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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Legendary London Trip - Part I

This post is long in the making . . . over a month.
So let's not waste time - click on the link and enjoy the pithy comments a wonderful pictures of
My Last Trip Abroad (before marriage) to London!

My grandmother was born in London, and her persona, as engraved in my childish mind, was one marked with all things British . . .  So I've always felt a connection to the country.

Yet, save a five hour layover in Heathrow on my way to Gan Yisroel Lithuania - Rimini, I've never been there.

So when my dear friend and partner in arms, the inimitable Chief of Staff, Mendel got married in London . . . despite it's close proximity to my own wedding (I'd ultimately return six days before my own) . . . I grabbed one of the 340 dollar tickets floating around the interwebs and along with Dear Dan (of Colorado Springs Two and a Half Rabbis fame) set off for one final adventure abroad before tying the knot (of the gartle that is . . )

Mind the Gap

The first day in London, brimming with excitement, I grabbed my Kasket, my brand new Leica D-Lux 3 camera (a wedding present fun di heilige Mama), and with Dear Dan and Yossi in tow, began to cross the street. Walking past an elderly lady, we stopped on the parkway in the middle of the street for the (backwards) traffic to clear.
As I stood by the light, the elderly walked over to my side and, with a stern look of annoyance in her eyes, declared in the Queen's English
   "How rude! Don't they teach you any manners in the Yeshivah?"
With a huff she then preceded to walk off, leaving me none the wiser to what I had done to so greatly offend her.

So be it, we bought a Oyster Card, the charge card used for metro transit in the buses and the Tube, and set off.

Buckingham Palace:
Home of the Hassids

Our first stop was by the palace . . .

O Canada, our home and native land!

The sorta changing of the guards . . . on the days that they don't change the guards

Chldren by the gate

For some reason, people by the Palace felt that it wasn't enough to have their picture taken in front of the home of the sovereign monarch of the British Common Wealth . . . No they needed their picture taken in front of the home of the sovereign monarch of the British Common Wealth with Hassids.

First a large Russian man came over to us and asked to take his picture with us . . . fine.
When he was done, he said,

   "Fank You" in such a way that it was hard to tell if was saying Thank you with an 'F', or something else with an 'N' . . .

Next was the Italian man who wanted to take his picture with Dear Dan . . . Yossi got one for our own record as well.

Then, as seen in the striped shirt in the right hand corner of the picture with the Italian, two Israelis decided that they needed a photo Im HaDosim. So they two got a picture.
As we were walking away from the palace, we were pulled over by one final group . . . from Indonesia (near East Timor to be exact).
They too needed their Hassid photo . . .

Yossi in front of the Grand Australian gate

A reminder to the tourists not to be run over by cars

Walking around, I noticed that on literally every street corner there was a surveillance camera recording our nearly every move - serving as the first of several reminders that London is one of the least private cities in the world.

Famous red phone booths - no tourist can return to his native land with out photographing one . .

Asking a cop for directions "You're going to Watford, out in Hertfordshire? Quite nice. Now to get to the London Eye, uou're going to go strait ahead. Not left, not right . . . strait ahead."

10 Downing Street - home of the PM

After a local marathon . . .

The London Eye

The Eye with Big Ben and Parliament over the other side of the River Thames.


Street performers

The London Eye and the Sun

From the Salvidore Dali museum that kicked me cruelly out for trying to take a picture with a statue of melting clocks.

Big Ben

Here ends part one of the Great trip . . . stay tuned for more!

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Anonymous said...

Ah, London, London! How did you manage to take a photo of the only smiling copper (I mean, policeman) in the entire city?! Mazal Tov to you!

As for the excitement about having a picture taken with you guys, you were probably 99% of the Hassids to be seen outside of North London, and therefore a rarity! Again, Mazal Tov to you!

I hope you enjoyed our fair city - I spend my working days in it, so it's nice to see it through a tourist's eye every now and again!


bonne said...

The Dali musuem? I really ought to start traveling. Nice pictures.

e said...

What's the bridge in the first picture?

le7 said...

Looks fun, Sarah want to get married the week before my wedding so I an go to Portland or something?

Mottel said...

-ShavuaTov: I loved it! stay tuned for more!
-Sarabonne: Yes, travel!
-E: Westminster Bridge. Why?
-LE7: Huh?

le7 said...

I mean cool pictures Mordechai.

le7 said...

I mean cool pictures Mordechai.

Chana said...

beautiful photo essay!

bonne said...

I doubt I would get married in Portland but you should visit anyway!

Just like a guy said...

Cool street performers.

le7 said...

Yeah I admit the street performers are pretty rad.

Why not, Sarah?