Tuesday, September 4, 2007

London Spot: Buckingham Palace

Several visits to Buckingham Palace have been made as it is an important landmark not to be missed for visiting friends (Simon, Deiva, Wai Pang and Vincci, Ming Han, Auntie Yee, Uncle Boo and his family). A landmark synonymous to White House of Washington where without such visit your trip would be incomplete. The last visit I have is with my mum during my graduation in 2005 Summer.

Map from Green Park to the palace

Buckingham is situated besides Green Park and is accessible within walking distance from Green Park tube exit and bus stop. Unlike the much famous Hyde Park or Kensington Park, Green Park is a simple park with rows of trees standing on green lush like ushers escorting me to the palace. Yes, the scene will change interestingly when autumn comes where branches of the semi-naked trees under the bright sunny day will create an intricate shadow web on the fields covered with brown-yellowish fallen leaves.

Left: Fallen leaves of Green Park
Right: The Royal emblem

The daily change of guards event that occurs 30 minutes before noon is an event worth stop-over despite the short and simple ceremony and tourist crowds. On a very lucky day, you may have chance to see special occasion taking place in front of the palace. Yeah, during Deiva's visit, we were blessed to witness a grand ceremony where army barret in red uniform and tall, furry, black hat with musical instruments parade down the main street. Yes, it was a commemoration day for fallen armies in WWII. Check out the video clip recorded. :)

It is believed that in rare occasion the Queen waves her hand from a window of the front facade to acknowledge her visitors. For those willing the pay, an experience of garden tea party with the Queen in the summer will cost GBP500. In certain days of the year when the royal family retreat to their summer palace in Scotland, the palace is open for limited visitors who fancy exclusive china tea set, jewellery, fine art and collectibles exhibited inside the palace.

Directly in front of the palace is a huge white monument of Queen Victoria fountain. The Queen is sitting on her throne with angels surrounding her and a golden arch-angel (probably Michael) standing on a squarish column. Clearly, it is a symbol of angelic protection over her empayar that once spans over ends of the world.

Shots around the palace

Left: Deiva and me in London 2004 Summer
Right: Queen Victoria Monument

Beautiful flowers and garden in St James's Park

Walking away from Buckingham Palace towards the direction of Big Ben, you will come across St. James's Park which I personally like after Kensington Park. In spite of its small area, in my opinion, this park has picturesque landscape with a lake at its centre with trees and beautiful flowers around it. Not forgetting those friendly approachable birds and squirrels that will seek food from you. Ya, I did have good fun feeding pigeons with some biscuit crumbs. As one pigeon landed on my palm and was chipping biscuit crumb another pigeon would fly in trying to fight for some left-over. Haha.. at one time my palm was accomodating 2 pigeons. :)

Variety of birds and swans in the St. James's Park

Up-close Pigeons feeding

Feeding squirrels
At the centre of the lake is a connecting bridge which is an excellent photography spot with London Eye as the backdrop. Similarly, it is also a good spot to for Buckingham Palace in the far end and the lake in the front

Left: Buckingham Palace from St. James's Park connecting bridge
Right:Duck Islands of St. James's Park with London Eye

1 comment:

Lynn said...

feeling so warm when view ur blogs, especially for ur London trip. :) I missed the Green park!