My last summer in London was filled with activities that I never thought I would be doing (this included a more intense research and writing up activities) J. To mark this special period, I planned to do something extraordinary that I had never done before, on the longest day of summer (Solstice, or Midsummer Day). In astronomical words, the summer solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's semi-axis in a given hemisphere is most inclined towards the sun, at its maximum tilt of 23° 26'. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_solstice). Or in a not so astronomical terms, the time of the year when the sun is closest to the Earth’s hemisphere. In my case, it's the Northern hemisphere.
|The hand-drawn solstice|
So the first thing in the morning, a big hearty English breakfast. As with all ‘Engfasts’, it came with fried eggs, sausages, baked beanz, toasts, accompanied by a good milky café latté. Owh and with some grilled tomatoes and mushrooms too. Not my favourite kind of breakfast (too much for me!) but again as this was a special day we chose it over lighter ones. But I kind of miss Engfast after returning to Malaysia.
|The sumptuous 'Engfast'|
Then off onto the tube to the London Monument, which is close to the Monument tube station (hence the name) on the Circle and District lines (London’s slowest line ever!). A bit of history, the monument was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London in the year 1666 (ouch not the luckiest year). The Fire was on a scale so big that it consumed more than 13,000 houses, and even a chunk of St Paul’s Cathedral. Though fortunately there were only a few deaths recorded. Probably this is why nowadays fire regulation in London is so strict, to prevent events like this from happening again. Smoke detectors are virtually everywhere, even in the loo!
|The Monument tower|
|The story behind it|
|The impressive Royal Exchange|
|The Bank of England, with no. 23 bus to Paddington!|
|Tower Bridge from atop Monument|
|The City area|
|Yes these are the Barriers!|
|Desolated Barrier park|
|Greenwich from the boat|
|Another Greenwich from the boat, 2 seconds later...|
|Warship docked next to the Tower Bridge, again (no this time not viewed from atop a tower!)|
|Just, Embankment Station! See the sun, that's the sun of the longest day of the year ...|
|Guess where am I?... Hint, see photo|
|Castle-like hotel next to St Pancras station|
|Last destination for the day, Heathrow Airport, for real!|