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Category Archives: London

Countryside Tour was pretty fun. Windsor Castle got a little old. You kinda have to be a crown worshiper I think to really dig that stuff. There’s only so many multi-million dollar furnished rooms you can see before you start thinking about it.

Bath was much more interesting. Bath is near Bristol and is the only hot spring in England. The Bath’s themselves were made by the Romans quite a long time ago. The victorians restored what they could to make it usable again.

Stone Hedge I think will be the highlight of the trip. As the sign says as you pull in "The Greatest Mystery in the World". They’ve dated the site to 3000 BC – that makes it over 5000 years old. The oldest stones come from a quarry in Wales 247 Kilometers away. The newest stones come from a rock quarry 50 miles north of that site and weigh 52 tonnes. Keep in mind 3000 BC is pre-wheel.

They have a rope around the stone circle itself so you cannot walk right up to it. Most of those stones are easily 3-4 times my height.

It is one of the most incredible things I’ve seen with my own eyes though – it really is.

One more thing – on the way to Bath you have to take a B road. In England there are 3 types of roads. They’re all numbered in the order they were created, M means motorway (same as an Interstate) 2-4 lanes and a max speed of 70 mph, A means its a road intended for heavy traffic 1-2 lanes each side usually around 50 mpg max speed, B roads are everything else.

My most favorite B road example is on the Isle of Mull where its a single track road with cars coming both ways. Its narrow enough you can’t squeeze by, so they put these dropouts on the left and right to pull into. It makes for some terrifying moments on blind corners and blind horizons.

This B road was two lanes, but very narrow. Coming around the corner I hear the tour guide shreak and then I hear and feel a loud thud and a sudden and abrupt halt of the bus. Bus was still running, but the driver ran outside. Apparently a guy coming around the corner was going a bit to quickly and skid straight into the bus. I have some video footage of the car itself. Everyone was okay, but someone’s Ford Focus is now an insurance write-off.

Here’s a picture of the damage to the bus – apparently the bumper came off. Guy on the right was the driver.

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Arrived at King’s Cross Station on Monday. It doesn’t look anything like it does in Harry Potter. I suspect they used some other station for that film. The trip from Waverly Station (in Edinburgh) took about 5 hours. While riding down here I saw several (like 8 at least) nuclear power stations – not small ones either – one had 15=16 cooling towers all steaming away. I’ll see if I can take some pictures on the way back.

I’m staying with my Cousin Bryan and Kelly in Sloan Square – which is downtown. You can walk to Westminster from here in about 20-30 minutes (Westminster is where UK Parliament and 10 Downing Street) is. I think the best way to travel is to stay with friends and family if you can – its much much much cheaper that way.

Thank you for all your comments :). Lets me know someone actually reads this! When I get time I’ll try to respond.

Time for pictures :).

Big Ben – to the right is Parliament. There’s like 3 cameras on that pole… There are 4.3 million CCTV cameras in the UK. I even saw cameras in the highlands of Scotland.

Parliament from Westminster Bridge. Behind me to the right is where Monty Python did the comfy chair sketch.

10 Downing Street – its the first door on the right.

Trafalgar Square – specifically Nelson’s Column. The fountain was not operating. For Monty Python fans this is where the countdown to "World Hide and Seek" started. Also for Dr. Who fans this is where the "Dalek Invasion of Earth" started early one Sunday morning.

On Wednesday I went out to Kew gardens. You can ride there via the Underground from downtown in about 20-30 minutes. This is the Temperate House – the oldest and largest all glass Victorian house.

They grow everything at Kew – I took tons of pictures, but I’ll only post this for now. They’re apparently trying to grow Cranberries. Cranberries are native to North America, but if there successful here they may be able to grow Cranberries in Europe too.

Palm house in Kew gardens. It was like a 110 degrees in there and it was raining inside… They had rubber plants, and nearly every kind of tropical plant you can think of growing inside.

This time of year it seems the majority of tourists at sites like this are school children. Sometimes they are dressed in their uniforms – sometimes not. This was inside Palm House.

For Dr. Who fans – this is an alley way behind an old Warehouse that used to store Tea and the filming site for "Resurrection of the Daleks" starring Peter Davidson in 1984. Then it was a bunch of rundown buildings, now they are million pound apartments. This is nearby Tower Bridge. Beyond here I found was Dickens inspiration for Oliver Twist – unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures 😦 – I did get some video from the boat tour though and I’ll post that when I get it onto the computer (its still on tape).

Tower Bridge. It was completed in 1894 and still used for road traffic. The bascules weigh 2500 tons. Made entirely of Scottish Steel and pre-fabricated in Scotland. The formerly used Steam engines that used to open the bascules generated 300 horsepower.

300 HP Steam engine used to raise the bridge.

Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Its currently dry docked. This is the last of the fast Tea clippers. It set a record from London to Sydney in just 72 days :).

GMT – aka UTC timepiece. I have some video of this clock moving. Below are the standard units of measure.

Royal Observatory. That metal strip there is the Prime Meridian.

Old Naval College now part of Greenwich. University. Those two domes were apparently practice domes for the one in the Sistine Chapel. In the distance is the tallest building in Europe and London’s financial district.

That’s it for now :). You can look up things like Greenwich., UTC, Kew, Tower Bridge and the like on Wikipedia. You can even look up information on Dr. Who episodes as well. Tomorrow I booked a bus tour to Stonehenge 🙂 – suspense! I’m very interested in natural history so I’m pretty excited. At the same time I’m kinda worn out from all this walking about.

Also for pictures – I’ve got like 600 pictures – all 16:9 3270 pixels wide at 8 megapixels. The good ones are going onto the gallery when I get time.