From there we strolled past Westminster Palace (the houses of Parliament) and Big Ben. We didn't go in, we just took lots more pictures. Westminster Abbey is just across the street from there and it was a big one on our list, so we spent quite a bit of time admiring it and photographing it from every angle. It was magnificent! Since it was Sunday morning they were having services and no tourists were allowed inside, but we were happy to stay outside. I really couldn't capture the whole of it very well with my camera since the structure is so huge, but I did get some nice detail photos of it.
After Westminster Abbey we made our long-awaited pilgrimage to Abbey Road Studios. All four of us were extremely excited to go there. We found it in a very quiet and elegant neighborhood. The building housing the studio was fenced off but there was a lot of graffiti on the wall surrounding it. They must have to repaint it constantly! We didn't do any graffiti ourselves but we took some pictures. Then we took turns walking across Abbey Road and getting our picture taken, just like the album cover. I can't tell you how fun and exhilarating that was! A lifelong dream come true! If you're not a Beatles fan you wouldn't understand, but for me (and the rest of us), seeing Abbey Road was almost like a religious experience. Wow.
We decided to split up after our adventures at Abbey Road. Chuck and Gene headed off to the Ace Cafe while Pat and I sought out Baker Street and then Camden Market. Lately Pat has this thing for that song "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty (you know, from about 1977). Don't ask me, he gets on these weird kicks sometimes. Also, Baker Street was the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, so why not? We took the tube to the Baker Street station, walked out onto the sidewalk and took a few pics, then went to Camden Market.
If you've ever been to Venice Beach in L.A., just imagine Venice Beach x1000 and you've got Camden Market. It was insane! Booth after booth after stall after stall of shops selling crazy clothes, music, tchotchkes, doodads, purses, shoes, jewelry, you name it. You can bargain with the stallkeepers and they prefer cash. It's a lot of fun but it's shoulder to shoulder hordes of people and notorious for pickpockets, so I didn't even bother to take out my big camera. Pat grabbed a few shots with his little Stylus though, so you can see exactly how crazy it is there. It just goes on for blocks and blocks, you could spend all day there. I ended up buying some pretty cool clothes and Pat picked up some funny t-shirts.
By this time we were getting pretty damn tired. We had agreed to meet Chuck and Gene at the British Museum but we were running behind schedule. When we got to Euston Station it was getting dark and we were too pooped to move, so we sat down and had a quick bite and enjoyed the sunset. When we finally got to the British Museum it was near closing time. Poor Chuck and Gene had been there for quite a while waiting for us, but at least they got to see a lot of very cool stuff (more on that later).
It was a great day. Just seeing Abbey Road made my whole year. Enjoy the pictures...
To me English taxicabs look like something right out of Yellow Submarine.
London lends itself so well to black and white photography.
A bust on Westminster Abbey. I assume it's a monk or abbot, or that's what it looks like anyway. I thought it was cool!
A very cool dragon on the front facade near the doors.
During our stay it was Remembrance Day, much like Veterans Day here in the US. There are vendors all over the place selling red poppies for whatever you care to donate, and you pin them to your lapel. I went through about 10 poppies during our week there because mine kept falling off. Above you see a giant row of poppies on tiny crosses in front of Westminster Abbey.
I know most people think of pigeons as flying rats, but I'm rather fond of them and I like to photograph them.
If you don't heed this warning you'll promptly be run over by a lorry. This is painted at every intersection for good reason!
A Margaret Bourke-White moment, I couldn't restrain myself. This is inside Westminster Station I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong). I thought it was beautiful.
Abbey Road, yippee!
Chuck and Pat wondering if Paul McCartney is in the house.
I like this graffiti because I have a friend who has two kids, one named Zoe and one named Tyler.
The white building is Abbey Road Studios.
I think this Clash fan is confused.
Chuck, Pat and Gene walking across Abbey Road.
Pat and me walking across Abbey Road. That was fun!
The tiles in the Baker Street tube station feature silhouettes of Sherlock Holmes' profile.
Me 'n' my homey Sherlock.
Some of the wares for sale at Camden Market (all the Camden Market pics are by Pat). Those are David Hasselhoff and Mr. T toilet seat covers.
From this photo you can kind of see the number of people and shops. It's so much fun to shop there.
Amazing footwear to be had.
More Camden Market. It goes on for blocks.
Sunset from Euston Station.
To read about Day 2 click here