London 28.02.2016


Image for London

London is a capital of Great Britain. This is the most famous phrase in Russian schools for those who learn English (may be also for Soviet schools as well).
However now I visited Great Britain and figured out that it’s not true. The entire country learned it the wrong way. Great Britain is just a union of 3 states: England, Scotland and Wales. The Kingdom has 4 states: all states from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So the full name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So the Great Britain doesn’t have a capital. It’s just a union like Russia has with Belarus.
Thus London, my friend, is the capital of England and the capital of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but not of Great Britain (well, sometimes Great Britain is referred as a synonym of United Kingdom, but still it worth to remember, that there is a difference)
So it’s a mess with names there. Anyway finally I got into London, Paddington station. And this was first I saw:

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Photo 796

And of course cab and a bus. So at least I'm in the right country. It's already good :)

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Photo 797

All cars are using the wrong side of road in this country. Though I’ve heard they agreed to use it this way. Because of that it’s a bit unusual to cross the road. I always forget in which direction I should check the cars first. Looks like English people have an idea, that a lot of tourists have these problems. Especially in summer. Therefore they have a mark right on the road. So the first place you have to check is not right or left, but just down. Everything is written there :)
To say a bit more, it’s not everywhere. Especially if you drive a bit away from London. Anyway, most crossroads I saw have it.

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Photo 798

In the first day I arrived quite late, therefore I didn’t have too much time, Therefore I update a bit my route and headed to the Hyde park which is quite close to Paddington station.

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Photo 799

A long time ago that was a part of Westminster Abbey, but in the time of Henry VIII of England it became part of Royal property and was used for the hunting. A bit later (about a hundred years later) it became available for public. Locals like to walk there. And run. I saw a lot of English running. It's like a religion here.

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Photo 800

English loves gardens a lot. There should be a big team of gardeners to take care for such a garden, otherwise it won’t look that neat.

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Photo 801

The park is quite big. So when you’re in the beginning of it, you’ve no idea what is happening on the other side. So if you can relax and take the moment of silence in the middle of it, on the park border some locals are making roller run. A lot of guys have boombox on their back with really loud music from it. If you hear that in the middle of the night you will definitely awake. Though it was just around 4-5PM so it was ok to be loud.

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Photo 802

I would say the most interesting part of a park is Speakers' Corner. Anyone can come here with it's own chair or stepladder (there was one) and tell his opinion to the public.
It's cool and spectacular. Really it's very interesting to watch this thing.
For example one guy was really angry about the refugees and the migration policy in general with the message like "Yankees refugees go home". That was the most lively discussion here. That guy was surrounded by quite a crowd of Arabian and Indian people (probably some of them were real refugees) and he still insisted on his point of view.

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Photo 803

Other guys came here to tell people about their hard life. Even religious preachers were here. Though it’s not that interesting for the crowd.
In general the whole act is like internet trolling. Really, one questionable opinion and here we are. The shit hits the fan (:

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Photo 804

Time to move forward. Somewhere in direction to Paddington station. I also have to get to my hotel tonight.

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Photo 805

On the streets you can often meet phone booths. It is one of the most famous city symbols.

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Photo 806

Though not all telephone booths are like this. I was really surprised and (to be completely honest) a bit disappointed.

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Photo 807

In central part of city you still can meet horse riders (on horse). That’s not the only transport in the city, and not even the most popular one, but it’s still used. There are even separate light for horse riders.

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Photo 808

I already mentioned how English people love gardens. What is really amazing — they are able to grow palms here. Though it doesn’t seem that the climate is good enough for palms.
On the way I also found American embassy. The size impressed me. It’s not like in Moscow.

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Photo 809

And then the Baker street. This is exactly the street where sir Sherlock Holmes spent a while working on his famous cases. You can even find the museum in his honour (doesn't really worth visiting though (: )

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Photo 810

It's funny that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself believed his work is just a light reading and didn't really like the character like readers did. He was really annoyed that people read this detective and the rest of his works is simply skipped. Once he decided to finish that and Sir Arthur killed Sherlock in the fight with Moriarty.
So that's it. End of story. That resulted in quite a number of angry mails (one of them according to the legend was from Queen Victoria), so he had to bring mister Holmes back alive and continue the story.

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Photo 811

This is it for the first day. It is amazing how my expectations matched to what I saw here.

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Photo 812