Tower of London – often said to be a must visit destination in the English capital. The place was already closing when I reached there during my 2005 trip… not that I planned to go in anyway; somehow I have no interest with its main attractions.
The Tower Bridge in London is one of the world’s most iconic landmark, and also one the world’s most famous mistaken identity as many foreigners often mixed it up with the less-spectacular-but-historically-rich London Bridge.
The Clock Tower, famously known as Big Ben, is the name of the tower at Houses of Parliament in London. The Chinese affectionately call it the Big Dumb Bell for its pronunciation pun.
Big Ben is not the tower’s official name though; it’s actually the nickname of the clock’s main bell (officially the Grand Bell). But these days the name is synonymous with the tower as a whole.
Big Ben wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for the 1834 fire that destroyed most of the Parliament building. A commission was set up then to choose a new design for the building, with Charles Barry’s plan the eventual winner. The clock swung into action in July 1859.
One of my favourite photos, taken back in February 2006 on a Sunday morning from my old apartment in Petaling Jaya…
It’s not just the scenery that pleased me, but the unexpected circumstances… it reminds me that life should be blissful, and that happiness could be found easily if we choose to find it. Appreciate life, be happy, and Carpe diem.
London’s Trafalgar Square is one of the world’s most famous plazas. Unfortunately the place was under renovation during my visit in 2005 – the fountains were not working, and the usual crowd probably hanging out elsewhere.
The square was completed in 1840 to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, a glorious British naval victory against a combined French and Spanish fleet.
At the centre of the square is Nelson’s Column, with a statue of Lord Nelson at the top, in remembrance of the admiral who died of a gunshot wound shortly after leading the British Navy to victory in the Trafalgar battle.
The square used to be a favourite spot for pigeons, with birds’ droppings covering almost every inches in the area. The situation has changed drastically for good after bird feeding was banned from the square in 2003.
Piccadilly Circus is a popular hangout place and iconic tourist spot in London. Shaftesbury Memorial is the name of the famous fountain at the circus. Most travellers probably don’t know its name but would almost certainly snap a photo of it.
Piccadilly Circus is surrounded by theatres, shops, malls, hotels, restaurants, pubs and endless traffic. The neon signboards in the area are quite a scene at night; probably not as splendid as New York’s Time Square, but spectacular nonetheless.
When I first visited UK in 2001 there were lots of pizzerias and kebab stores around, but only a few of those remained in the area. I still managed to grab a pizza nearby, but disappointingly it wasn’t as good as it used to be.
Things change, inevitably.
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