London, England (Last Stop)

Chard BuildingQueen Guards
Having returned the rental car in Cambridge, England we took a train to London and taxi to our VRBO rental.  Initial impression and safety appearance of our street seemed somewhat borderline.  However, the unit was comfortable and stylish and we soon learned there were many restaurants and much activity nearby. We had Indian food for the fifteenth time in Europe.  It is now quite apparent there are not huge variation in Indian food and we certainly have our favorites, but lamb vindaloo and chicken tikka masala is quite consistent across the US and Europe.

When you click on “Continue Reading” a slide show of ten photos will play at the TOP of this article.

London is a city of contrasts, with a very modern new construction building next to a several hundred year old well-known landmark. Our VRBO rental property was conveniently located to all tour bus transportation and major landmark attractions like the Thames, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.  We bought tickets for the hop-on-hop-off bus tours to get an overview of London.  The traffic was simply terrible.  The bus would sit for many minutes at a time, unable to move.  At one stop we waited over an hour for a bus that never came due to traffic congestion.

We had our last very pleasant experience with British pub fare.  Typically, upon entering a bar, you select an open table and note the table number.  Food and drink orders are placed with the bartender.  Soon, piping hot food is delivered to your table.  Where better to have some fish and chips!  There is much more to explore in London.  We saw such famous sites as the plaza where Bridget Jones ran after Mark Darcy, her true love, in her skivvies and the famous Hogwarts Diagon Alley.

The photos in the slide show include:

1)  A pod on the London Eye.  Each pod holds about 25 people.

2)  Stairs in the ‘Queens House’ in Greenwich, England where time begins.

3)  Poppies at the Tower of London placed to pay tribute to the British soldiers who died in WWI.

4) Some random modern art in Trafalgar Square, brilliant blue chicken.

5) Evening along the Thames, London Eye and Big Ben.

6) Royal guards at Saint James Palace.

7)  London building boom, many cranes along the skyline

8)  City Hall of London with the Tower Bridge in the Background.

9)  The London Eye wheel viewed while standing in line to board.

10)The shadow of the London Eye in the Thames River.

 

We were fortunate to be in London during their poppy display honoring the World War I war dead.  How many British deaths were there in WWI? If you count the poppies on display at the Tower of London, you will get the answer. Every poppy is a hand-made, unique poppy, representing each of the 888,246 British soldier deaths. Poppies are one of the first flowers to grow after the land has been disturbed, as in construction or war…. The poppy earned its place as representing the war dead in the well-known poem, Flanders Field. The last line…. ‘We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’  For comparison sake, the total US deaths in the Vietnam War is 58,220. This photo was taken October 7th, 2014. Volunteers continued to add poppies until today. Resembling blood flowing from the walls, the poppies soon reached the edge of the grass……

Poppy Fields Forever

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