The Tower of London Baboons

Royal Zoo

At one time in England’s history, the Tower of London doubled as the Royal Menagerie. Court can be a truly dull affair, so one king brought in animals, another used them as specials having various creatures unnaturally fight to the death. Oh the cruelty of the bored. What I loved most about tower…ok…that was the jewels, so what I loved second best about tower was the wonderfully wire animal sculptures. Since real animals cant just roam around, someone did a WONDERFUL job of creating these wire-frame residents of the tower.

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Victoria Memorial, London, England

Sun in London!

We had a pretty lucky trip to London, England. In the midst of September, somehow we found sun! We didn’t have much in the way of the stariotypical cold, cloudy, foggy weather just a bunch wonderfully crisp fall sunny days.

Visit Early

We ended up at Buckingham Palace sometime in the early afternoon. The sun was strong and the tourists were out in full force on the plaza to gawk at the Queen’s Guard in all their sternness. I don’t like it when people mess with the guard…it’s so terribly disrespectful (plus I am pretty sure those guys can break pretty much anyone they needed to in half). I made my way to the Victoria Memorial and it was covered with tourists soaking all the strong sun. I looked up and thought what a better backlight for Victoria then the Sun itself.

Happy Ground Hog Day everyone! Let’s hope for a cloudy day in PA today!

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Red Telephone Box London, England

London Calling

When Pamela and I decided to go to London, I will admin, I was specifically excited to get a photo of two things. The first was Big Ben and Parliament at sunset. The second was this photo of one of the red telephone boxes that are all over London. I have no idea who uses these today with the ubiquity of mobile communication devices, but I am glad this icon is still around!

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The Queen’s Lock

Outside Buckingham Palace

Across the street from Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s Gate. It shuts the entrance of Green Park, though honestly I am not sure to whom. The gate is easy enough to walk around, but it’s barred with heavy chains to keep the aforementioned trespassers from committing their most egregious of crime. What I most noticed was the wonderful lock that makes all of this possible. It seemed a very old lock, but the perfect mechanism for the task.

The Great Sequoia

Giant Specimen

One of my favorite places in London is the Natural History Museum. It looks like something out of a movie and it have one of the most spectacular collections of the natural world that I have seen! One of my favorite parts was a cross section of a giant sequoia from the USA. Though it saddens me to see even a part of one of these ancient spirits no longer standing…I am glad the world can see of of America’s greatest treasures. This particular tree was around 1300 years old when it was felled.

The Cupola Room Fireplace Clock

Kensington Palace

If I am being honest, British architecture is generally an underwhelming experience for me. The British just don’t have the panache of the French. I have the same problem with colonial American architecture…there is too much sensibility and little in the way of the madness of impractical beauty. One place I was pleasantly surprised was in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace. The Palace has recently seen a bit of a renovation and this particular room is spectacular. This particular time piece is an insert for one of the palace fireplaces. I found it to be a wonderful bit of detail.

Millennium Bridge London

Walking In London

This is one of those must get photos when you visit London. I tried a number of angles, but this one was my favorite. We got up early to shoot the bridge and we wanted to get the St Paul’s Cathedral for opening time. The Thames, the bridge, the low level skyline of the city of London, St. Paul’s in the backdrop…what is there not to love about London.

The Glory of Sanctus

Heavenly Light

No Photography. It’s a sign I see all over while traveling. I generally pay heed to these signs, even when others do not. Often they serve a protective factor as at the National Archives in Washington DC. Perhaps it makes sense that places with massive numbers of tourists like Notre Dame in Paris would not allow tripods so other gawking guests don’t trip on your sticks.

What these signs, or rather the people who install them, don’t understand is photography is how I see. Photography is how I remember events in my life. I recall places as pictures in my mind and far too often I fail to remember; my photography reminds me how I spent my time on this Earth. They in many ways are my life.

When I visited St Paul’s in London and came to the alter. I saw this scene. It was like the heavens opened up to show me its glory. All the beauty man can create is nothing compared to nature. No signs matter.

The Natural History Museum London

Old Bones

I love natural history museums…they usually feel old and the Natural History Museum in London is a treat. It’s a beautiful and honestly HUGE museum. I was familiar with the great hall in today’s photo, but I was not at all familiar that you could go on and on through the rooms and endless exhibits. Pamela and I had limited time here and missed two entire sections of the complex, but still it was one of my favorite places we visited while in England.

Tower Bridge in a Field of Sunflowers

Unexpected Pleasures

One of the things I truly love about travel is how unexpected the world is. Most of the time I have only a rough sketch of where I am going or what I am doing, I just let serendipity drag me along wherever she may. Even when I am going somewhere with a particular purpose, as was the case with this photo, you never know what you will find. I was looking for City Hall and its view of Tower Bridge. I was hoping to scout the location to perhaps come back for sunrise. This didn’t happen, but we did find a field of sunflowers! I am not sure how long they were visiting for, but its not something you generally see. Serendipity!