The guard with the suit looks handsomer than the military policeman in Taiwan.

2010.8.25

Because I've experience the peak time in the Tube yesterday, I decide to go out early at 7 o'clock.

Before leaving, I ask the host to change my breakfast to the sandwich that I could bring to the airport.

It's under my expectation that the Londoners are not ready for going to work, and the train carries only a few people.

I drop off at St.James Park station, buy the spaghetti as my breakfast, and then walk along the Victoria street to my first destination.

Most the buildings here are modern commercial buildings.

Westminster Church standing within these commercial buildings is not as famous as Westminster Abby or St. Paul's Church.

But you could still feel its oldness from the looking.

Why do I choose this place as my first destination in the early morning?

That's absolutely because of the few tourists at this time. 

I don't want to be disturbed and I need silence.

Though the notice board said that photographing is prohibited inside the church, as I enter through the door, the Sister walking out of the church tells me: "Welcome to the church. You could take pictures as you wish".

It' so kind and impressive. The church should accept everyone selflessly.

Of course, I really agree that photographing should be prohibited if this action will disturb the silence of the church.

My main purpose is to feel the stillness inside the church, not to take photos.

Walking inside the church, if you look carefully, you will find that the texture of the interior is better than you think.

Like most the old buildings in London, Westminster Church adapts many kinds of stones.

And there are sculptures on the wall for sure.

 They said the candles represent the Hope.

You can support everyone's hope by donating ¢50 for one candle.

Most important of all, the church is very peaceful as I thought.

Although I'm allowed to photograph, I try my best to keep the silence of the church so I press the shutter for only a limited times.

You may wonder whether this church requires funds or not.

Actually, any church always needs funds for the maintenance.

But Westminster Church doesn't ask for admissions because they believe God belongs to everyone, whether the rich or the pool.

Therefore, they welcome your donation. You could also pay for visiting the tower, or buy some souvenirs in their shop.

I think that is the right way for raising funds.

In order to represent my appreciation of the silence and the good will, I donate a little money as well.

 

After that, I have to go to the square of Buckingham Palace where the ceremony is going to be held.

It's 9 o'clock, and there are some tourists around the square as I arrived.

I take a look around the Green park where you could find the information telling you the difference between the suits on the guards, and then I find a location in front of the barrier.

Someone may wonder why do I come so early because there is still two and half hours before the ceremony.

But I could tell you: No, it's not early at all.

When it approach 10 o'clock, there are already lots of tourists standing in front of the barrier just like me, even some tourists have to stand in the second row.

When 11 o'clock, the square is full of tourists that you almost could not go out of here.

Therefore, if you don't come early, you will not find any location to watch the ceremony.

The only thing you can do is listening to the music and watching the people.

Except for the ceremony, two guards are standing separately on both sides of the palace everyday basically.

And they will walk towards the door for every ten minutes.

Besides, for a specific duration, a small group of guards will go for inspection of these two guards.

In some cases, you will also see the police around the door.

The police is equipped with the tommy gun which seems to be better than the guns of Taiwan polices.

About 11:15, I heard the music from outside.

It's the time for the ceremony and a group of guards are ready to entering the restricted area of the square.

you may see some guests who are specially permitted to watch the ceremony in the area.

It's quite good to watch the ceremony inside.

The guard with a sword is walking in front of these guards for several times.

I think his rank is higher.

Then the band also enter the area, and a guard holding a flag is walking inside (on the right side of the picture).

These three guards (two with the swords and one wit the flag) are walking in front of these guards for several times as well.

Do you know what the meaning is? 

As for the opposite location on the right side of the door, they do the same thing as the left.

Then the guards on the right side will go to the left, and so will the guards on the left side.

Guards are changing.

After the changing, a part of the band line up the U type as another band beside the guards play the "Mamamia".

Finally, the U-type band play two songs.

Before 12 o'clock, the ceremony is reaching the end.

The band leave the square first followed by the guards.

The guard is cool!

When I return to see the square outside, there are lots of tourists.

That's an awful scene, and I'm glad that I came early.

Getting out of the crowd, I take the Tube to a normal but meaningful place: Notting Hill.

Don't you know what I mean? You may google it.

(The picture is from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2007/oct/04/nottinghill)

Originally, I want to find this market, but it doesn't open today.

Because of the small rain and I don't have any umbrella, I just walk around the streets near the Tube station.

Notting Hill is not a famous place so I quite enjoying the walking here. 

About one o'clock in the afternoon, I come back to Lupton.

Though it's still early for the flight, I don't think the time is enough for another new attraction.

Therefore, I carry my luggages taking the long underground to Heathrow airport.

Confirming the zone for checking-in, I go to the second floor for online check-in that I could choose my seat as I wish.

It's quite important to choose the seat.

I prefer the seat by the aisle which is comfortable and convenient for the toilet.

The internet charges £1 per ten minutes and £3 for each printing.

The problem for displaying Traditional Chinese is also the same as the first time I meet.

What kind of old computer it is? If the operating system is windows xp or newer, it could display multiple languages for sure.

After the online check-in, I'm bored while sitting through the waiting time until 5 o'clock.

I think I really came to the airport too early. I get nothing to do.

When I check in my luggage, the desk gives me a new boarding cards because the color of the printed ones are too light for the sensor.

It's bad that I wasted £6 for the useless papers.

Since the luggage is checked-in, I pass through the security check point quickly to the departure area where the shops and restaurants are much more.

I find a Sushi bar and eat lots of Sushi again.

Before the flight information board shows the gate of my flight, I walk around the shops with my small luggage, but I don't buy anything.

I have to say again: the MP3 player is a good partner while you are bored.

Anyway, I'm on my way back home soon this time.

It takes about ten hours to fly to Hong Kong.

I watch the movies on the flight for most of the time.

 


 

2010.8.26

Hong Kong time, 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I arrived at Hong Kong airport and take the express train to area E2 for the transfer flight.

This area is not the same as I came to UK, but I recall that I took to flight to Sichuan at this area in year 2005.

I find my gate soon and get access to the internet for a few moment.

Without long waiting, I take the flight to Taiwan. I'm coming home now.

The flight to Taiwan is fast. It takes less than one hour.

When arriving at our "international" airport, I really hope that the decoration will improve the quality.

I get nothing to say as I see the terrible interior again.

The news said that though the Frankfurt airport in German is not ranked as the first, it's truly the number one for making money.

I think there is always a way for the airport to find their position.

Singapore airport or Hong Kong airport must have their advantages that the tourists like them mostly, included me.

We have to make a reflection of our poor airport.

I think not only the facilities are waiting to be improved. Our services for the foreigners is still not enough.

Year 2010, the most memorable year for me.

I traveled to Iceland where most of the Taiwan people don't think that they can go in their life time.

I really made it, and I did it by myself.

I think the scenery in Iceland is the most beautiful one I have seen among the countries I've been.

Of course, the cost is also the most expensive.

The photos I took maybe just express one-tenth of what I experience and feel in Iceland.

Though the journey is finished, the memory will last forever.

~ End ~

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