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hkskyline

LONDON Grand Finale

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My collection of photos is almost completely uploaded to my website.

http://www.geocities.com/asiaglobe/gallery/london.htm

1. Buses to and from the City

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2. The view from St. Paul's is magnificent, and well worth the long stair climb

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3. A very nice square next to St. Paul's

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4. Street level

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5. The "wibbly-wobbly" Millennium Bridge

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6. Towards Westminster

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7. Horse Guards

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8. Wellington Arch

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9. Memorial

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10. This was a surprise to me - you can take the elevator to an outdoor viewing platform at the Wellington Arch!

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11. The view wasn't spectacular, but interesting.

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12. A dark London day ... after 4 consecutive days of blue skies

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13. Apsley House

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14. I did some bus spotting at Hyde Park Corner to get some photos of the famous red double decker.

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15. I weaved along the underground subways to cross a few intersections, but wound up along the grassy median of Park Avenue for the best shots.

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16. I prefer riding the bus rather than the Underground. A good reason was because the #7 terminus was right next to my hotel, and it goes straight through Oxford Street.

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17. If it was a bit brighter, then I would've gotten a lot more clearer photos of the street. I didn't walk around on Oxford a lot during this trip. I already covered this part to death on my last visit to London.

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18. London 2012

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19. Harrods @ Knightsbridge

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20. I changed a number of bus routes to go from Hyde Park Corner to South Kensington with stops at the Wellington Arch and Harrods. My group mates were quite amazed at how easy I can navigate London's public transport system. I find it much more user-friendly than most other cities I've been to.

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21. A piece of Dubai in London

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22. More buses ...

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23. High Street Kensington near Hyde Park's west end

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24. I was quite surprised by Southwest Trains. They were the most high-tech pieces of art I've ever been on for a commuter service. I made a big planning mistake though, because the trains from Paddington only took half the time to get to Windsor compared to their Waterloo counterparts.

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25. I really like the approach to St. Paul's, although it's very hard to get a nice frame for the cathedral at street level.

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26. Egypt and the London Eye

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27. This memorial to animals in war surprised me a little. It was along Park Avenue and the theme is quite unique. I wonder if any other place in the world has something like this.

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28. Park Avenue would look a lot nicer when the leaves come out in the spring.

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29. A random photo from the top deck of a bus heading west through South Kensington

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30. I lived in South Kensington on my first visit to London. I hated taking the elevators down to the deeply-buried Piccadilly Line station at Gloucester Road. I usually planned my day around the District and Circle Line instead, which was only a short staircase down from street level. A lot of their stations are open-air in that part of town.

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31. InitialD took me around Canary Wharf to see some modern skyscrapers. I actually prefer the denser City over this part of London.

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Now for some more commentary on photos I've posted in previous parts that are memorable to me :

32. I was very surprised at how blue and sunny London was in the middle of the winter. I expected a lot of rain and planned whole days in museums and other indoor activities if the clouds did roll in, but they didn't. For 4 consecutive days it was so sunny!

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33. The Albert Memorial is a very beautiful structure, and I didn't see it in the guidebook at all. It caught my attention as I was riding the bus towards Westminster. I made a dedicated stop a few days later just as the skies cleared out yet again.

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34. I visited Piccadilly Circus during the early morning and at night. I prefer Leicester Square though.

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35. At night

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36. The view from Tate Modern's cafe is quite nice. It's an interesting vantage point and I remember someone from this forum recommended it to me when I was asking for suggestions. You'd never read about these in the touristy guidebooks. That's why I like to ask local forumers for travel advice to get something different. :)

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37. Armed with my London Pass, I was on a mission to visit as many attractions available on that card as possible. The feeling of getting more for free was especially satisfying for me since I had to pay for my plane ticket to London. Usually I fly on points and I had enough for a free flight to London, but I booked too late and there was no space left for mileage travel. I had to fail a whole bunch of people's final exams to make it across the Atlantic!

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38. Beautiful blue skies and quite a nice contrast as well!

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39. I felt extremely safe walking around in London. I ventured out a number of times at night. I spent a lot of time one night in the internet cafe burning photos onto a CD-R to free up my memory card. My record was 400 photos in a day on my New York trip last summer. I wasn't as insane this time, but still took a lot of photos.

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40. I still have a lot of problems taking photos at night though. I didn't bring my tripod along with me, and I have to fiddle around with the camera's settings to get something half-decent going. Nevertheless, I still did a night-time walking tour of the City ... at 10pm. The streets were completely deserted. For once, I was scared walking out there.

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41. London has a rich variety of architecture. The new City Hall is quite unique.

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42. I did a whirlwind itinerary on my last day in London. Paddington was one of them. I was originally planning to visit all the key train stations in London, but only managed to do 3 in the end.

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43. My visit to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre set me back by 45 minutes from schedule. In fact, I was very late getting to Heathrow. I didn't want to pay for a taxi, so I stuck to the Piccadilly Line. The trip wasn't that long - 50 minutes from Central London - but the fear of missing my plane made every second more painful to bear. Thank goodness I could do electronic check-in and I made it an hour before departure, and still had time to take a few photos at Terminal 4.

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44. Returning to the bitter cold North American winter, with my last ounce of strength enjoying the complimentary white wine.

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The absolute best tour of London I've seen, hands down! I had originally planned to go to London this year, but the trip has since been delayed until sometime next year. After seeing this photo tour, I almost want to change my mind!

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