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Inspire Me Monday: London (Part 2)

Last week was my first foray into the Inspire me Monday meme, hosted by Create-with-Joy.  I decided to capitalize on my excitement for the upcoming European trip by showcasing a few photos from past journeys “across the pond”

Today I will focus on the iconic images of London.

I suppose the first image that flashes across my mind when I think of London is the red double-decker bus, and then my immediate second image is the red phone booths.  They are indeed everywhere, although they never become commonplace to me and always bring a smile to my face.

While we rode the tube more often than any other form of transportation, we did delight in taking a brief sight-seeing tour around town on an “open” upper deck (brief because the air temperature hovered around forty degrees which made the wind chill absolutely frigid).

Buckingham Palace was not the regal castle that I had hoped to see (that was found in Windsor… about an hour’s distance outside of town).  The changing of the guard was certainly filled with pomp and circumstance, but I enjoyed the serendipitous occasion to see the marching band practicing for the Queen’s upcoming birthday celebration.  We could literally reach out and touch the plumed hats, if we so desired.

Tower Bridge, however, is regal – in my humble opinion.  It is more stately in person than I ever imagined from viewing a photograph.  We did take a tour of the Tower of London and learned all about the gory details of past inhabitants.  For history buffs, the rooms filled with old-fashioned weaponry and suits of armor are a must see, but I much preferred sitting outside on a park bench, staring at the bridge, imagining the stories of all those who have traversed to the other side.

Of course, what Brit Lit teacher wouldn’t consider the Globe Theater to be iconic – but quite frankly, even if you aren’t a bibliophile, it is well worth a visit.  Sam Wanamaker wasted no expense or time on recreating the Globe exactly as it was in Shakespeare’s time.  The tour guides are not only knowledgeable, but humorous and personable.  We even had the opportunity to attend A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the groundlings’ point of view – which was delightful (but also a bit tiresome on the feet).

Finally, the London Eye is a modern-day icon that should be at the top of everyone’s “must do” list.  We went in the evening and witnessed the most spectacular view of the city.  The wheel travels at a very slow rate, so we barely noticed the climb until we reached the top – and then we were completely mesmerized by the aerial view.  The twinkling lights below reminded me of the play Peter Pan as he whisked Wendy, John, and Michael to Neverland… and the stately architecture of Big Ben and Parliament nearly took my breath away.

I am excited to return to London … and while I will never tire of seeing these images of historical significance, I hope to concentrate my photographic endeavors on the culture of the city – the modern day stories waiting to be told.

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