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Summer in London, Day 1

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First, a couple of views of the British countryside from the train…
from train from train
(Reminder, because I think some people forget: These pictures all link to larger versions. I just don’t like to put the larger pictures directly on my blog, breaking up the layout. heh.)

Got off at King’s Cross at about 2 in the afternoon, made my way via the very-convenient London Underground to the student hall where I’d be staying fort he next few days, settled in and then hopped out to start playing tourist.

First stop: Westminster.

The Underground station had several exits so I just picked one and it felt like I was spat out right on the bank of the River Thames. It was a nice bright day – good for outdoor photography (as long as you’re not trying to shoot into the sun).

The London Eye.
london eye

Turned around and found Big Ben right behind me. Was a bit of a shock, actually. I hadn’t actually thought it’d be right there. hahah.
big ben
Now see, this is what happens if it’s a sunny day and you try to photograph something with the sun behind it…

Fortunately, Big Ben was a bit more photogenic from the other side, since the sun was no longer behind it.
big ben

There was some sort of hunger strike going on in Parliament Square.
protest

protest

protest

It’s customary for people who visit London to have at least one shot of that ubiquitous red telephone box, I think.
red box

Westminster Abbey.
westminster westminster
It was almost 5pm when I got there and apparently there was some sort of evening service happening at 5. “Evensong” or something like that – pretty name. I would’ve liked to attend, but given that (1) it was at 5, (2) Wicked was at 7.30 (and I preferred to be at the theatre by 7 to collect my ticket), (3) I wanted to go to St. James’s Park, and (4) I didn’t exactly know my way to Victoria from Westminster, I decided it was wiser not to attend in case I got lost trying to get to Victoria and ended up being late for the show.

Just outside St. James’s Park. I love it when roads/walkways have leafy trees on both sides. So calming.
st james park

In St. James’s Park.
st james park

After seeing this sign by the lake, I kept hoping to see some pelicans around. Sadly, there were none. =(
pelicans?

I wonder how that tree managed to grow in that direction and at such an angle…
st james park

*does Dug imitation* Squirrel!1
squirrel!
I will miss fuzzy wild squirrels and fuzzy wild rabbits.

From the bridge in the middle of the lake. That’s Buckingham Palace at the far end of the lake.
st james park

The other side. London Eye still visible at a distance.
st james park

More park shots!
st james park

Flowers, flowers everywhere. (And bees too. Grrr.)
st james park
I’ll have a separate post solely about the summer flowers in London. (Mostly from St. James’s Park and Hampton Court Palace.) Yes, I have that many flower photos.

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…2
pigeons

Squirrel! :P
squirrel!
Caught this little squirrel placidly munching something – it stayed there eating whilst I went snap-happy and got a few good shots. Doesn’t it look like it’s playing the clarinet or something here? lol.

Buckingham Palace.
buckingham

St. James’s Park from the outside.
st james park

Victoria Station! I kept thinking of the restaurant “Victoria Station” back home. Victoria itself isn’t a particularly pretty place though.
victoria st

And the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where Wicked plays.
wicked

Inside the theatre, before the play began. (I couldn’t help a sensation of I paid almost £40 to sit this far away? D: The theatre was pretty full though, from what I could see. Londoners must have loads of money to spend if they can fill these theatres nearly full every night.)
wicked

Bigger image of the mechanical dragon over the top of the stage
wicked

I should probably review – or rather, give my thoughts on (I don’t think I “review” things in the proper manner anyway) – Wicked (and Phantom and Oliver) sometime soon.

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1 For those not in the know, it’s a reference to Dug the friendly dog in Up.

2 Song from Mary Poppins.

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Got anything to add or say? :D