Only in London can you see Big Ben. Only in London can you see Buckingham Palace. And, only in London can you see queen.
I felt a huge “aha” moment come over me when I first saw Big Ben. The architecture and gold detailing on that building is absolutely gorgeous. Seeing such an iconic monument really hit me that I’m in London. My breath was taken away (and not just because of all the wind) and I felt like I could just stare for hours. Plus, the massive Houses of Parliament are in that same area. It doesn’t get more British than that!
Oh wait, but it does. After visiting Big Ben, I witnessed the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Talk about a beautiful building! The “guards” are those guys that dress in the red coats and big furry black hats, which are called busbies (and by the way, against popular belief, they do talk). A ceremony of music, marching, and horses took place. My face was pressed up against the front gates. The view doesn’t get any better than that! That same afternoon, I spent time relaxing in St. James’s Park, which is nearby Buckingham Palace. It was actually sunny for once on that particular afternoon, making it an absolutely lovely day.
The very next day, I found myself back in that same area. I started my day gazing at Big Ben again, and then walked through the park full of trees, pigeons, and fresh flowers, finally making my way to Buckingham Palace. I was watching the guards again, but for a different reason. This time, they were being inspected by Queen Elizabeth. She was being pulled around in a fancy horse-drawn carriage. At times it was difficult to see through the hundreds of officers on horses (not to mention the 20,000 tourists). But I did in fact get a decent view of the queen (eventually). I did see her with my own eyes. Yep, that’s right. I was in the presence of royalty.
Only in London…