London Times | Big Ben, Trafalgar and Portobello Market

We covered a lot of ground on Day 2 of our visit to the UK. Greeted by ample sunshine and warmish temperature, we headed out to Central London - the Westminster Tube stop - to start our day. The thing is, about a gazillion other people had the same.exact.plan - we weren't quite prepared for the throngs of people on the Tube, at the station, on the street, etc. God bless my sister and her husband for enduring the crowds with two toddlers in a large stroller (aka "pram") - it is quite an effort to travel with little ones in tow and they do it every weekend.

When you emerge from the Westminster Station, you are greeted to this....
Big Ben - Parliment
...and pretty much all the tourists stop walking to snap a photo [guilty as charged, although I stepped out of the flow of traffic to take the photo].

Westminster Abbey:
Westminster

Parliament and Big Ben:
Big Ben - Parliment

A sunny Saturday is bound to attract a number of people to this area, but add in a rehearsal for the upcoming Royal Trooping the Color event and you get even more. Per the British Monarchy Website, "this is a military parade and ceremony dating back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or 'trooped') down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.". It is also the summer celebration of the Queen's birthday.

We watched some of the ceremony from the outskirts of St James Park:
Rehearsal for Trooping of the Colors
Rehearsal for Trooping of the Colors

Then we made our way to Trafalgar Square and passed across the Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace.
The Mall

The girls posed in front of the famous lions of Trafalgar:
National Treasure

The Square is home to the National Gallery:
From a Distance

Our next stop - Portobello Market - a street market that operates on Saturdays. It is accessible from the Nottinghill Gate Station.
Portobello Road Wares

We didn't buy anything, but there was plenty of eye candy to take in:
Portobello Road Wares
Portobello Road Wares
Portobello Road Wares

So, if you are visiting London in summer, be aware that Saturday's in the city are quite crowded, especially when the weather is nice!

Lisa Gordon  – (June 19, 2013 at 3:56 PM)  

What a magnificent structure.
Can you imagine just what it took to build it???
Thank you for taking us along with you on your trip! :-)

Diane Cayton-Hakey  – (June 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM)  

I'd love to go! Loved the photos of the Royal Troops! That would be neat to watch.

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