Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jubilee London

So the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II has arrived and London is getting ready to celebrate! We have a double Bank Holiday on Monday and Tuesday, but I took an extra day's holiday on Friday (yesterday) to go up to London in advance of all the crowds to see some of the preparations.

It was a cloudy day, not cold in fact quite muggy.  (I ought to get a copy of photoshop or some other programme so I could enhance the blue of the sky - these pictures would definitely be better for blue sky!!)

However..... I arrived at Victoria station in London at about 10 am which was looking very clean and patriotic, draped in Union Jack flags (didn't get my camera out there though)  Hope you're ready for a LOT of photos....

I made first for Green Park on the tube and walked through the park to Buckingham Palace - seemed the appropriate place to start my "tour".
They were getting the stage and seating ready for the Jubilee concert (I didn't apply for tickets) on Monday.

(I have noticed recently on my - and other - blogs that some pictures load as coloured stripes - but the photos are there, if you click on them. very odd - no idea why - it is so annoying, so if these appear as stripes, do click!)
 The Mall on the approach to Buck House!
The stage for the concert, around the Victoria Memorial.
It was nice to be able to walk around here without getting run over, the roads were already partly closed.

Covent Garden (thanks to Leandra - Mrs Paperartsy) who tweeted a photo of this when she too went earlier this week - otherwise I may not have gone!  I love Covent Garden, although it's a shame the fruit and veg market is no longer there!

 The lady in red is an opera singer, and very good she was too.
The great thing about Covent Garden if you've not been there, is the al fresco eating - this is a huge pan of paella just being prepared!
 London's Regent Street - beautifully bedecked in flags!
Hamleys toy store - a fabulous Lego mosaic of the Queen!
 Loved all the reflections of the traffic in the window!
The statue of Eros in Piccadilly Square

Back to The Mall and Admiralty Arch - more flags!
Horseguards Parade - not sure if these bandsmen are rehearsing for the Jubilee or for Trooping the Colour which is in a fortnight, for the Queen's official birthday!  I should have asked a policeman!

Because of this rehearsal, you weren't allowed to walk through Horseguards down to Whitehall.  I stood and ate part of my sandwich here listening to them, but left when a party of young schoolchildren arrived!!
On guard in Whitehall!!

 the London Eye from Westminster Bridge.  I love going on the Eye but didn't have time this trip. Also, with the cloud, the views would have been poorer than I like!!
From there, I hopped back on the tube and went to Tower Hill to - finally - get to the main purpose of my day.

First, the Tower of London though...

So, my main purpose - the see the"Avenue of Sail" - moored boats not actually taking part in the Jubilee River Pageant on Sunday -  all along the river between Tower Bridge and London Bridge, and in the moorings at St Katharine's Dock at the Tower..

 I tried to upload a map for you but blogger won't have it as it's not the right type of file, sorry!

anyhow, I loved all the masts, strung (that's probably not the right term!!) with flags and bunting.

Gipsy Moth IV, which Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world single-handed in in 1966-7. Wasn't able to get closer so couldn't get a shot without all this decking walkway in it.

HMS Belfast, now permanently moored on the river. It's now a museum to see how life on the waves was for sailors.
Paddle Steamers...

Beautiful rigging (ah, that's the word!!!)

Posh restaurants where once the ships would have unloaded their wares.
 And even posher (probably!) flats.

 I know some people (Prince Charles for instance!) hates all the modern architecture in London, but I love it!!
 The Shard, standing tall and proud!
Love how the "Gherkin" appears to have sprung from the Tower of London!!
Final picture of the Tower with Tower Bridge behind.

Hope you're still all with me, thanks for looking!
I walked for 6 hours and was shattered by the time I got home - did nothing all evening!!


sam21ski said...

WOW Helen you sure did pack a lot in. My fave photo is of Covent Gardens though, I love it there.

TFS - Sam xxx

Anonymous said...

Terrific photos, Helen. Glad you enjoyed the day, but your poor feet must be throbbing. :)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You have just taken me on the most fabulous tour of London. I enjoyed it all. It looked so festive and ready for the Queen and her Jubilee. What a great day, and what a wonderful journey you have shared with us this day. Thank you, thank you!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

BTW, I love the modern architecture juxtaposed with the very, very old. I say "very, very old" because in America, if it gets "old," someone tears it down and replaces it with a building of that era.

Gez said...

AMAZING Helen! Thank you SO much for sharing.xxxx

Netty said...

wow you walked your poor little socks off Helen, am sure your feet ache today..... Thank you for sharing these fab pictures. Annette x

flutterbycrafter said...

Wow Helen what fantastic photos, they made me feel as though I'd been there. Thank you for sharing them, I can't wait for this afternoon to see it all on TV. Have a lovely weekend xx

Carmen said...

I have never yet been to Covent Garden. I must go. Loved these Helen and loved that it didn't look to busy for you, I suspect the people that went today will probably be a bit soggy!

I am not a fan of modern architecture but I do like seeing the old mixed in with the new.

Artyjen said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing that Helen. It has been some time since I had the pleasure of going to London.....we used to do it all the time when we lived closer ;)
Your pictures brought back some happy memories :)
xoxo Sioux

Samantha Elliott said...

Wow Helen. I wish I had been with you on this trip. What a lot you managed to pack in in 6 hours. And not a mention of rubber at all!! Hee Hee!

BJ said...

Great photos Helen. I do believe I took the same one of the dolphin and girl with Tower Bridge in the background some twenty odd years ago. We got to see Her Majesty yesterday on her way to the races, it was such an emotional moment for me. One photo on blog. BJ

TAM said...

Stunning collection of photos - thanks for sharing your day with us