I am always thrilled when a friend remembers that I collect postcards while they are on a trip. Jenny, a kindergarten teacher here in Phuket, recently visited her family in Ireland and picked me up some postcards there. However, she accidently left them there but thought enough of me to buy a couple during a layover at London’s Heathrow Airport. Now that’s a good friend!
This first card shows some of the iconic images that I love about London, the capital of England and a major settlement for two millennia. Its history goes back to its founding by the Romans who named it Londinium. Today, London contains four UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT), plus the area comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church. It happens to be one of my favorite cities in the world (right after San Francisco, California). In 2003, I was pleased to take my best friend there on his first trip outside the United States for a couple of special events – two Bruce Springsteen concerts at Crystal Palace Stadium plus a Royal Geographical Society gala for the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Mount Everest.
The card pictures the Houses of Parliament with its St. Stephen’s Tower (the small tower housing the public entrance) and Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben which is the clock inside, Tower Bridge over the River Thames with “the Big Pickle” visible in the distance, the Royal Horse Guards Hotel and barracks in Whitehall, a member of the Queen’s Household Cavalry Troupe outside of Buckingham Palace, the statue of Sherlock Holmes outside of Baker Street Station, the Dalek cyborg of Doctor Who fame, and several modes of transportation – two double-decker buses (but, sadly, not one of the iconic Routemaster models) and the famous black taxi.