Day 9 Sun. Nov. 1
50 F, some sun, some clouds
Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Saw blue skies
and cheered! Had a full breakfast in the hotel. "Served" (and we use
that term loosely) by the French... make your own conclusions. Food was
ok though. We wanted to get some laundry done so we popped over to the
"Washerteria" for a couple of hours.
We then went out to our first walking tour. (London Walks was great!) It was
with Tom, who is a barrister when he's not playing tour guide. He showed us around Westminster including: Not Big Ben, but St Stephen's Clock Tower in which
Big Ben resides. Big Ben is the large bell.
- The Great Westminster Clock was operational by 1859
- The clock tower is 315ft (96 metres) tall and there are 334 steps to the top
- The clock weighs about five tonnes
- Each clock face is 23ft (seven metres) in diameter
- Each hour hand is 8ft (2.7 metres) long, weighs 300kg
- Each numeral is 2ft (60cm) long
- Each minute hand is 14 feet long and weighs just under 224 lbs
- Edward Dent was paid £1,800 to build the clock in 1853, but died the same year - his son finished the job a year later
- Big Ben is 8ft (2.7 metres) wide, 7ft (2.2 metres) high and weighs 13.5 tonnes
- The bell was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall.
- A 148ft (45m) replica of Big Ben stands in Buenos Aires
We also saw the Houses of
Parliment,Scotland Yard, Westminster Bridge and
Abbey, etc. etc.
You even know when parliament is in session, because a light shines above the clock face of Big Ben.
Heard some very funny gory stories about Henry VIII. (Yes Anne
Boelyn did have 6 fingers, and they think 3 tits) Tour ended at the
War Cabinet Room. The bunker Churchill used during WWII. Very
It was incredibly cold so we went out to dinner at The Globe pub across from the
Baker St. tube station. (I had chicken and mushroom pie, kel had fish n chips), then back
to the hotel. Got to bed about 11pm.
Lens London index has more pics and info.