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UK & Paris (Part 1)
6 November, 1996 - 13 November (for 8 days)
------------ Part 1 <===> Part 2 <===> Part 3 Go to Part 2
Part 1 London, Windsor Castle, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, The Monument, Trafalgar Square, House of Parliament, Big Ben, British Museum, Hyde Park
Part 2 Eurostar, Paris, Montmartyer, Concorde Plaza (Place de la Concorde), Louvre Museum (Musee du Louvre), Champs-Elysees Avenue (Avenue des Champs-Elysees), Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe de L'Etoile), Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel), Champ de Mars Park (Parc du Champ de Mars), Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame)
Part 3 Bath Spa, Royal Crescent, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, New Town, Old Town

6 November (1st day)

teerrestrial globe

Arriving in London
I boarded VS901(Virgin Atlantic Airways flight 901) departing at 12:00 from Tokyo Narita airport. And around 16:00 this flight arrived at London Heathrow via Siberia and the Arctic Circle, looking down "taiga" Russian coniferous forest area called "taiga" and rivers.
As I used a packaged tour of free plan, and I took a bus for it between Heathrow airport and a hotel. I stayed a hotel near Russell Square in London city.

After I finished check-in at the hotel, I bought some foods at the Safeway. In comparison with Japanese merchandises, they are larger in UK. Then I took an Underground train (subway in American English) between Russell square and Kings cross St. Pancras. There I reserved seats for British Rail for Britrail Pass. Britrail Pass is for foreign travelers. A departure station, departure time and arrival station are needed when passenger makes a reservation in reservation computer, as train number is not used in UK trains. At station some suspicious men approached me, and I avoided walking by them. I did not know why they approached me at that time. Next day I surprised to know that they were illicit seller of drug when I heard from Japanese guide. As well I heard that there were some prostitutes of runaway.

TubeUnderground Railway in London (Tube)
In American English, train running under the ground is called "subway". In British English, it is called "Underground". You will understand the reason why underground railway in London is called "Tube". Cars of them are small, and section is like this drawings (not all the lines). When I took it, I knew that this underground train established about 130 years ago. Most of this underground trains operate on time. Depending on trains, passengers need to push buttons of doors when they get off.

the Difference between British English & American English, "Subway" & "Underground"
When I learned English at school, the train running under the ground is "subway". In London, subway means "underground", and underground passage means "subway", comparison with American English. There are subway and underground at Piccadilly Circus station.

7 November (2nd day)

entrance of Windsor Castle
a gate of Windsor Castle

To Windsor Castle
On the 2nd day, I used an optional tour to Windsor Castle, and took a sightseeing bus. As soon as the bus left a hotel, I saw the Regent Park. On May there are many kinds of roses there. The bus went through a speedway near from Paddington station. In UK, there is no toll speedway. It is different from Japanese speedway. In Japan drivers should pay expensive charge to go through it.

Arriving at Windsor Castle
About 90 minutes later, the bus I took arrived in Windsor Castle. It is located near River Thames. People can go there by train, and there are a station near this castle.

The town I arrived is called "Loyal Town". They say that the name of "Loyal Town" came from the town constructed by winding shore. About 900 years ago Windsor Castle was established by Normandy William. In 1170's, it was rebuilt into stone wall by Henry II. St George chapel of Gothic architecture was built by Henry VIII, and it is used as grave. When I went there, no one had not known there were graves on the floor before we heard a guide's explanation.
Round Tower
Round Tower

They say that workers of this castle scold guides why they need to explain in detail. So I heard guide's explanations in bus. While we were in the castle, her explain simply. By accident we saw the ceremony of changing the guard.
guard 1 guard 2


Back to London
After leaving Windsor Castle, I went to London city area. Our party had a lunch there. Recently Japanese foods have been introduced via TV in UK. But these recipes is not correct and misunderstand.

After lunch, this tour group were broke up. After I took a rest, I took the Underground alone for London city area sightseeing. I bought "One-day Travel Card" of the Underground, and I walk along Oxford street seeing many shops.

While I walked a street after dark, I found that there were many orange streetlamps. In my country (Japan), it is not so used. The people who have blue or green eyes are weak for flashy light. So orange streetlamps are used.

Then I took double decker bus, and went to Piccadilly Circus via Regent Street. After I got off, I went through the subway. Some people picked passengers' pockets. And some station staff stood there.

London map

Go to British Museum Go to The Monument Go to Tower of London Go to Tower Bridge Go to House of Parliament & Big Ben Go to Waterloo International Station Buckingham Palace Trafalgar Square Piccadilly Circus Hyde Park

Changeable Weather in London
In London, the weather is changeable. When we go out, we should bring an umbrella. Rain in London is like that of shower. Though some people say there are four seasons a day, I do not think so. In Winter, London is rarely covered with snow due to warm current.

Piccadilly Circus
There is the statue of Eros. It may be good for arranging to meet. It was originally called the Shaftesbury Monument, having been erected as a memorial to the philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury. There are many theatres around here.

In London, trains are crowded twice every night. At first, people go home after work around 17:00, some people go to the theatres. Then at night after seeing theatre, they go home. I thought it is different from Japan.
the statue of Eros
the Statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus

starSomeone followed me?!!
From Piccadilly Circus, I walked the street of "Piccadilly". A man followed me at that time! I had seen a back some times. I wanted to cross the pedestrian crossing, but I did not do due to red right. Though there are a little old woman who looked rich between me and that men, he followed me. Many people in the world think that Japanese people have much money with them. As soon as I stopped to walk, he also stopped! I found he tried to aim at me?!! I tried to go to the nearest underground station because there were security cameras. But I did not find the station immediately. Many cars were running on this street... So I stopped and looked back him. He also stopped, and did not know what to do. And he crossed the pedestrian crossing, and went away. I felt relieved. After I went back to Japan, I told one woman about it. She said a man followed me was Gay! Did he try to rape me?!!

