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London's Highlights.

overcast 10 °C

Anyone fooled by our last blog into believing that mistletoes are some mystical toeless creatures, should really have taken a closer look at the date! No fooling today as we take another look at some of London's highlights before we fly to Malaga on Wednesday. London's most iconic building, the Elizabeth Tower housing the giant bell known as Big Ben, has been under wraps for several years while being given a make-over...
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We have photos of the tower from previous visits but it's nice to see its shiny new face...
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Despite the fact that the 13-ton bell cracked shortly after installation, Big Ben has been chiming almost continuously since the tower was completed in 1859 following a disastrous fire that destroyed the Palace of Westminster in 1834. The enormous clock, with hands more than 14 feet long, can be reached by a staircase of 334 steps, but it is not open to the public. However, not far away, there is an equally impressive tower that was also built as a result of a great fire...
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The 311 stone steps of the spiral staircase inside this monument appeared as a question in our last blog entry. The monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was erected immediately after the Great Fire of London in 1666 and stands 202 feet from the place where the fire was believed to have started in Pudding Lane...
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The 350-year-old Monument to the Great Fire of London has also been given a facelift and the top has been re-gilded...
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The cage over the viewing platform, 202 feet above the ground, is not to stop gold thieves but to prevent suicides and accidental deaths; several of which occurred shortly after its construction.
Much of the City of London was destroyed in the Great Fire but 'it's an ill wind that blows no good,' and the inferno not only swept away countless rat-infested slums, but it enabled a new modern city to be built. The fire also had the effect of ending the bubonic plague that had ravaged the city in the preceding year. St. Paul's Cathedral, also by Wren, was just one of the magnificent buildings erected following the Great Fire but, today, this building, which is almost as big as St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, is dwarfed by ultra-modern glass and concrete towers with names like, 'The Gherkin' and 'The Cheese Grater' ...
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The 10016 foot high 'Shard' is another of London's soaring modern structures...
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There are magnificent views of London from the top of Wren's Monument, but it is not the only high spot on today's tour. This is London Eye...
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This giant Ferris wheel is still in its original location on the south bank of the Thames, even though it was supposed to be only a temporary construction to celebrate the Millenium 22 years ago. And this is the Emirates cableway that flies over the river at Greenwich...
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There are sweeping views of London's Docklands from the gently swaying cars...
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Now we are coming down to earth for the next couple of days in London as we prepare to take off for Spain.
Hasta luego amigos

Posted by Hawkson 15:48 Archived in England

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Comments

Great photos. Have a fun new adventure in Spain. Looking forward to it.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Now that it would be very difficult for me to travel at all I am sorry I did not try the London Eye when I could.

by Janet

Hope the blue skies continue on your journey but temperature a lot warmer.

by R and B

Your photos are wonderful. I feel as if I am right there with you!

by Heather

Thanks for the photos. Fond memories. Loved the London Eye, but my second favourite wheel is the Hello Kitty themed Ferris Wheel (yes, it’s a thing) in the amusement park in Odaiba, a seaside Tokyo suburb. Worth a visit. Safe travels to Spain.

by Tom Whalley

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