Thursday, November 3, 2011

Victoria Station ~ Trafalgar Square ~ Piccidilly Circus ~ Covent Gardens ~ London ~ England

Our visit to England included two day-trips to London to see the sights. We walked all around the city both days and saw so much that it is difficult to know where to begin. I decided to take you on some walking tours, although it may be out of sequence, but you will be able to see some of the incredible sights we were to see. Perhaps one day I will feature some of these for a full page of their own but for now I will share a little bit of some of the many incredible sights of London.

Victoria Station London
Victoria Station London is the central system of the railways in London and was an new experience for us. We'd caught the train, the first one of many on our holiday, coming from East Grinstead and arriving in the station to begin our walk around London.  The Station is a very busy place with people coming and going in all directions.  Several stores and services line the station for the busy commuters to access and it has a surprisingly exciting atmosphere.  I was hoping a flashmob might break out while we were there, now that would have been perfect!
Signs in London, England
There were several of these kinds of signs around London. They appeared to be of the old style, as were so many street lights we saw on our travels but it all adds to the ambience that we were expecting on our visit to the lovely city of London, a city that is filled with treasures at every corner we turn.
Trafalgar Square, London, England
Trafalgar Square, named after the battle of Trafalgar sits in the middle of London with with four beautiful lions sitting at the base of the 151 ft. Nelson Column.  The Square also has fountains and other statues, which have always been a big draw for the pigeons and so giving the Square that notoriety.  With the mess these birds leave behind, it is now forbidden to feed them and so there are now very few of them around.  Today there is also a clock in the Square that is counting down to the 2012 Olympics being held in London.

Routemaster in London, England
The old model of the red English double decker bus is called a Routemaster and they ran regular routes for 50 years in London until 2005. They can still be seen on walks about London because some are now running as part of Heritage Routes. The modern buses are red and double deckers, as well, but do not seem to have the character that the old routemasters had.

Piccidilly Circus in London, England
This is a major traffic location which began originally in 1819 to connect Regency St. with the major shopping area of Piccidilly, which is also linked to the theater district of the West End. Today it is known for its neon and video display on one corner but that is now partially covered due to some construction and is advertising for the Olympics coming to London in 2012 and maintenance had the fountain shut down during our visit, too.

London Hippodome, England
The London Hippodome is one of the most grand of theatres of days-gone-by. It was named for the circus acts that were to be performing here when it opened in January 1900 after a delay due to the extensive elaborate design of the interior, which included a large pool and fountains. It hosted the circus as well as variety acts until it was ravished in the 50's. It then became a cabaret for years, the last variety/cabaret show held here was LaClique until June, 2009. Many changes have happened over the years but the interior was now to be returned to it's original state and be home to a casino.

Covent Garden Market, London, England
Once the convent garden that belonged to Westminster Abbey, this area is now called Covent Garden Market.  It became an official market in 1846 and has ever since been home to many vendors and markets.  There were street performers that drew large crowds outside the doors as we arrived and then as we wandered about the vendors, seeing some beautiful art, there was a lively string quartet who set up to entertain those who were enjoying their lunch in the mezzanine. It seems to have a welcoming atmosphere for all and offers many kinds of top notch musical entertainers, check that out here. 
This was only part of our walk about London and I will be writing more to share with you.  Click here to see more.

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