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris. The design look like a shard of glass and there is an open air observation deck on the 72nd floor.
The Norman Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was the royal residence before it was used as a prison and the notable prisoners being Elizabeth I before she became queen, Anne Boleyn (wife of Henry VII) and Sir Walter Raleigh.
The Royal Beast statues
The Tower was once a royal menagerie where the collection of exotic animals were kept for the monarch amusement. These animals were later moved to the London Zoo. The Tower has also served as a treasury, an armoury, the Royal Mint and home of the Crown Jewels!
Entrance to the Tower and it was already closed for visitors for the day..
The Traitor's Gate
This was built to provide a water entrance to the Tower. Many prisoners of the Tudors entered the Tower through this gate. "They were brought by barge along the River Thames, passing the London Bridge where the heads of the recently executed prisoners were displayed by pikes" from Wiki. How awful and depressing is that to the prisoners.
another imposing view of the tower.
and the Tower Bridge.This bridge is constructed in 1886 to 1894. The lower level is a suspension and bascule bridge (commonly known as drawbridge) it is moveable bridge (see the blue colour spans) "open" upwards to allow tall ships to pass through. The 2 towers are linked together with a horizontal walkways.
We did not walk over and visit the place as it was getting late as we had promised Diana that we will be back for dinner besides it was raining. The journey from city to her house took almost an hour.
Mapo Taufoo cooked by Mr. Lee, the head chef this time.... spicy, sweet and salty and totally delicious.
The secret ingredient he added was some preserved sichuan mustard and he only used chilli bean paste from Sichuan, China! They also bought a Roasted Duck.