Friday, February 17, 2012

Some Cool Stuff Around Town

Hello All!

First up, I have a bunch of London pictures to share!  Since I have Wednesday's off from class, I try to get out and see a different part of the city each week.

First up, the Harry Potter Walking Tour!  I found a two for one deal online to get 10pound tickets for a Harry Potter walking tour of London!  It turned out to be AWESOME and a whole lot less touristy than I expected.  We spent about 3 hours trekking around London with our guide telling us about all the places that were either inspiration for places in the books or locations of filming.  And of course, we got to see Platform 9 3/4.

This street was the inspiration for Diagon Alley!  I want to go back because they have specialty witchcraft and astrology bookstores that I want to go check out.

One of the cool services that Queen Mary offers is that they have a 24 hour reception office Wednesday, I went into the reception office and picked up a few of the walking tour pamphlets that they have.  It ended up being a really great way to see the city and the pamphlet provided a lot of insightful information.  The first one I did was a tour of the area called Wapping which is in the Borough of Tower Hamlets around campus.

I got a nice view of the Tower Bridge and the Shard which still hasn't been completed.

That's where they used to hang pirates!  Then they would tie them at the bottom of the steps and leave them there for three tides.  As you can see, it's high tide now, and you couldn't even see the bottom of the steps!

And the good 'ole tobacco dock.  We got there right as the sun was going down and I found the pamphlets description of "eerie" to be all too correct.

An old pirate ship in Tobacco Dock.

On a whim one day, I went to Canary Wharf, now the center of the London business district.  Yes, I said "business" and not "financial" which is what I definitely thought it was since that's where Merrill Lynch's European Headquarters are in addition to a bunch of other banks.  "The City" (the traditional one square mile Roman city) is considered the financial district which seems really confusing to me.  But alas, Canary Wharf turned out to be really cool and have great shopping!  Here's a few pictures of some of the development in Canary Wharf.

Pretty cool eh?

I never cease to be impressed by the modern architecture in London and how it's able to exist so harmoniously with centuries of ancient architecture.  In that respect, London is completely the opposite of Paris where almost all the architecture is reminiscent of the 1800s.  Here in London, there is such a rich variety of styles.  But anywho, that's it for this post!  I still have more to post about Oxford and Sweden!

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