When I was in high school, I studied German for two years. The teacher of the course, who also taught english and coached for the football, track, and wrestling teams (small towns, eh?), had gone on a mission to Deutschland some years before and thus, every other year, he took a group of students on an EF Tour of Europe. (The link takes you to the exact tour we went on, aside from ending in Prague.) I was seventeen years old.

This was not exactly within my family’s budgetary means but my best friend was going and the travel bug had bitten me many years before, so I was going to make this happen. I got a lot of help from family members (when I’m rich, I’ll pay you all back!), and embarked on my very first international trip. We went to London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. So hey, here’s London.

All of these photos were taken with point-and-shoot Pentax that used to be my Grandma’s.


Hungerford Cross (Charing Cross Bridge) and Golden Jubilee Pedestrian Bridges over the Thames.



The London Eye and Big Ben across the way.



St. Paul’s Cathedral

Many a historic event has taken place here. Princess Diana got married here, it’s where the queen celebrates her jubilees, where Winston Churchill’s funeral was held… Martin Luther King even preached in this cathedral.



St. Paul’s Cathedral



The Statue of Queen Anne




Tower Bridge



Buckingham Palace

If you don’t already know, this is where the Royal Family lives. We were lucky enough to be in London and this particular area on the Queen’s birthday. People were EVERYWHERE, but we snuck in close enough to get some decent glimpses of her wearing the most beautiful baby blue as she glided past in a glamorously bedecked, horse-drawn carriage.



A Royal Guard and his Royal Guard Companion, a great dane.

Notice how the sidewalk is blocked from the street? That’s because, as mentioned above, it was the Queen’s Birthday. I certainly didn’t know there was such a celebration going to be had but we were fortunate to be a small part of that experience. Here is a link to the actual celebration so you can see for yourself what it’s like. It’s called Trooping the Color, and it’s no joke.



I love this quintessential red telephone booth with Big Ben, which is actually the Bell’s name, not the clock or tower, so I should say, with the The Palace of Westminster. Also can’t forget about the cctv. That’s also a quintessential part of London, cameras everywhere.



The cctv cameras seen everywhere play a vital role in staunching and solving crime.  I can’t remember what the show was called but we watched a documentary series on Netflix that followed officers who view the live footage being fed from the cctv cameras in order to apprehend people causing ruckus and committing crimes on the streets. They actively speak to officers on the ground about the situations and can instruct them as to whether they have the right person as well as ensuring a better understanding of the ordeal than would be gained from just chancing upon it.



Next up: Paris 🙂