The following BBC video is the New Year's Eve fireworks on the Thames River in London. As the camera closes in on the London Eye, Mike's America is watching from that front section just to the left of the tree. What a sight!
You see the favorite photo I took from the event in the masthead above. Here are some other photographs of the trip. Mostly, it was a history tour with my favorite subject, Winston Churchill. Highlights of that are displayed below:
Admiralty Arch marks the beginning of the processional route down down The Mall to Buckingham Palace that you see in so many royal events. You don't often get the opportunity walk down this route but the entire area was closed for the New Year's fireworks. But unlike those well orchestrated royal events the entry and exit to the fireworks was chaotic and poorly organized. You would think someone to provide competent direction or at least some signs telling people where to go would be in order. Sadly no.
More photos following the jump:
Westminster Abbey at 5 PM London time:
I took the photo of Westminster Abbey after leaving the Cabinet War Rooms, the secret bunker in the center of London from which Winston Churchill directed the Second World War. Below is the Conference Room where so many critical decisions were made:
This is Churchill's office and bedroom in the bunker. He only slept here three times during the worst of the Blitz, preferring to be part of the action above ground when he could. But he did much work from here.
The bunker had many famous guests. One one night in May 1942 the King and Queen showed up. Note that the next day's visitors included Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower.
One large section of the bunker has been turned into a museum housing artifacts from Winston Churchill's life. These include such significant historical items as the map he took to the Potsdam Conference with Stalin and Truman just before he was unceremoniously tossed from office following the post war election. Notice the markings on the map as the leaders divided up conquered Europe.
Other items of historic interest from Churchill's life pre-World War II abound. Here, the telegram sent to Churchill by Edward VIII just before he abdicated to marry the divorced American Wallis Simpson:
Of course the visit was more than just slices of history. There's the beauty of London itself. Here, the Royal Albert Hall at dusk on a rainy evening:
Or, the Merry Go Round at the Natural History Museum near where I stayed:
There is so much more I could share. The extinct Do Do birds at the Natural History Museum. The Enigma machine at the Imperial War Museum. Rommel's map of the Afrika campaign. Artifacts of the British Museum. Kensingston Palace where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live.
The best thing about the trip? Coming home to the United States! Especially now we have a President who will make things better for ALL!