London III Ė Newtonís Ghost vs. Zombie Princess Di

 

Another trip to the city to partake in all things touristy.First stop:

 

 

Westminster Abbey.Sadly, no photographs inside.No pictures, but you do get to hang out with lots of famous dead people.Top of the line ones too.Lots of kings and queens, some prime ministers, loads of nobility.Also famous writers like Chaucer, Kipling, Byron and Keats. Not to mention the famous scientists like Isaac Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, and Dirac.Oh yeah, thereís also the building itself, first opened in 1065 and with tons of carvings, frescos, statues, etc.

 

 

A carving outside the Abbey.Iím pretty sure its of a guy using an 11th century toilet.Anyways, I said goodbye to my dead friends and moved on to other sights.

 

 

A view from St. James Park facing back towards the Thames.

 

 

Then I turned around and faced the other way.(I was on a bridge if youíre confused). Thatís Buckingham Palace in the distance.

 

 

Leading up to Buckingham.The big thing in front is a monument to Queen Victoria. Note how the crappy weather really brings out the luster in the statue on top.

 

 

The front of the palace.

 

 

The worst tourist attraction in all of London.Couldnít the guy at least do a dance or something?Iím fairly certain that if they need to pee or something they just put a manikin there and leave.No one would notice, since you canít get within 100 yards of the guys.

 

 

The Wellington Arch.Commissioned to celebrate the victory of General Wellington over Napoleon.This sits right next to Hyde Park, which I couldnít go in because Bob Geldof was throwing a huge concert to help poor people (the Live 8 show).It didnít seem to help anyone but retailers while I was there.

 

 

Piccadilly Circus.It looks just as gaudy as Times Square.

 

 

The Duke of York steps.Commemorating a guy who did a thing with some stuff.Londoners like both commemorating and tall things.

 

 

A monument behind the Duke of York steps that no one pays attention to.But you, enlightened reader, will get a lesson in Arctic exploration.

Admiral John Franklin made 2 successful exploration of extreme northern Canada and Alaska in 1819 and 1825.After being knighted and serving as the governor of Tasmania for a while, he returned to the Arctic for a final search for the Northwest Passage around Canada to the Pacific in 1845.He sailed in two polar-tested ships, the Erebus and the Terror (both used by James Ross in his Antarctic explorations).Their first winter out, the ships became frozen in an ice that didnít thaw the following spring.When no word arrived in England after 3 years, search parties began to be sent out.Eventually, after more than 10 years and over 40 search expeditions, Scotsman John Rae found a group of Eskimos that eventually led him to the fate of the expedition.The trapped party began to slowly freeze and starve to death (with rumors of cannibalism as well).After Franklin died, the few remaining sailors abandoned the ships and attempted to travel across a frozen wasteland south towards civilization.None are reported to have survived, although their final fates have never been determined.Historians piecing together these fateful travels have determined that the group did indeed find the last unexplored stretch of the Northwest Passage, and credited Franklin with its discovery.Artifacts of the mission have been discovered as recently as 1960, although the much sought diaries of Franklin have yet to be found.Consider yourself smarter now.

 

 

The Admiralty Arch, which commemorates the invention of the umbrella.Oddly enough, the man later died by jumping off the top of the this monument because he thought his umbrella would work as a parachute.

 

 

Trafalgar Square.Someone won a battle a so he got set on top of a tower.Apparently it happens a lot in British history.

 

 

They heavily guarded (by both armed men and some old womanís hair) street is Downing Street.Tony Blair lives in the house at 10 Downing Street.However, the guards are actually there to protect Mrs. Ethel Wafflecorn, who lives at number 3 Downing.She was scared for the safety of her 32 cats, all named Dave.