London: Bridges, Towers, Big Ben and Red Buses

London is not a big mystery, and it often meets the expectations of all travelers who visit.  It’s big, it’s old, it’s beautiful and it’s easy to get around.  I lived in London for 2 years from 2006 to 2008, and I thought I didn’t want to come back.

But now I am here, it feels like visiting an old friend, and as you spend time with them, you remember all their good qualities.

So for this day, it’s the whirlwind tour of the most photographed London icons.

Borough Market

Good coffee (GBP2.60) and tasty snacks like home made pies (GBP4) as well as a range of dishes and flavours from around the world.  And lots of cakes and pastries… which I avoided for my own sake.

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Southwark Cathedral

Really old, and really beautiful…

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London Bridge

As minimalistic as bridges go, this one is up there.  It’s sleek and smooth and offers a lovely viewpoint of the Thames.

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Tower of London

Ducking and weaving from hoards of bus-tour-groups and school kids, and avoiding the need to go inside again, the Tower of London is still a wondrous sight from the footpath.

You can feel the power, and might, and death exhaling from this ancient beast of a castle.  Which is every reason to see it.

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Tower Bridge

This is definitely one of the most symbolic icons of London.  And it truly is beautiful.  Rather than charge across, I found it more stunning to view from the bank.

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Even more interesting was this creepy section under the bridge, where dead bodies used to be pulled from the water.  Another regular reminder of England’s dark past.

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After all this walking, it was time to jump back on the Tube, and head to Westminster.

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Big Ben

Another strong symbol of London, is the grand clock looming over the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

I thought the shades of grey as a backdrop was perfect for this tower that keeps the time at the International Date Line.

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Next it was time to jump on a red double-decker bus for a relaxing tour of the downtown.  And with an Oyster card, the GBP 1.50 fare is great.

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Trafalgar Square

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Piccadilly Circus

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Also published on Medium.

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