The City of Ferris Wheels, Black Cabs, and Large Clocks

Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture with all three.

Today’s tour was one of the most interesting I’ve taken. Our guide, Joe, picked us up in a Volkswagen (that’s right, not Mercedes) van, and drove us to Trafalgar Square.

Us, standing by the lions beneath Nelson’s Column.

No climbing on said lions.

The column itself.

After Trafalgar Square, we saw the Houses of Parliament and the Queen Elizabeth II Tower (more commonly known as Big Ben.)

The Houses of Parliament.

Us in front of Big Ben.

After that, we saw the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Overtouristed? Sure. But it is pretty impressive and lives up to the hype.

As we were driving to our next destination, we saw the Prime Minister’s car go by!

Leadenhall Market is a massive complex of shops covered by a beautiful Victorian-era glass roof. 

A lot of the filming for the Harry Potter movies was done around here:

The Leaky Cauldron (the blue building.)

Twelve Grimmauld Place.

The entrance to the Ministry of Magic.

After getting a bite to eat at another open-air market (Borough Market) we drove over London Bridge, which isn’t the original London Bridge. It was built in the early 1960s and is really boring-looking. But it does have some great views of nearby Tower Bridge.

We passed through London’s business district and got some views of the skyline.

20 Fenchurch Street, an office building nicknamed “The Walkie-Talkie”.

The Lloyd’s of London Building, nicknamed the “Inside Out Building”. All the air-conditioning, stairwells, ventilation, electrical conduits, water and gas pipes, and even the elevators are mounted on the outside.

The Shard, London’s tallest building.

Afterwards, our guide dropped us off on the south bank of the Thames. We stopped at the Tate Modern,

and then finished our visit with a ride on the London Eye.

The view is spectacular. You can see for miles. Here are some pictures, some of which I took.

High-speed trains leaving Waterloo Station.

Barges on the river and high-rises behind it.

Victoria Gardens from the air.

a Gulfstream business jet, practically level with our capsule.

After that, we took an Über back to our house. Tomorrow, we visit Stonehenge and Bath on an all-day tour.

- Hayden M. Strong

© Knstrong 2013