3 DAYS IN LONDON – DAY 2 – Here the itinerary of day 2
Day 2: LONDON EYE, BIG BEN, CAMBIO DELLA GUARDIA, WESTMISTER, SCOTLAND YARD, NATIONAL GALLERY, CHINATOWN, BRITISH MUSEUM, COVENT GARDEN, PICCADILLY CIRCUS
The second day we went to London Eye, but we only see it because the next day we had planned another activity to admire the lanscape of London.
The Coca-Cola London Eye, the Millennium Wheel or simply just the London Eye, is Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in UK. The structure is 135 meters tall with a diameter of 120 meters, on clear days you can see up to 40 km, from the sea to Windsor. There are 32 glass boats, the boats are normally shared with other tourists but it is possible to reserve a boat for you, if you have enough money.
A ride costs £ 30 around. If you book online you will be a discount.
From here with a walk along the Thames we arrived at Big Ben which was unfortunately under renovation………….
Big Ben sounded for the first time on May 31, 1859, its particular sound is due to a small damage caused by the hammer
- Each dial measures seven meters in diameter, the minute hands are approximately 4 meters long and weight 100 kg.
- A special light on the clock lights up when members of Parliament are gathered
- “Domine salvam fac reginam nostram Victoriam primam” is written on the dial and means: “O Lord, protect our Queen Victoria, the first”.
Changing of the Guard
Quickly we reached the Queen’s Palace to see the changing of the guard, but we couldn’t see muche because there are a lot of tourists. If you want ot see the changing of the guard, I suggest you to go early to be able to find a good location, near the gate of the palace.
The changing of the guard takes place in fron of the main entrance of Buckingham Palace, the royal guards parade accomapnied by the music of the band. The whole show takes about 45 minutes, it is held every day at 11:00 AM during the summer months and on alternate days in the other months, if the weather is good. Here you can find all the updated information.
After the changing of the guard, we went back to Westmister, we visited it only from the outside, then we went to Scotland Yard to take some pictures.
Then we went to the National Gallery, admission is free, (https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/). The collection is very big so we only looked at the painters that most interested us. In December on the square in front of the gallery there are many Christmas kiosks, they sell foods, souvenirs, Christmas things, ……….
China Town is an ethnic enclave located in the heart of the City of Westmister, but London’s Chinatown doesn’t feel anything like London at all. Wandering through its many streets lined with red paper lanterns and Mandarin street signs, tourists in London may feel like they are walking around somewhere in Asia rather than in London.
It contains a number of Chinese restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, souvenir shops, … Chinatown is especially busy during the Chinese New Year, which takes place sometime between mid-January and February every year.
We reached Covent Garden, it is located in the West End, the main area of London for theaters and entertainment. Tourists walk in the elegant pedestrianized square where fashion, handicrafts shops are located, in the Apple Market and in the Royal Opera House. Strre performers perform at the seventeenth-century St. Paul’s Church, while in the London Transport Museum there are vintage vehicles.
During the Christmas period, an ice skating rink is set up in a very suggestive Christmas setting.
We reached Piccadilly Circus. Piccadilly Circus is one of the most famous and popular squares in London, every year 100 million people pass through here. It is in the beating heart of the city, within the City of Westminster, the nerve center, the symbol and meeting place par excellence of the British capital. It is the famous square with gigantic illuminated signs.
To be onestly, it is not a square but a Circus, an open space of sircular shape built in 1819 near an intersection to connect some of the most important street, including the famous Regent Street and the crowded Piccadilly Road. The original circular shape of the Circus was lost in 1886 with the construction of Shaftesbury Avenue. Now Piccadilly Circus is one of the main points of traffic and shopping in the heart of the West End and for its proximity to important interested places like the Shaftesbury Avenue theatres, Coventry Street and The Haymarket, street with many shops, restaurants, pubs.
The neon signs of Piccadilly Circus
They are the thhing that most of all captures the attention of anyone passes from here, a new hyper.technological system able to light up the area with continuous images. The effect is spectacular, something like £ 30 million a year is required to appear on the screens.
Here we had dinner in the Angus Steakhouse restaurant: excellent meat, nice environment, average prices.
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