Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(REPOST) London, U.K. for 23 Hours. July 2008

After working in Rome, I had a 23-hour layover in London before going to Amsterdam. As much as I love Europe, this was my first time in London. Although it was a quick visit, I'm glad I was able to return to London in July 2010 and spent a little more time exploring.

Here I come!

I took the Tube to Victoria, where I was spending a night. After I came out of the station, I was greeted by this Wicked production at the Apollo. I was so excited because I had just watched Wicked here in Los Angeles a few months prior. You can't see it in the photo, but I was actually hauling my luggage!

After spending a week in Rome eating pasta, I was CRAVING for some American food. Since I collect shot glasses from Hard Rock Cafes, I had to visit the original Hard Rock.

And I got me some nachos and margarita. They hit the spot!

After dinner, I took the double decker bus back to Victoria. I was so excited to ride on the bus because it is such an iconic symbol of London. Yes, I am a hopeless tourist. :)

The next day, I went to say hello to Big Ben.

Looking across the Thames River at the London Eye and the Aquarium.

Big Ben close up. Beautiful!

Looking at the Big Ben and London Eye through the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Abbey. It was closed because it was a Sunday, but I got to visit on my trip in July 2010.

I kept walking down Whitehall and stopped by the famous 10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minister lives.

The Horse Guard.

The street ends at the famous Trafalgar Square where the National Gallery resides. I was really lucky on this trip because I avoided the rain completely during my stay.

The National Gallery is free to get in and opens late. I discovered that it houses a van Gogh's Sunflowers painting. This was my second Sunflowers painting sighting. The first one I saw was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This got me curious about how many Sunflowers paintings there are on public display. I later saw my third Sunflowers painting in Amsterdan at the van Gogh museum, and then saw my fourth Sunflowers painting in Munich, Germany in July 2010. The fifth and the last one resides in Sompo Japan Museum of Art in Tokyo.

Here's looking at Trafalgar Square and Westminster from the entrance of the National Gallery.

After admiring a fantastic collection of artworks, I took a stroll on the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace. Here's me next to the lush St. James Park.

They looked so mean. I was scared.

At last, Buckingham Palace. Where's Prince William? I tried to steal him before he and Kate got married. :D

This "horse" traffic light made me laugh.

One last look at Big Ben before leaving.

A Dali sculpture on the boardwalk.

I didn't have time to take a flight on the London Eye, but I'm glad I returned in 2010 and did it!

My last meal in London. It's called a "Jacket Potato." Basically it's baked potato with a "jacket" on. I got a tuna salad "jacket."

Next stop, Amsterdam.

View the entire Europe trip photo album here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplejoy/sets/72157618396910556/

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