London: Remembrance Day Parade

Almost 2 years after my trip to London, I am finally making a blog post.

On November 2009, while I was still employed at my previous company, I took one week off to visit London with my mom, taking advantage of the Remembrance Day holiday. Because of this, I used 4 vacation days into a 9 day holiday (5 weekdays, 4 days on the weekend). We took a British Airways flight+hotel package and it was quite cheap, around $1500 for one person.

The flight departed from Vancouver on November 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm and arrived at London at 1:55 pm.

The post shows our activities from November 8-9, 2009.

Approaching London's Heathrow airport.

Over London



Arrival lobby at Heathrow's Terminal 5. This is the newest terminal at Heathrow airport and used exclusively by British Airways. What surprised me was that there was no tourist information kiosk anywhere where I could pick up some tourist brochures!

We bought and Oyster card for transit and took the London Underground to our hotel near Russell Square in Bloomsbury. The trip on the subway took more than 1 hour because the train was so slow and would randomly stop midway between stations.

Heathrow Terminal 5

By the time we checked into our hotel, it was already nighttime so we decided to explore Chinatown which was close by.

Chinatown

Chinatown

What was really surprising was that all the theatres that showed musicals were all located right beside Chinatown. This ensured that Chinatown had a steady stream of foot traffic and tourists.

West End Theater District

Central London is quite compact so afterwards we walked to the Regent Street shopping area. The street was beautifully lit with Christmas decorations.

Regent St.

Regent St.

Regent St.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadily Circus

The next day on Nov. 8, 2009 we went to the Whitehall area to join in the Remembrance Day parade and services.

Houses of Parliament

The security was quite tight as you had to go through metal detectors before you can enter the designated parade route.

Remembrance Day Parade

Remembrance Day Parade

Remembrance Day Parade

Remembrance Day Parade

Remembrance Day Parade

Remembrance Day Parade

After the parade and services were over, we just walked around the area surrounding the Houses of Parliament.

Big Ben.


Houses of Parliament


Houses of Parliament

London Eye ferris wheel

London Eye

London Eye

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament


Houses of Parliament


Houses of Parliament

Westminster Abbey


Westminster Abbey


For Remembrance Day, they set up a "Field of Remembrance" in a lawn near Westminster Abbey. The proportion of solders who died fighting during the two World Wars and other wars from each Commonwealth country, region, etc. are represented by miniature crosses.

Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament

The Cenotaph at Whitehall.

Cenotaph

Because of the Remembrance Day parade, all the streets at Whitehall were closed off to traffic. This provided a rare one day event for roaming the streets freely on foot.

Whitehall

Whitehall

The Household Calvary.

Whitehall

Household Calvary

Whitehall

Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square

View of Big Ben from Trafalgar Square.


Whitehall


The National Gallery which faces Trafalgar Square.

National Gallery

Trafalgar Square as viewed from the National Gallery.

Trafalgar Square

Admiralty Arch, this leads to Buckingham Palace.

Admiralty Arch

Admiralty Arch

The Victoria Memorial, in front Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace at sunset.

Buckingham Palace

Harrods department store at Knightsbridge. After seeing many Japanese department stores, it didn't really impress me that much...

Harrods at Knightsbridge

"Aromatic Crispy Duck" dinner at Chinatown. Family members told us that this British-style Peking duck was good, however I found it just so-so, I prefer real Peking duck to this. Unlike the original Peking duck, the duck in this dish is deep fried and you wrap the duck meat in addition to the skin with the pancakes.

Aromatic Crispy Duck

Apparently, the "Crispy Duck" is very popular among people here that almost every Chinese restaurant serves it.

Chinatown Restaurant

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