London postcard

18 Mar

Oh, I’m having trouble.  Either the weather is great, so I want to be outside and away from the blog and not do anything but enjoy the sunshine.  Or the weather is horrible, and I want to hibernate in front of the fire and not do anything but wish for sunshine.  But somewhere in there we made a long weekend visit to London and saw some sights.  We haven’t been to London with the kids since February two years ago, when we went up the London Eye and on a Duck Tour.  This year, we got some sunshine, which transformed the city into something beautiful.

20140218_152656ed

Boat tour on the Thames.IMG_1975ed

Trafalgar Square … in the sun!  This was the first time I’ve ever visited London in the sunshine.  I wasn’t sure it was possible.  IMG_2000ed

Parliament, Big Ben, that London Eye.IMG_2060ed

There are so many iconic photos of the Tower of London, I’m just not even going to try.  Almost all of my photos from this trip look identical to the ones I took nearly twenty years ago when I first visited London.  For this trip, we stayed in a hotel nearby and walked over in the evening to see the Tower lit up … arrived early one morning for our visit … did all the usual things.  By getting there early and going straight to the Crown Jewels, we were able to go round the jewels three times, with no crowds.  Dropped in and out of the Beefeater tours and wandered to our hearts content.  As our trip was timed during the national school holidays, we also were able to enjoy many extra activities (think costuming and faux executions).IMG_2131edThe British Museum.  My children, world-weary travelers, decided it was not as impressive as the Louvre. (Paris postcard.)  Ahem.  

IMG_2219edBehind the scenes at Tower Bridge, in the engine room exhibit.  Might make a steam-punk-y sort of blog post about that visit.  Pretty cool.

IMG_2297edFor reasons unknown but likely connected to movie marketing, Mjölnir appeared in Greenwich.

IMG_2303edThe National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is impressive, and a big kid favorite.

20140218_142056edView from the Royal Observatory.

20140218_143851edFound our first daffodils of the year in Greenwich.  I super-thumbs-up recommend Greenwich as a green and calm respite from London hurly-burly.

And that was it!  Or at least all the photos worth bothering to share.  I can’t possibly give you the character of London from these few photos and our few visits.  However, I came home and read through a series recommended by thebookgator (first review here: A Madness of Angels) that reveals a living geography of London through strongly written vignettes of color, sound, taste, smell, and rhythm.  (With, you know, magic and murder thrown in.)  When I’m hibernating — or reading in the sunshine — it’s a fun way to remember the feel of life in London.

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9 Responses to “London postcard”

  1. Daily Presents/Cadigan Creative March 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Has it really been two+ years that you are there? Wow…time flies? Miss you, and yet I feel close when I get to read about your days, your ins and outs 🙂

    • Monique March 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      I know, I had to check and re-check my dating … it seems like just yesterday. Or a hundred years. Love staying in touch with you in this online world, friend.

  2. thebookgator March 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Wow! I love the photos, especially the boat tour one–perfect skyline contrast. Thanks for the mention. I’m hoping you liked the series? I think the latest in the side-series (The Glass God) is my favorite. Right now. But that could change.

    • Monique March 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      I’ve read through the Minority Council, haven’t started with Stray Souls yet. Reading them so soon after a visit to London was excellent timing. I could read about the smell on a certain street corner and think “Oh, yeah! I was just there! And it did smell! Just like that!” 😀 I did *not* see the City Dragon, however … Really good book rec, thank you!

      • thebookgator March 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Sergio Caltagirone March 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    London is one of my favorite cities. I really enjoy just walking around.

    • Monique March 24, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      I would never have agreed with that sentiment, if we hadn’t had the chance to walk around in the sunshine. Totally changes the character of the city. Don’t get me wrong, there’s romance in the rain … but the contrasting sunshine is essential!!

  4. calendulaimpressions March 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Thank you for this great London tour! My last visit there is at least 20 years ago! And we had no sun then…

    • Monique March 24, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      I waited twenty years for sunshine, too. Worth it!

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