LomoTravels: Reminiscing London + Manchester Day 3 / Of Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral

It’s the weekend! Not that we really care when we’re overseas, but the Palace of Westminster aka Houses of Parliament is only opened for tours on Saturdays during off peak season.

Had to rush through breakfast and adjust our planned travel route (scheduled closures of train stations are quite common) before reaching slightly later than our scheduled admission time.

Big Ben#1 BB | LC-A+ RL | Provia 100F
After going through the inevitable security check there was still abit of distance to cover before entering the palace. From there we got a good view of Elizabeth Tower which is best known for the bell it houses – the Big Ben.

Once in, we were assigned to a group led by a very knowledgeable guide who went on to explain the significance behind some of the paintings and statues. One that I remembered was about the statue of Margaret Thatcher (with her iconic handbag) which was decapitated by a vandal. The statue was subsequently replaced altogether with one that was holding a stack of papers instead of her handbag.

Sidenote: Coincidentally, two days after our visit, news of the Iron Lady’s demise came through. Hmmm.

We were also given a brief introduction on the UK parliamentary system, toured both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Ended our tour at the Westminster Hall which was actually part of the old Westminster Palace that was burnt down. Hence, the current Palace of Westminster is also referred to as the new palace.

If you’re wondering about the lack of photos, that’s because photography within the compound is a big no-no.

Trafalgar Square#2 Yee Haw It’s London, Baby | Superheadz UWS | Agfa Vista 100
On our way to St Paul’s Cathedral and passed by Trafalgar Square. Now I know more about it than just being one of the yellow properties on Monopoly.

Or was it red?

Fountain in Trafalgar Square#3 Prshhhh-prshh | LC-A+ RL | Provia 100F
Just resting our legs beside (not inside!) the fountain with the National Gallery in the background.

St Paul's Cathedral#4 St Paul’s | Superheadz UWS | Agfa Vista 100
St Paul’s with its most recognizable feature – the giant dome. Once again, the structure was actually built over the old St Paul’s which was destroyed in (drumroll please…) a fire.

pillars of St. Paul's Cathedral#5 Paul’s Pillars | LC-A+ RL | Provia 100F | BUY IT!
Getting up close and personal with the facade of the cathedral.

 London from St Paul's Cathedral#6 Obsession | Note 2
Obviously, we didn’t miss the opportunity to climb the dome. Seems like we have a strange obsession with getting to the top of towers and monuments… Anyhoo here’s us with the view of London as backdrop.

Then we were off for some semi-serious shopping. Followed by an impromptu decision to catch the Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Curiously, we couldn’t locate the theatre on our map which made it quite a bitch to find. Nevertheless, we got there eventually and enjoyed it very much.

Not as much as Les Miserables though. :S

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