Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Friday,

on the trains again,


we nearly had the station to ourselves,

our train arrives,

and arriving at Charing Cross,

we made our way over Trafalgar Square,


going through one of the archways we were in the Mall,

and made our way to the Horse Guards Parade,

Horse Guards is a large Grade I listed building in the Palladian style between Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade in London, the first Horse Guards building was built on the site of the former tiltyard of Westminster Palace in 1664,

Changing The Queen's Lifeguard is not as well known as Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the advantage being smaller crowds and no railings between you and the men and horses taking part, make it ideal for some amazing pictures, when it is not raining,

as it was today,

it appears we brought the bad weather with us,

but we did not let it,

dampen our spirits,

as the Life Guards,

made their way past us and up The Mall,

turning right towards the Horse Guards Parade,

soon they had disappeared,


so it was time to take a few pictures, looking towards Buckingham Palace,

the gilded figure on the top of  The Queen Victoria Memorial in front of the Palace,

then in the distance,

we could hear music,


made its way towards us,

every member in perfect step,

the flag bring up the rear, the Band of the Coldstream Guards is one of the oldest and best known bands in the British Army, having been officially formed on 16 May 1785 under the command of Major C F Eley, reflecting the fact that the Coldstream Guards regiment is the second oldest of the guards regiments,

we had to have a few more pictures,

on both sides of the road,

and another look at the monument which is 25 metres high and uses 2,300 tonnes of white Carrara marble, as well as Victoria, there are statues representing courage, constancy, victory, charity, truth and motherhood,

the central monument, created between 1906 and 1924, is by Sir Thomas Brock, but the whole design, including the Memorial Gardens, was conceived by Sir Aston Webb, the Memorial was formally unveiled by King George V in 1911,

the previous Mounted Regiment we watched consisted of a Squadron of The Life Guards, who wear red tunics and white plumed helmets, 

next to arrive a Squadron of The Blues and Royals

with blue tunics, 

and red plumed helmets, the Blues and Royals is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry, the Colonel-in-Chief is Queen Elizabeth II and the Colonel of the Regiment is Anne, Princess Royal,

they made their way towards the Palace,

next a group of armed soldiers made their way past us, I am not sure of their unit but I think they are from the The Royal Dragoon Guards, by now it was really raining hard, no sooner had I dried the lens than the raindrops were on it again, oh well at least, it stopped raining shortly afterwards,

another contingent,

passed by,

and with that we made our way back to the Admiralty Arch,

by now we were hungry,

so we made our way back over Trafalgar Square,

stopping for a picture,

I have seldom seen a picture of the square with so few people in it, well it was raining again,

we passed a few places that sold food,

but then found we were so close to Leicester Square,

that we decided to make our way down it,


chicken and ribs for Diana,


with onion rings,

a steak for myself,


with extra onion rings,

whilst eating, we were taking our time as it was still raining and as we had nothing else planned we started reading about an attraction that was here in Leicester Square back 1851, made by mapmaker Mr. James Wyld, a huge globe which was modelled on a scale of ten geographical miles to an inch horizontal, or six inches to a degree, and it is one mile to an inch vertical, the diameter being sixty feet, the Globe lasted just ten years, but commercially it was a triumph with Wyld recouping his expenses in the first year alone, in 1853 1.2 million visited the globe! what a fascinating way to see the world at a time when International travel was not readily available as it is today,

we took the Underground back to the mainline station,

and had a refreshing drink in Beckenham,

before making a move back to Steve and Kai's, on the way back Diana was fascinated to find that the cherry trees that had so many blooms a few weeks ago had in fact produced cherries, but disappointed when she realised how bitter they were!

arriving back we settled down to watch a film or two,

plus help Steve eating his chocolate football from Belgium,

followed by fresh fruit to nibble on, two films later it was late so we were off to bed.


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