Showing posts with the label palace

Big Boy at Big Ben, Parliament and Whitehall

Across the river from the London Eye stands  Westminster , England's  political and religious center . Since the  11th Century , Westminster has proudly been the center of power for the English people from the moment  King Canute built his palace  here and his successor,  Edward the Confessor , founded Westminster Abbey right beside it . On a regular day, expect to see crowds of civil servants and tourists coexisting in this tiny yet hallowed area. * Taken from Parliament Square is this shot of  Parliament on the right  and the  Norman Shaw Buildings , the original site of the famous  Scotland Yard  synonymous with Sherlock Holmes and detective work,  on the left .

Saying Hello To the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Being a big fan of  Sherlock Holmes , the movie  Eurotrip , British musicians such as the  Beatles , Coldplay  etc, and  British imperial history , I knew that  London  would be the  pinnacle of any European sojourn.  There are just too many places here that I wanted to see! However to have the chance to  visit the city twice in two years  (one with family in 2012, the other for work in 2013), gave me a good appreciation of what this city has to offer. And like any traveler in the good old days, I did what any newcomer in a strange locale was expected to first do upon arriving, and that is to   pay my respects to the Sovereign . *  Buckingham Palace  is known the world over as the  official residence of the British Monarchy . As you can see in the succeeding photographs, there is a  huge difference   between the size of the crowd last year (2012) and this year (2013). When I visited last year, it was about the time that the London Olympics had just ended and for some r

Visiting King Louis at the Chateau de Versailles

Being a fan of the 90’s  Three Musketeer films (which starred Chris O’Donnel , a sober Charlie Sheen , and Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland ; and later on Leonardo DiCaprio ), I always wanted to see where the Musketeers had faithfully served the King and fought against the forces of the evil Cardinal Richelieu , as masterfully played by Tim Curry . That being said, I was thrilled at the chance to visit the Chateau de Versailles , one of the most beautiful and famous palaces in history. * A statue of Louis XIV on horseback can be found on the very front of the castle grounds, looking all gangsta and victorious . Louis XIV, known as the Sun King and Louis the Great , was the King of France and Navarre for 72 years:  the record for longest reign ever! He was so old when he died, that his great-grandson inherited the throne as Louis’ son and two grandsons were already dead! Having won three major wars (against Germany, Spain and the Dutch) , Louis was king during Fra

Glitzy Monte-Carlo in Monaco

The second stop on our cruise was the glamorous Monaco . Known as the playground of the rich and famous, Monaco is the smallest country in the world next to the Vatican.  But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in style with almost everyone wearing something branded , including the police! Like sur Mer, this was a light, relaxed day, which really helped with my jetlag. Well that and all the cappuccinos and espresso shots that my cousins and I were taking! The only downside to this stop was that it was raining non-stop the whole day. Ergo, I couldn’t take pictures of the beautiful parks, architecture and cars to protect my camera from the elements.  And when I say cars, I mean cars like the Bugatti Veyron which is apparently a common sight in this place and NOWHERE to be found back home in Manila. * Casino de Monte Carlo  which I mistakenly thought was the setting of my favorite James Bond movie, Casino Royale (sorry Skyfall fans!!)  Too bad it was raining pretty hard;