After the exploring the magnificent state rooms, lush green gardens and the royal treatment at the Buckingham Palace, we proceeded towards our next destination which was Big Ben London. All four of us were extremely excited to be in the city as the weather was extremely cool and pleasant.
There were hardly any people compared to what we are used to seeing in India. Big Ben is actually a nickname for the Great Bell which hangs under the big clock at the northern part of the Palace of Westminster. It is generally used for referring to the clock tower or simply the clock.
Big Ben London | Image Resource : 1ms.net
In reaching the place, we came to know an unknown fact i.e. the official name of the tower is Elizabeth Tower. It was named as such in order to celebrate the 25 years of completion of Elizabeth II. Before 2012, it was officially known as Clock Tower. It has the record for housing the second biggest chiming clock having four faces. The one in Minneapolis City Hall is the largest across the globe. It came into existence in the year 1858 and the 150th anniversary was celebrated in grand style in the month of May in 2009.
There is no doubt about the fact that it falls in the list of the most prominent monuments representing the pride and royalty of the country. We have also seen many films in which the Big Ben has been used to make the background more beautiful. We came to know that it was Augustus Pugin who had designed the clock and its dials.
The dials are placed inside frame made of iron and having a diameter of 7 m. It supports more than 300 pieces made of opal glass just like a stained window of glass. One of the locals told me that the inspection of the hands of the clock had forced the removal of a number of glass pieces. The dials produce a sound which is gilded. It was already getting dark and we decided to return to our hotel. But before that we had our dinner at one of the lavish restaurants.
My aunt was pretty excited on seeing me. She had come to pick me up at the airport. I was surprised to hear that she had made plans for my entire stay. Our first visit would be to the Big Ben and she revealed the surprise while we were in the cab.
The Clock Tower
I always thought that the clock tower was called the Big Ben while I still did not understand why it was named like a human being. It was my aunt who told me that Big Ben was the name of the huge bell. The clock tower was actually called the Elizabeth Tower.
I was impressed to see the intricate framework of the clock. It was someone by the name Augustus Pugin who designed the unique clock. The tower was named after Queen Elizabeth 2 to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
Big Ben London | Image Resource : famouswonders.com
The Huge Bell
The Big Bell weighs nearly 16 tons. There is a great history behind the naming of the bell. The bell is very significant as it symbolises London. You will find the clock tower on many of London’s mementos. I clicked many pictures of the Big Ben.
Close View of Big Ben London | Image Resource : theonion.com
After our visit to the Big Ben, we decided to visit the St Margaret’s Church. The beautiful church is an ideal place for tourists who want something peaceful. The church decor is parish. It is also an ideal place for historians who enjoy learning about significant places in different countries.
The church has witnessed several significant events and chapters of the nation’s history. The church was built way back in the eleventh century. We clicked many pictures while in this church too. I enjoyed the visit. It was a unique spiritual experience.
St Margaret’s Church London | Image Resource : britainfromabove.org.uk
The Halt At Caffe Nero
By noon, we needed a sip of hot brewing coffee and so we decided to halt at Caffe Nero. They had the most exotic and rejuvenating coffee. I sipped an Espresso while my aunt enjoyed one of the iced coffees served there. It was a fun trip which remains fresh in my memory.
Caffe Nero London | Image Resource : commons.wikimedia.org