Thursday, 17 June 2010

Ever been a tourist in your own town?

A friend of mine is travelling in Europe at the moment (she's originally from New York).  To make the most of the expensive airfare across the pond, she decided to hop on a Eurostar and pay me a visit in London for a few days!  It was her first time in the UK, so we had a packed four day itinerary to make sure that she saw the 'best of British.'  We were exhausted by the end of it, but I had a lot of fun being a tour guide and seeing my hometown from an entirely new perspective.  I was looking through some of the photos this evening and thought it might be fun to play around with the Pioneer Woman's PSE actions (which are awesome!).  Here are some favourites....

I got so frustrated with the lighting whilst we were out and little point-and-shoot camera couldn't handle the brightness of the sun behind the clouds and most of the photographs I took at that time of day were pretty disappointing.  I originally discarded this photo of the London Eye, but came back to it later on and tried out the BW Beauty action.  I love how dramatic it looks!

After we stopped by the Eye, we meandered along the Thames and then crossed Westminster Bridge.  This was a view looking back towards the Eye and County Hall, which is now the London Aquarium (I think PW's Seventies action might be my favourite).

That afternoon we spent a little while exploring Westminster.  I always marvel at how elaborate Big Ben is...the attention to detail is totally mindblowing!

 The next day we decided to visit the Tower of London.  I had never been before and was giddy with excitement (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this once or twice quite a bit, but just in case...I'm a massive historical fiction fan!).  And didn't disappoint.  We joined a tour given by a Yeoman Warder (otherwise known as a Beefeater), who was surprisingly funny and amazingly knowledgeable (as a side note, I had no idea that they lived in the Tower compound!  How cool?!).  We saw the infamous ravens, the Crown Jewels, the Bloody Tower and  also Tower Green, where Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey were executed.  Jessie was also keen to see Tower Bridge, pictured above.

Something else I didn't know...soldiers are still stationed at the Tower of London, mainly charged with the duty of protecting the Crown Jewels.  And for the record, the door to the vault was H-U-G-E (as were the various jewels which adorned the crowns).  

As we left the Tower, we saw the Naked Bike Ride go past (I think the finishing point was actually the Tower of London).  I was speechless...and still am.  We also went to the British Library where we saw the Magna Carta, as well as the British Museum, where we saw the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. A massive highlight was watching Les Mis√©rables...the actress who plays Fantine knew one of Jessie's friends from New York, so she kindly met us for coffee, gave us a backstage tour of the theatre and gave us two tickets to watch the evening performance!  She was the nicest person you could possibly hope to meet (she even signed my programme!) with an absolutely phenomenal voice.  And Les Mis was incredible...I would 100000% recommend it if you haven't seen it!

And that was our whirlwind tour of London!  Thank you so much for looking!


Sian said...

I'm always up for a tour of London :) And I've just noticed how you've labelled this post: I like that!

Meghann said...

I think you and I are the same person! I love historical stuff, the PW 70's action is my favorite, and I had the same reaction when we went took my parents to the Tower of London. We may have even had the same guide, as ours was SO funny!

Curlywiggles said...

I love being a tourist in my own city/country. It's amazing how much fun stuff you can discover. Your photos are fab, those actions looks amazing!