Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Iconic London (Westminster Walk)

What could be better than Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye?

I submit nothing.
Big Ben isn't as big as one would assume. We love him anyways. 
These shots make up 78% of London's postcard for good reason (another 12% belonging to the Tower Bridge, 8% to the Royal Family, and 2% to cats. Why? No idea, but it is a real thing).  As the religious and political centers of London for centuries, this is the skyline that defines the city for many.

Fun Facts: it called "West Minster" (West Monastery) to distinguish it from the East Minster, the part of the city around St. Paul's.  Westminster Abbey was originally built by Edward the Confessor; completed and dedicated Christmas Day 1065. Henry VIII was the last king to live in Westminster Palace.

The area, while touristy, felt so much like what one imagines London to be that I found myself falling in love with this city all over again. How could I have lived here for six weeks before walking past Big Ben? Is that not illegal? Because it should be. To walk this area is to walk quintessential London. I felt at home.

Westminster Abbey was gorgeous; I always love visiting churches but this was something else. The sheer size of it was unbelievable. It is big enough that I did not even attempt to get a picture of its entitreity. I did this walk on a Sunday afternoon so it was closed to visitors at the time. *sad face*
No worries though, this Friday we will be attending Evensong there and I can hardly wait to see its granduer from inside!


The detailing kills me. Can I please just take these doors home with me?

I can't lie, seeing Big Ben for the first time was exciting. I had been wondering how I had managed to avoid him for over a month. Then I saw him.. And laughed because it all made sense. He is not nearly as big as I had pictured. I am sure when originally built he was the biggest thing around, but as the city grew up around his grace was quieted by the demanding structures around. Still classic London and I still loved seeing him right out of the tube stop. He already feels like an old friend that I will need to go back and visit again and again.

Maybe I am just oblivious, but I previously was unaware the Big Ben was part of Westminster Palace. That was a pleasant surprise, even if I felt dumber for it. 

The architecture of this city guys.. Is insane. It might be what I miss the very most when I go home. The parallel lines that lift your eyes to heaven, endless windows (feeling sorry for the guy who cleans them), and sharp spires just give me chills because I will never stop loving them.

You can stop through Victoria Tower Gardens to get a nice walk in a secluded park as well as take a shortcut to Lambeth brigde for a nice view of everything that defines London. 

My attempt at taking a cool picture.
I'm working on it guys.. I'm working on it.

The London Eye. Still having an internal battle over whether it's worth it to ride it.. Anyone have any opinions? I'm open to hearing them. Kay great. 

On the way back to the tube stop I did manage to capture "London" in a picture; 
Boom. See that Union Jack flying over the bridge with our good friend Ben? It was a proud picture moment for me as I was running across the bridge to make it home in time for waffles for dinner. (breakfast for dinner is the best kind of dinner)

Taking the short walk across Westminster bridge and seeing the tourist side of town, and back across Lambeth made me so much happier than I anticipated. I felt as if I were breathing in everything that represented London to the world; the London I had dreamed of living in since I was young. Something in the air seemed to say, "The is it; this is your dream. You made it." I found my jaw dropping constantly, stomach fluttering with butterflies, brain buzzing while wondering how did I ever get so lucky? What could I have possibly done to deserve this beautiful life? 

Westminster is my newfound favorite because it feels like everything I imagined London would be. It's beautifully designed, historically significant (dating back to before America even existed), and home to my childhood fantasies. It is seen as 'classic' London for a reason. To be considered classic something must hold it's value and appeal while withstanding the test of time. This area certainly fulfills those requirements, nobody can argue that. 


Love Always, Aimee 
<3 <3 <3 
*confession: this walk was the first time I have missed my tube stop. whoops.*