Again, welcome to London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, the site of the 27 July to 12 August, 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the XXX Olympiad, to be followed by the Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities from 30 August to 09 September. London will then become the first city to have hosted the modern Olympic Games three times (1908, 1948 and 2012).
Once more let’s hop-on and hop-off the double decker bus to discover and explore other London’s famous places of interest.
On Marylebone Road can be found the Madame Tassauds Wax Museum, a major tourist attraction featuring life-like models of your favourite entertainment and sports celebrities and historical, royal and public figures including dictator Adolf Hitler of Germany whose original model was often vandalised with a 1936 replacement that is being carefully guarded.
If you’re shopping, London may be the place you’ve been dreaming of. From the exclusive designer boutiques along the famous Bond Street to renowned Harrods at Brompton Road, you’ll discover a shopper’s paradise. Founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1824, Harrods has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments offering a wide range of products and services. Harrods has an ancient Egyptian theme to reflect the owner’s cultural heritage. On 8 May 2010, the world most luxurious department store was sold by owner Mohammed Al-Fayed to Qatar Holdings for 1.5 billion pound sterling.
Walk and stroll along the West End, London’s “Theatreland”, the equivalent of New York’s Broadway, where you can watch top stage productions in any of London’s many theatres including the Queen’s Theatre, home to “Les Mesirables”, the longest running musical in West End history for 27 years; or at St. Martin’s Theatre which has been showing the longest running show on earth, “The Mousetrap”, the non-musical Agatha Christie play.
In the heart of the city is the bustling Trafalgar Square with the Nelson’s Column at its centre guarded by four lions statues. The square is a venue for political demonstrations and community gatherings such as New Year’s eve.
Spend some time at the Piccadilly Circus which is often compared to New York’s Time Square. Now partly pedestrianised the square is famous for the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain to commemorate Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist known for his support of the poor. Be sure to be there at night for its video display and neon signs!
A visit to the Natural Museum particularly famous for its exhibitions of dinosaur skeletons is very educational and entertaining. The museum houses the Darwin Centre that will inspire you to take better care of our planet.
Last but not the least in our itenerary is the Royal Botanic Gardens, usually referred to as “Kew Gardens”, a 121 hectares of gardens and botanical greenhouses located in southwest London. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the Gardens houses the world’s largest and most diverse botanical collections.
Getting tired and hungry? Stop at a pub and try the British iconic dish – the ploughman’s lunch: fresh bread, cheese, tomatoes, pickled onions, chutney, and pickles.