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London 1 | London 2 | London 3

  Visiting London (3)  

Note: Click on any photo below to reproduce its original size.

London ranks with Tokyo as one of the most expensive cities in the world. A normal-sized banana costs 49p ($0.92) as can be seen from the "FRESH FRUIT 49p each" sign at a WH Smith store at King's Cross Station.

The St. Pancras youth hostel is a good place for travellers who need just a place to sleep. Furthermore it is close to the St. Pancras Eurostar terminal and the price of £28.00 per night (£25.00 for members) includes a copious breakfast.

A typical English breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages and succulent brown beans at the hostel. No wonder W. Somerset Maugham said: "The only way to eat well in England is to have breakfast three times a day"!

When you come out from the Camden Town underground station just ask where Camden Lock is. On the way you'll be passing a number of ear-piercing and tattooing shops.

If you've had enough of fish and chips you'll be able to find Mexican, Thai and other international food dishes near Camden Lock, which is a part of the huge Camden market.

Busy Oxford Street the main shopping thoroughfare of London. It is always crowded with shoppers and an unending stream of Red Rover buses.

Big Ben. This famous landmark is in the Houses of Parliament complex. The site of the Houses of Parliament is the Palace of Westminster. Parliament is open to visitors.

If you are in London for three days ask for a TravelCard for the period upon arrival. At £15.40 ($28.50) it's a bit expensive but at least with that one card all your travel expenses are taken care of while in London.

London is well-served by its fleet of Red Rover double-decker buses throughout the day and night and even in the early hours of the morning when the underground comes to a halt at midnight.

Side view of the British Library opened in 1998 and its main entrance (middle picture). Unlike the Beaubourg (Centre Pompidou) Library in Paris it is not open to random visitors. To get in you have to apply for a membership card which is issued immediately. I even had a sampling of the British sense of humour here. When my turn came to be interviewed and my number (007, zero zero seven if you prefer) was called the registration officer told me:

"Stirred but not shaken". "What? I beg your pardon" was all I could utter, taken unawares. "James Bond," he answered. I had my own back at him later when he told me that only pencils are allowed inside the library. "Are they supplied?" I asked. "No, you'll have to buy them from the bookshop here," he said. "Don't you worry," I told him. "Being James Bond I'd be able to get one without paying for it!"

A typical street scene in London. The bus transport system is so good that you can go almost anywhere by just hopping in and out of buses (which I did). In the background slightly to the right you can see one of the ubiquitous clock towers in London. With so many clock towers in public places is it any wonder that the English are never late for their appointments?

"Mind the gap between the platform and the train." You are reminded of this by an announcement in London's underground (call it tube, subway or metro if you like) each time the train comes to a halt at a station.

Queuing up for a trip in London Eye (photo below). If you are on a short visit to London you can still walk over to the London Eye (photo below) from the Waterloo Station. Take Exit No. 6 and just keep on walking from there. You will not be able to miss it.

Waterloo station, which has served as the Eurostar terminal for London since its inception in November 1994, gave way to the St. Pancras terminal from 14th November, 2007. This photo is just for the archives!

A shop that has been selling nothing but umbrellas since 1830. And it is still doing just that today! Amazing, no?

London Eye as seen from Westminster on the other side of the River Thames. It can carry over 15,000 visitors a day.

It was from Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station that Harry Potter took the train for Hogwarts School. Believe it if you like!

Tower Bridge as seen from the Tower of London at night. Photo courtesy of Keith Paterson.
 Leaving London for Brighton