UK Trip...Part V

Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2009 by Stained in

Friday, 20th March

1) Today we started our trip by first visiting the London Eye to change the tickets for one of our friends who couldn't make it to the Eye the previous night. This time we took the Westminister bridge to cross the Thames providing me with this super cool shot.2) On the way back, I clicked a dozen shots of the Big Ben and the Parliment house. This I think is a 3 shot HDR3) After that we made our way to Madam Tussauds.

This is the section where you'll find most of the latest hollywood stars4) The girls obviously wanted to pose with every Pipsqueak in there while I was asked to keep taking pictures. I think I have just 4 pictures of myself in there. There was this scary section which wasn't really scary but supposedly you are supposed to scream and pretend to be scared cause that's supposed to be fun...I think that's plain being stupid!!!

Anyway a shot of the exit that leads to the Gift shop where I bought this Wall-E poster for my sister. They have cool posters that one can buy in London!!!5) After than we made our way to the Buckingham palace through the Green Park where we spotted a Squirrel that Kaz fed some chips to.6) We made our way through the beautiful garden that had huge trees.7) Plenty of Yellow Tulips(?) to take pictures of. I had fun using my Sigma 18-200 here.8) The Buckingham Palace was the boring part. Just a not so great looking building. They didn't even have the changing of Guards thing that day. A shot of the Buckingham palace through the railing, it's a panorama so ignore the distortion.8) Then we quickly hurried of the London Dungeons. It was like a adventure theme scary thing. Here's a quote from their website..

'Transport yourself back to the darkest moments in the capital's history within the deep depths of the London Dungeon. Live actors, shows, two rides and interactive special effects ensure that you face your fears head on in this unique ninety minute experience.

Everything that you see is based on real historical events from Jack the Ripper, to the Great Fire of London, torture and the plague. Now with two scary rides the London Dungeon provides a thrilling and fun experience that will leave you screaming for more! Are you brave enough?'

I went through the whole thing with a straight face. Nothing in there scared me. It was the second most costliest waste of money. They bore you with history and try to scare you on the way. The other seemed scared, especially the girls...

Then we made our way to Leicester Square where we saw a bunch of freestylers performing an act.After some of us having ice cream, we made our way back home.

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UK Trip....Part IV

Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2009 by Stained in

Wednesday, 18th March

1) Today our main place to visit was the Saint Pauls Cathedral. One of the top places to visit, so we had to. We reached there at 10:30am, got inside half an hour later while waiting for the others to meet us. Unfortunately photography was not allowed indoors.

2) There were some very cool paintings and statues all over the cathedral which I would have loved to capture but most of it was plain pornography. I don't get the concept behind this so called art where they love to show the private parts of kids, men and women. Quite disgusting in my opinion. Also no offence to anyone but why do people (my friends included) want to sit through a sermon that might be going on while visiting a church. I know it's a show of respect, but why listen to something that you don't believe in. I find the practice a bit stupid.

Like every other tourist, we made our way up to the The Whispering Gallery after climbing 259 steps up. The walls of the stair was scarred with names, dates, messages. Some so old that the marks had faded out. I made my way slowly up while trying to read each and every mark. I doubt anyone else in the group bothered with them. The Whispering Gallery runs around the interior of the Dome. It gets its name from a charming quirk in its construction, which makes a whisper against its walls audible on the opposite side. We tried it but were not able to get it right while two little girls we able to do so.

Then we made our way to the Stone Gallery that encircle the outside of the dome. The Stone Gallery stands at 173 ft (53.4 metres) from ground-level and can be reached by 378 steps. Here we were allowed to take pictures...
Above the Stone Gallery is the Golden Gallery which is the smallest of the galleries and runs around the highest point of the outer dome, 280ft (85.4 metres) Visitors that climb the 530 steps to this gallery will be treated to panoramic views of London. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there.

3) After that we made our way back down to the basement called 'The Crypt'. Here the Dead people are buried and people are allowed to walk all over their graves. We didn't realise it initially but on asking one of the staff members, we were enlightened that each of the marked graves indeed had dead bodies inside. We managed to snap a few pictures here cause we thought photography was allowed as we saw a bunch of other tourists clicking away. But soon my camera was back into my bag as we were told that photography wasn't allowed there either.
We then made our way carefully around the graves to make our way to the over priced Gift shop where no one bought anything. We exited after that and decided to make our way to Trafalgar square.

