Saturday, 22 December 2012

Natural History Museum, London.

The Natural History Museum, London, houses over 70 million items of botany, zoology, minerology, entemology and palaeontology, often described as a 'Cathedral of Nature'. It contains rare specimens, such as those collected by Darwin and several Dinosaur skeletons. It's research is also world-renown, specialising in taxonomy and conservation.
It all started in 1753 when Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and collector of natural curiosities, left his collection to the state. They were held in the British Museum, until, after more additions, they were given their own home in the Waterhouse Building, designed by Liverpool architect Alfred Waterhouse. 
Since then, a Geological Museum, Darwin House (containing tens of millions of preserved specimens) and an Attenborough Studio (a high-tech audio-visual venue which also holds talks and lectures) have been added.
Admission is free, although entrance to some exhibitions may require a fee.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tower Bridge, London.

Completed in 1894, Tower bridge (named due to it's proximity to the Tower of London) has become one the the most iconic London landmarks to date. The 801 ft suspension bridge crosses over the River Thames allowing both pedestrians and traffic to cross and can be raised to allow ships to pass. For a fee, you can visit the inside of the towers (Tower Bridge Exhibition) and discover more of the history of the bridge.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Shard, London.

This 309.6m, 95-storey sky scraper, completed this year, is the tallest building in the European Union and 2nd tallest in Europe. It boasts a 5-storey viewing deck from the 68th-72nd floor, office space, a hotel, restaurants and a spa.
Made with 11,000 panes of glass, the building reflects the sky above, the appearance changing with the weather and the seasons.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Hofgarten, Munich.

The Hofgarten in Munich was built from 1613-1617 by Maximilian I as an Italian style renaissance garden. After being destroyed in WWII, it was rebuilt with a more modern twist. On the east of the garden is the Bavarian Staatskanzlei (State chancellery - above), whilst a pavilion (Below) for the Goddess Diana (a Goddess associated with animals and woodland), built in 1615, can be found in the centre with a path leading from each of its 8 arches. In the north east of the garden is a granite memorial to White Rose group, a group of people who staged non-violent campaigns against Hitler's regime and were executed as a result.

Monday, 10 December 2012

HMS Belfast, London, England.

HMS Belfast was completed in 1936, being designed for the protection of trade and offensive attack.
She was officially launched on St Patrick's day 1938 by the Prime Minister's wife Anne Chamberlain, before being commissioned into the Royal Navy the following year.  She was the largest and most powerful cruiser in the Royal navy, equipped with the most advanced radar systems.
 She spent much of her time protecting the Arctic convoys, Russia's supply route during the war. She was also involved in the Battle of the North Cape and spent 5 weeks supporting D-Day landings.
 After WWII, HMS Belfast worked with Allied Forces in the Korean War from 1950-1952, supporting American and South Korean forces. She spent the rest of her years on peace-keeping duty until she was retired in 1963.
The Imperial War Museum wanted to preserve the WWII cruiser, forming a trust with Rear-Admiral Sir Morgan Morgan-Giles, one of HMS Belfast's former captains. She was brought to London for the public to see on Trafalgar Day, 21/10/71. Today she can be seen on the Thames, still one of the largest and most powerful light cruisers ever built.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Custom House, London, England.

A view of Custom House on the River Thames, near London Bridge, with the Gherkin in the background.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

My travel map, so far... (2012)

As it is approaching the end of the year, I've posted my travel map for this year. So far, I have travelled to 3 countries:
England (Liverpool, London, Windsor, Isle of Wight)
Germany (Munich, Dachau)
Netherlands (Amsterdam)

Hopefully more to come next year!!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Russian Maslenitsa Festival - Clip

Clip from the Russian Maslenitsa Festival earlier this year in Trafalgar Square, London.