Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 3: St Paul's Cathedral, Knight Templar, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, Big Ben

We are going to finish up the other places which we did not covered yesterday due to the time constraint.. Time is precious so unlike those beach holiday or resort holiday, dun even think of waking up naturally on your own.. That was what we went through for the 16 days.. Never a day, we wake up later than 9am.. 

Had a really sumptuous English Breakfast round the corner from the hostel.. It was a really cold morning & we were freezing our ass off sitting at the alfresco sitting area eating the brekkie...

We walked all the way to Oxford Station to take a subway down to St Paul's Catherdral, our first stop of the day.. It is one of the most-see I have in my list for this Europe trip & it sure did not let me down.. 

The side of the Cathedral where we took alot of pictures.. :P
Playing with the color code function of my camera.. 
I really like this picture.. Gives a very nolstagic feel.. 
Still trying to walk to the front of the Cathedral.. The 1 min walk took us 15min to complete due to all the camwhoring.. 


We did not take a picture together in front of the Cathedral, this is the closest I can go.. :P

There is a service going on when we were there & we went in to take a look.. No pictures are allowed inside the Cathedral & this is usually the case for most places of worship & most attractions in London.. St Paul's Cathedral is so different from the Westminister Abbey we visited yesterday.. They are both beautiful & inspiring in their own way but personally I prefer the St Paul's Cathedral.. 

The square in front of the Cathedral.. 

Does it looks like autumn with those trees & yellow leaves?

Before moving on to Knight Templar, we were overwhelmed by the salad selection at the supermarket & decide to have a healthy & early lunch.. The only thing is there are no seats for us to have our lunch in the supermarket & we ended up sitting along the side of the building.. 

Sipping my hot lemon ginger tea in the cool weather.. 

After our meal & tea.. We decide to take the City Walk on Rick Steves' travel guide towards Temple Church.. On the way, we passed by a number of interesting buildings & attractions.. But too bad we did not have time to go into each & every one of them to explore.. 

We were walking along the walkway when I suddenly turn back & saw the St Paul's Cathedral dome behind me.. The picture doesn't do much justification to it, it looks more awe-inspiring in real life.. 

This is one of the famous pub that we happened to chance upon while looking for the entrance of Temple Church.. We were quite glad we got lost cause we managed to chance upon a few interesting shops & things.. 

This is right outside the small entrance of the carpark near Temple Church.. Nostalgic feel again.. Will this backview be how we look like when we grow old? :P

We have to walk pass a carpark after the small entrance & pass by something like a estate before we reached Temple Church.. Totally different from what I imagine it to be but well, my impression of the Templar was based on the movie Da Vinci Code.. 

Exterior of the Temple Church.. 

Sunday is usually not a good day to visit the churches & most attractions in London cause most of them are either close for Sunday service or are just close for the same.. We can only admire the church from the outside & cannot go in to take a look at the marble effigies cause of the Sunday service.. :(

Looking at our travel guide deciding shall we continue the City Walk or go straight to the Tower of London on cab.. In the end, we decide to go for the easier way out.. haha.. 

It was pretty crowded at the Tower of London & we are running out of time as well so we decide to give this a miss.. On top of that, its also because we have a number of places which we have not gone to yet.. That's the thing of cramming so many cities to visit in a span of 15,16 days.. Not enough time to slowly visit n savour the beauty of the city... 

 Outside the Tower of London.. 
2 guys acting cool in London.. I mus admit, they do look cool here.. But well,  London is a city where you can just randomly shoot any black & white pictures & it will look damn good.. Below is another picture to prove my point.. 

 Resting outside the wall of Tower London along River Thames 

We are nearing one of the highlight of the trip -- Tower Bridge... Never say you come to London if you never visit this legendary bridge that we know since we were a child in nursery.. It is just a 5min walk away from Tower of London or City Hall.. Please dun just admire it from, try to walk along the bridge & let it mesmerized you.. 

We walked across the bridge to the City Hall area cause according to a travel show, the best spot to take picture of the Tower Bridge is right in front of City Hall.. So I wanna prove it in person if that is true.. 

Playing with my canon ixus camera color mode once again.. Totally no photoshop.. 

We got lost again while looking for the tube around City Hall & dunno how we ended up at the CBD area of London where the banks have their offices & where the ECB is.. The area was really quiet & deserted cause it was a Sunday but it exudes a different kind of feel to the place.. I was glad we got lost again & managed to come across something which was not being mentioned in the travel guide.. 

We took a train back to Covent Garden & had our dinner @ a random pub.. This is the 1 & only pub grub session we had in London.. One of the must try in London & we happened to eat the must-eat food as well -- Fish 'N' Chips.. 

You can pretty much walk to most of the attractions in Central London.. In fact it is better for you to walk from attractions to attractions cause you never know what unexpected surprise you may chanced upon while doing so.. Speaking of which, after our dinner we went on a walking tour around Central London starting from Covent Garden to Big Ben.. 

The first stop we went to Trafalgar Square -- 

We were greeted by the big fountain, the tall Nelson's column & the crowds who is enjoying the perfect weather at the square.. 

St Martin-in-the-Fields Church adjacent to the Square..
 In front of the National Gallery.. 
Him & Mr Nelson atop the column.. 
One of the 4 lion statues @ the base of Nelson's column.. 

When I said its possible to walk around central London cause everything is very near each other, I am still not sure how near they are until...... I turn my head at the traffic junction next to Nelson's column & saw this....  

Mr Big Ben is just down the road smiling at us in his golden armour!!!

We followed the map on our guidebook & continue to walk towards our next destination, which is around 10min away from where we are.. Along the way, I succumb to the urge to shop & bought more souvenirs.. 

Seeing the neon signboard I bet you know where we are now --  Picadilly Circus.. We did not stay long here cause we want to rush to Big Ben.. 

From Picadilly Circus to Big Ben, we will have to pass by one of the royal park - Green Park.. This is also the same park we passed by after the guard changing ceremony yesterday.. But going there in the evening gives u a totally different feel of the whole place.. I am not a very garden nor green person but the experience this time round change my perception completely.. How I wish I have a park like this outside my doorstep in sg, so that I can go for a nice stroll after dinner every evening.. 

The reason why I change my perception:

As we turn into the small road round the corner of Green Park, this came into sight.... 

Pictures can never do justice to how beautiful Big Ben is @ night.. It has been so long since I felt so excited about something & its a building that makes me feel this way now.. I love both the day & night look of Big Ben.. In the day, it looks so solemn & powerful.. At night, it looks so mysterious & romantic!!

Too bad 1 of the block is not lighted up.. 
London Eye 

We walked along the Westminister Bridge & it was pretty crowded with tourists.. The feeling of taking a stroll on a bridge with history & being surrounded by all the world famous attractions is really indescribable.. 

It took me a while to say goodbye to Big Ben cause I wanna imprint the image of it deeply inside my mind.. 

We went to the subway station but due to certain lines closure, the station master told us to take a bus to Oxford Street instead cause its easier & more clearcut versus changing lines at various station.. First time taking the bus in London & its pretty much like the double decker bus in SG, which is unlike what I imagined.. Forgot to take picture on the bus & only realised it when we got off.. 

This is the only 1 we managed to take this picture before the bus move off.. 

We walked back to our hostel from Oxford Street.. It's only 830pm but the street was pretty deserted already.. We were hoping to have our dinner at some random cafe on the way back to the hostel but none was open!! In the end, we ended up eating cup noodles we brought from Sg & had an early night in preparation for the next morning.. 

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