4) We passed several ancient looking and important looking building on way their like the Royal Courts of Justice (pictured below), a nice looking church (pictured below), the Indian consulate, London school of Economics campus etc.5) We had a quick lunch at Subway (Veggie sandwich...), we headed towards Trafalgar Square. We decided to visit the National Gallery which was like the head quarter for pornographic art. I only saw one exhibit (by some big shot guy who's name I don't care to remember) who's artistic skills revolved around nudity. Disgusted, I quickly made my way out and sat on the stair watching the people pass me by. Their were quite of performers in the square...plenty of graffiti artists...a guy trying to balance a ball(pictured below) and some musicians.

The Guy below was having a bad day as his master trick wasn't coming through. Over and over again he tried and he kept failing to get it right. I still liked what he was doing.The two boys picture below played some of the coolest music ever. And they were enjoying it a lot. I sat therr listening to them for a good half an hour while I waited for the others to join me.
6) After that we decided to head towards the shady place called soho and then checked out the not so shady place called China Town. After that it was Home Sweet Home.

(Picture below is the Charing cross tube station.)
Thursday, 19th March

Today was our day of graduation. It was also the day we did the most stupidest thing ever. Our Graduation ceremony started at 2:30pm and we thought it started at 4pm. So we decided to make our way to Southall i.e the mini India. One of our friends wanted to visit the Gurdwara. We got their by 11:15am. After some time I called another friend to confirm the time of the graduation. She told us it was 2:30pm and we had to be there by 1:50pm. We rushed back to the station, got back home by 12:40pm. Managed to get out back by 1:30pm and got to the hall at 2:05pm. We somehow managed to get our gowns, get our ticket and got ourselves seated by 2:20pm. That was a very close call.

The ceremony was the most boring ceremony ever. The boring speeches were not the bad thing though. The whole concept of not getting our degrees but instead being asked to get on stage and bow in front of Princess Anna was annoying. I don't get the point of it. Anyway we did our own post ceremony photo shoot with me as the photographer. Then we went to the London Eye.

7) Below is a shot of the Hungerford bridge that we crossed to make our way to the Eye.
8) The London eye looks amazing at night.
9) A shot of the Parliment building from the London Eye.Then we went to a Lebanese restaurant on Edgeware road that is the place to go for Halal food. After having some kebabs, shawarmas and orange juice, we headed back home.

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UK Trip....Part III

Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 by Stained in

Tuesday, 17th of March

Now back in London, we decide to start the site seeing procedure.

1) It was 11:30pm when we got out at the Londen bridge tube station. It was yet another late beginning to our trip for the day. Anyway we saw this nice looking church opposite. Took a few shots and moved on.2) We walked across the London bridge followed by a walk under it as we headed towards Tower of London. Our main site to see for today.3) I wanted to go near the water but no one else seemed to have noticed the stairs that led us there so disappointed I followed them away from the stairs. This man was busy looking for metallic objects in the mud.4) The Tower of London was a royal palace, fortress and prison. The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower (pictured below), the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.5) The building where the crown jewels are kept. We were curious to see the Kohinoor but it ended up into an anti climax of odd disappointment regarding the importance of such a not so important looking rock.6) A chain mail shirt in one of the towers. There were various towers with certain exhibits inside as per the importance of the tower during its days of royalty.7) A miniature model of the Tower of London.8) This is where some of the prisoners were kept where some of them have left their marks in the form of graffiti on the walls that are being preserved.
9) The torture chamber exhibit. From what vibes we got from the tour, the British people seemed proud of their disgusting bloody past.10) A prayer room. A managed to sneak this shot as we were not allowed to enter the room11) A view of the Tower Bridge from Tower of London.After we were done checking out the Tower of London, at 4:30pm we headed towards the Tower Bridge. Last admission to the top of the tower was at 5pm so some of us decided to come back later. I regret that decision as we didn't get a chance to go later.

12) We then took the tube to Canary Wharf where you can find a few very tall buildings.13) The Canary Wharf station where we caught the DLR to make out way back home.

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