8 November (3rd day)

Sightseeing in London (AM)
Buckingham Palace

This morning I used an optional tour too, and a sightseeing bus left a hotel I stayed. At first it went through Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace was finished to built in 1703, and George the 3rd bought it. Then George 4th took over. Though he made an famous architect redecorated it, he was dead before it was finished. So Queen Victoria lived in it. Since then, successive Kings have living in it.

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Queen Victoria Memorial
(Click to Enlarge)

busBe careful of cameraman around Buckingham Palace!
I saw the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of the palace. There was a cameraman who has deceived many tourists. Though there are cameramen like him in any place in the world. He always talked to Japanese people. So he said he would send a photo if a tourist paid 20 British pounds. I knew there was no film in this camera, and he never sent a photo. Some Japanese people were deceived. When he talked to me, he said, "Where are you from?", "Where are you going?", and "Your English is very good. I will send a photo if you pay." Immediately I got away. I talked with a guide about it. Of course she know that cameraman, she was surprised that I ran away very well.

Tower Bridge
@Later I went across "Tower Bridge" above River Thames. In 1894, it was finished to build. There is the "Tower London" near this bridge.
Tower Bridge (daytime) Tower Bridge (night)

Tower of London
During the sightseeing by bus, we did not got off at Tower of London. We saw it from the bus. There were some crows with short feather in the yard. In UK, crow means lucky. If crows in Tower of London left it, it means it will be ruined. So crows in it were cut their feather, and they cannot leave.

In 1078, King William established it. Actually it was not used as a fort, but it was often used as a place of imprisonment and execution. Especially Henry VIII had made many troubles.
Tower of London
Tower of London

The Monument
The Monument

The Monument
On 2 September, 1666, the big fire broke out in London city. About 13000 houses was burned, and 2/3 of city was burned. The number of stairs in the Monument is 311?!!

25 December in UK
As UK is also Christianity country, people in UK do not have jobs basically. Even if When tourists go to souvenir shops on Sunday, they are closed. But some shops are open on Sunday. It is like they have nothing to do with Christianity. On December many people go to department stores and some shops. But on 25 December all the store in London are closed. As well, all the trains are not operated this day, and the "Eurostar" is not also operated. Few people go out . Next day, 26 December is Boxing Day. Many people go to see a boxing game. Only this day, people can take the Underground train in London free of charge.

Trafalgar Square
At the battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson defeated France dominated by Napoleon and Spanish combined fleet on October, 1805. So Napoleon could not invaded UK. There is the statue of Lord Nelson on the column of about 50 meters high.
the statue of Nelson
the statue of Lord Nelson
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square

Big Ben
Big Ben
House of Parliament & Big Ben
There are "House of Parliament" and "Big Ben" by River Thames. This clock tower "Big Ben" is 95 meter high. They said that bell of this clock rang once every 15 minutes during the War.
the House of Parliament & Big Ben
"House of Parliament" and "Thames river"

Tea Break
During London city sightseeing, we had an afternoon tea. Japanese people think British people enjoy to drink English tea, actually most of the British people drink coffee. While we enjoyed to have an afternoon tea, we talk about sightseeing in UK. Some people said they wanted to go to Stradford upon-Avon (famous for the Shakespeare's hometown), some of them wanted to go to Oxford, the other wanted to go to Lake district famous for Peter Rabbit.

professorBritish Museum
Afterward we went to the British Museum. This article "Tourists do not need to pay the admission" is written in some guidebooks. Actually tourists should pay tips. To use flashlight is forbidden there in case works are faded. Visitors should not touch stone statues. The people who love art need some days to see the works.

Mummy & Rosetta Stone
The most popular thing in this museum is the mummy. A mummy had been reduced almost to a skeleton because there was a problem in preservation. Another one lost the little finger. They say that a man cut and stole it, because a whisper was going around that an incurable disease was cured when a little finger is brewed and it drinks.

The most famous thing in this museum is the Rosetta stone. It was discovered in the mouse of the Nile when Napoleon invaded in 1799, and it was written in ancient Egyptian. In the body, "How lazy recent young people are! My son always oversleeps..." People say "Recent young people are..." in any era.
After visiting this museum, I went back to my hotel, and enjoyed a sightseeing alone by underground train.

Hyde Park
Hyde Park was a part of the woods of Westminster Abbey, Henry VIII bought this ground. In 17th century, it was opened in common. At present many people go there. Parks in London belong to Queen. People can visit until 23:00.

photo: Hyde Park hearing birds' notes
Hyde Park

"Safety" & "Danger"
I went to Victoria station by underground train, and walked by Buckingham palace and the Mall. I found the safest bank near Victoria. It is because there is a police station in this building.
Then I walked by the House of Parliament. After I crossed the Westminster Bridge, I saw a beautiful silhouette of the House of Parliament in the evening sun. A couple requested me I took a photo for them there. Could I took a good photo? I finished a dinner at a restaurant in Waterloo station, and went back to my hotel. There was a bee with long legs in my room?!! I was surprised to see it! Even if I opened the window, she did not go out. Unfortunately I slept there with danger.

------------ Part 1 <===> Part 2 <===> Part 3 Go to Part 2

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