Tour Bus, December 16
We started by catching one of the on-off bus tours around London, starting near the hotel not too far from Hyde Park.
DSCN0284.jpg Some of the buildings in Kensington, from over the driver's shoulder
DSCN0287.jpg The Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
DSCN0292.jpg Westminster Cathedral, if I'm remembering right
DSCN0305.jpg Parliament's clock tower (incorrectly referred to as "Big Ben")
DSCN0307.jpg The London Eye, which I'd see up-close the next day
DSCN0309.jpg Looking back at Parliament, and the only other people braving the cold on the upper deck
DSCN0316.jpg One of the dragons guarding the entrance to the City of London
DSCN0318.jpg A cathedral (St. Paul's?) partially hidden behind another building
DSCN0323.jpg The Tower Bridge, taken from London Bridge
DSCN0325.jpg And a Royal Navy vessel whose name I forgot long ago
DSCN0329.jpg The Tower of London
Tower of London, December 16
DSCN0333.jpg Inside the walls of the Tower, with the tour guides in uniform. I forget what it's a replica of, it looks like the modern beefeater uniform.
DSCN0335.jpg The White Tower at the center of the fortress
DSCN0336.jpg Weathervane with the royal standard on it
DSCN0339.jpg Actual beefeater
DSCN0340.jpg Taking the tour. I can't remember what much of any of this was, 9 years ater the fact
DSCN0342.jpg "Mind the gap"
DSCN0363.jpg And a shot of the London Eye at night as we went back to the hotel
London Eye, December 17
Yep, I traveled 3700 miles to ride a Ferris wheel.
20131217_122619.jpg Parliament from the south side of the Thames
20131217_123101.jpg Going up. A neat building on the other side, and traffic on the river
20131217_123345.jpg I feel like I should remember what that statue is
20131217_124009.jpg Another gondola on the Eye
20131217_124138.jpg More from the top of the world... er, the wheel.
20131217_124333.jpg Looking upriver
20131217_125241.jpg Who's this friggin' toolbag
Jokes aside, it was nice to get a view of London from above. Shame the weather wasn't nicer.
Bath, December 18
DSCN0373.jpg A church in the center of town
DSCN0376.jpg An old bridge with shops along the sides. From on the bridge you can barely tell you're not on a regular street.
Castell Caerdydd (Cardiff Castle), December 19
DSCN0379.jpg The entrance to Cardiff Castle
DSCN0381.jpg Neat details on the clock tower
DSCN0382.jpg The keep at the center of the castle
DSCN0384.jpg In the 19th century, the Marquess of Bute had living quarters for him and his family built into one of the castle's walls. It's full of Victorian-era opulence.
DSCN0423.jpg The Marquess, I guess
DSCN0435.jpg The apartment as seen from the courtyard
DSCN0440.jpg From the keep, looking toward the main entrance
DSCN0448.jpg A bit incongruous to be in an 800-year-old castle and look out to a modern soccer stadium
Barrys Island and Llantwith Major, December 20
DSCN0453.jpg Barrys Island is a seaside destination in the summer. Still looks pretty neat in the winter.
DSCN0460.jpg I thought I took more photos of Llantwith Major, but apparently this memorial is about it.
Castell Caerffili (Caerphilly Castle), December 21
DSCN0461.jpg Caerphilly Castle was built by the Normans in the early 1200s. It was heavily damaged during the English Civil War.
DSCN0463.jpg But this guy is holding part of it up so it's all good.
DSCN0465.jpg The trebuchets from the first picture
DSCN0468.jpg From outside the castle you can see the moat and part of the town of Caerphilly
DSCN0475.jpg This half-collapsed tower is what the statue is holding up. He could maybe use some help.
DSCN0486.jpg I forget what the occasion was, but some local schoolkids had made models of the castle.
DSCN0492.jpg Back to the actual castle now. Part of the courtyard and the town beyond the wall.
DSCN0493.jpg A good, up-close look at how thick the walls are
DSCN0521.jpg One of the tunnels within the walls
DSCN0524.jpg I'm allowed one artsy shot per trip. This was it.
DSCN0538.jpg One room had some artwork in it. Again, I can't remember what for. But I think this might've been permanent?
DSCN0557.jpg For the most part they leave the castle in its ruined state, but this room they fitted out to show what it could have looked like.
DSCN0669.jpg The train station was lit up nicely as we headed back
Cardiff Bay, December 22
DSCN0680.jpg It was nice and sunny when we go there, anyway
DSCN0682.jpg I can't remember what this is, but it looks cool
DSCN0685.jpg I'm pretty sure this red building holds some part of the Welsh government. I could be misremembering though.
DSCN0696.jpg Inside the building from the previous photo, they were having a Christmas recital
DSCN0697.jpg And also some giant stuffed creatures
DSCN0709.jpg The words on the front of the building from the inside
Flight Home, December 23
Some views of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia out the plane window.
And that was it. There was some excitement on the flight from Atlanta to Akron-Canton, but there were no pictures to take of it.