I'm pretty sure you've heard of Big Ben. No, not the bear, book, or TV series. That would be Gentle Ben, ha ha! Big Ben is the 153-year-old clock in London. It reigns as the world's largest four-faced chiming clock. There are several suggestions as to how the clock acquired the name Big Ben. I've read several different theories but have no idea what the truth is, so let's just say that Big Ben is the biggest dude in London!
You can go inside the lower section of the tower (called the Elizabeth Tower as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II), but only if you are a UK resident. Considering that it has nearly 350 steps and no lift, I'm pretty sure I would have passed. Not that I have anything against stairs. My creepy sounding knees, however, despise them. 100 stairs, maybe. 101 or more, no way. (By the way, I love using the word lift instead of elevator. I am finding myself quite enamored with English. You know, the real English. But I sound dumb using all of these fancy words and phrases like "well done" instead of good job, "brilliant" instead of very good, etc. I think it's because I lack an accent, though I'm pretty sure the Brits think I have an accent. I keep listening for it, but I am so not picking up on it. Maybe I'd better stick to learning French, though I probably say that with an American accent, too.) At any rate, I did manage to take quite a few shots of Big Ben. Ok, many shots. But they're from different angles, so that makes it okay, right?
You know I am pleased as punch to have gotten this shot through tree branches. (Insert "brilliant" or "well done" if you'd like. It would really "lift" my spirits.)
Just to give you a break from Ben, here are a few cool statues near Ben. There's no sight of Ben in the photos. I promise. Here are Nelson Mandela
and Abraham Lincoln, neither of whom are named Ben or have anything to do with Ben other than being in the park adjacent to Ben. It's kind of like the 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, which no one will ever get unless having watched Mad About You. (Guess I am aging myself. Not so brilliant or well done, huh?)
The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place for the House of Lords and the House of Commons, collectively known as the Houses of Parliament. It is adjacent to Big Ben along the River Thames.
This is the River Thames, and that's the Palace of Westminster on the right.