Well, another week has passed so quickly and I can't believe it's the weekend already! Are you finding this too? Let's continue our journey in London and visit 'The Lion' (Trafalgar Square's lions), 'The Horse Guard' (Horse Guards' Parade) and the 'Old Father' (The Thames)!
After leaving the National Gallery we continued on our rainy journey through Trafalgar Square with the proud bronze lions. Did you know that the perfectly sculpted bronze was made from the melted French and Spanish cannons that were aboard the battle ships at the Battle of Trafalgar?
Trafalgar Square is always busy but this isn't due to pigeons anymore. Yes, there are some that still visit but hawks are occasionally flown here to keep the overpopulated feathered visitors at bay. Instead there are plenty of street entertainers, well apart from when it's raining. Today the air was filled with the haunting melody of echoing bagpipes as this bearded gentleman blew his way through a Scottish melody.
Today it was a bit of a thankless task, but he continued regardless to entertain the soggy tourists.
The rain was slowing leaving puddles in its wake and the open London bus tour had obviously reached the National Gallery with the obligatory white rain macs for those who had sat upstairs on the bus.
Trafalgar Square, as wet as the fountains that flow within it!
We walked along towards Westminster and joined the crowds outside Horse Guards Parade. The flash of red was a joy to see on this very grey London day.
Today was very different though. Whenever I see the pomp and ceremony within the City of London, I feel proud and in awe of the all the work that it takes to organise. But today, it felt tense, unnerving in fact. The Horse Guards were like coiled springs, keeping charge of their horses but at the same time wary of anybody that came close for the typical photo opportunity.
They were checking everything, where the person was standing, who was taking the photo, who was passing. Their eyes were everywhere and it felt uncomfortable. In amongst the crowd, a now all too familiar figure of an armed policeman looking straight back at the Horse Guards, again watching every movement. The expression hidden by a warm piece of material and only his eyes showing any movement. Yes, the times we are living in now ensuring that the soldiers on display were safe. After walking past here and looking in Horse Guards where the police were all on alert, it became much more apparent that protection was key. It is saddening, upsetting and filled me with an unusual anxiousness that I have never felt before in my home town.
We walked towards Westminster and over Westminster Bridge which was absolutely full of a different sort of entertainer than Trafalgar Square - the con men!! Three cups, which one is the ball under? You know the one! There must have been at least ten of them, all blocking the paths. Maybe they were taking advantage that the Police were needed elsewhere for more pressing matters, but how they annoyed me and others! Can you see the bottle neck they were causing on the right...
Let's just look at the flowing and calm Thames instead... that's better!
Things were a little calmer over on the South Bank and the street entertainment here were smiling and happily interacting with the captive audience!
The London Eye in the background slowly lifting above the bare trees.
And some singular quiet entertainment for someone on the river...
By now we were getting tired, after all we had done Selfridges, the National Gallery and a walk down to the River, so after a lovely hot chocolate on the South Bank it was time to head home.
And so, that was another day in London Town. Guess what we are doing next week? Yes, you're right, we are back again but in the Docklands this time. A spot of ice skating amongst the towers of Canary Wharf awaits us!
Once again, thank you so much for your lovely comments (especially those of the Ugly Duchess!!) and welcome, welcome to some great new followers.
Have a wonderful Valentines Day if you are celebrating. We have a certain Mr Teen's birthday, so we don't get sucked into the commercialism of the day of hearts and chocolates. Instead we have candles and cakes... and this year, driving lessons!!