The last place I stopped before coming home on this trip was London to
visit with my good friends Jon and Des. If you're a frequent visitor to my internet
photo journal, you'll remember Jon and Des from
the Great Clown Telegram Incident in Vancouver HERE
So, after a late night of drinking at the Ice Bar in Stockholm, I just barely made my 7 AM bus to Vasteras airport
(remember that the airport is NOWHERE near the city) so that I could make my flight to London for Canada Day. My
good friends Jon and Des met me at Liverpool Street Station and we proceeded directly to Trafalgar Square, where
the Canadian embassy is. Happily, right down the street is the infamous Maple Leaf pub, and seeing as it was
Canada Day, the place was already packed at 2 in the afternoon. This is Jon and Des, right outside the Maple Leaf.
We heard that there was going to be a bit of a party at the Embassy, so we made our way down there. Much to
our surprise, there were PROTESTERS!! outside the embassy protesting the Canadian government!! Well, more
accurately, there was one very confused protester protesting the fact that we hunt seals. When I informed
her that many other countries also practice seal hunting to control the seal population, she was unimpressed.
I then informed her that it was Canada Day and our government gave us all free sealskin underwear and that's
why we were all there. Wow, was she ever off her nut!
Inside the embassy, there was actually a really nice little birthday party for Canada's 137th birthday, complete
with cake and free Moosehead and Molson Canadian beer. Here, Des poses in front of the cake.
Jon and I smiling for the camera.
VIDEO: This is all of the Canadians singing Oh Canada in French and English. HERE
While at the Embassy, I found the Saskatchewan flag. I actually have a small SK sticker on my
truck bumper that someone told me looked like a Jamaican flag but I don't see it at all.
Jon and I humping the large lions in Trafalgar Square. I swear one of these days I'll do up a page
on here that only has me humping inanimate objects. I think it'll be a long page...
Us riding the lion. I like the small Canadian flag in my hand.
This is some of the madness early in the afternoon at the Maple Leaf. For those that don't know,
the Maple Leaf is one of the best places to watch hockey outside of Canada. It's a haven of ex-pats in
London, and also where almost every Canadian shows up to for Canada Day.
Jon and Des enjoying a Moosehead just outside the Maple Leaf.
Me with an appropriately ridiculous hat for the occasion.
This guy had a cardboard cutout of the Mountie from Due South. The name tag reads:
"On weekends, my name is Darlene."
The London Racers is a semi-pro hockey team in London, and half of
the crowd at the Maple Leaf had these sweet paper helmets on. I particularly liked this guy's
shirt as well. As you can imagine, it was a pretty fun crowd.
Some of the few thousand people in the blocked off streets celebrating our birthday. You can see the
subtle little leaf above the pub.
It's seldom hard to get a great shot of Jon in mid-song. Here I think he and Des are belting out a
rendition of Sweet Caroline , Ba-Ba-BAAAAAAAAA!!
The day after Canada Day, we decided to tour some of the English countryside around London. I found this
sign in a shopping area in Winchester. I was quite honoured to have frequented the "2004 Loo of the Year".
Jon tells me that the quality level must have declined since he had seen the 2003 winner, and it was
We then continued on to see Stonehenge, but were completed inundated with rain. I've never seen it rain
that hard for that long. I kept expecting to see arks floating by. Here are Jon and Des listening to the
audioguides under their umbrellas.
Here I am in front of Stonehenge in one of the rare moments of dryness.
These pictures don't do Stonehenge justice at all. It's quite astonishing to see these huge blocks of
stone that have been here for thousands of years.
This didn't really turn out, but we went to the little town of Salisbury to have a bite of dinner. When
we were driving there, we saw a side street with the name "Endless St". Sure enough, the road went for
exactly three blocks before ending abruptly.
Jon, Des, and I in front of the Salisbury Cathedral.
As we returned to London, we stopped again at Stonehenge to get a nicer view. The rain had stopped and
the sun was just setting.
As if letting me stay at their place weren't reward enough, Jon and Des also toured with me, and gave me
one of the best personal tours I've ever received. Here is a lesser known London tourist spot - the London Stone.
The London Stone is an ancient stone, that is said to be the place from which the Romans measured all distances in
Great Britain. It's now set in the wall inside the Overseas Chinese Banking Company.
This is the British Museum, a museum to rival any other.
These are the Elgin Marbles. They were removed by permission of the government of Turkey at the time
by Lord Elgin. These marble sculptures formed the outside of the Parthenon. The government of
Greece is trying hard to get these repatriated, so we wanted to see these before they get
As always, I'm a connoisseur of true art. Here is me sampling some of the Greek treasures.
This is just a completely useless sign. The sign in the middle is supposed to be for an elevator,
but we all thought it was just some guy waving his hand up and down as he did squats.
Westminster Abbey. From http://www.westminster-abbey.org/ : An architectural masterpiece of the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries,
Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history - the Confessor’s Shrine, the tombs of Kings
and Queens, and countless memorials to the famous and the great. It has been the setting for every Coronation since
1066 and for numerous other Royal occasions. Today it is still a church dedicated to regular worship and to the
celebration of great events in the life of the nation. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is
a “royal peculiar” under the jurisdiction of a Dean and Chapter, subject only to the Sovereign.
Since the abbey itself was closed to tourists, we wandered into the rear cloisters and toured ourselves around.
After being removed from a private school function, we stumbled into some pretty cool monuments and historical items.
This particular plaque honours Sir Edmund Halley. His resume is very impressive.
Big Ben, indeed. Nice picture taking Jon!
Jon and Des in front of Big Ben, the clock tower connected to the British Parliament.
Here is me mounting a sphinx, of all things. That is the London Millenium Eye ferris wheel in the background.
Here is me humping one of the original Roman walls of the city of London. Probably one of
the oldest things I've humped yet at almost 2000 years old.
Due to a lack of overall planning by me, and Aer Lingus being particularly ornery and difficult to deal with,
I had to fly back to the US from London, via Shannon and Dublin, Ireland. As I landed in Shannon, there were still
some of the President's contingent chilling out.
Back to hiking in Northern Sweden
First time in Stockholm
Fun in Ireland
More serious trip through Stockholm
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