The Palace of Westminster is where the House of Commons and House of Lords get together to argue, pass legislation, and argue some more. This meeting place of the United Kingdom’s Parliament and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been around in some form or another for over 900 years. Though Westminster’s latest Gothic look was introduced in the mid-1800s, after it was destroyed by a fire in 1834. (Deleting spreadsheets was a lot more hazardous back then.)
One of the stranger sites right outside of this quite dignified building are along Westminster Bridge that goes across the River Thames; of which you can see a sliver of on the far left above. Across most of the bridge span, doing their best to hustle the bustle of tourists are men, offering some version of the three-shell game. Mostly eastern Europeans with quick hands, you feel like they should dressed more in Charles Dickens-era attire to achieve the complete time travel effect.
You’ll want to keep your eye on your purses and pockets though; if you spend enough time sitting at the corner of the bridge, you can almost see organized pickpocket gangs at work. Stragglers hanging around crowds as the bulge, alternating in a suspiciously inconspicuous pattern over the course of several hours. The type of sightseeing perhaps only a former hacker and security expert can find so persistently interesting.
You can see more of my photos from London here.
No doubt you found the work of the pickpockets as interesting as the Palace of Westminster. As both me and Barry were 15 years old the last time we were in London – not together, of course 🙂 – it’s always good to read about our country of birth’s capital city on other people’s blogs.
You know my fascination with organized crime 🙂
Hmm not sure I go along with your assessment of pick pockets there over the years but I’ll take your suspicious mind word for it. Did you get a chance to go in and watch question time? It’s brilliant if you can get a ticket. 30 minutes of MP’s tearing lumps out of the Prime Minister and him batting them back.
Still love the fact that in the House of Commons they retain those red lines on the carpet on both sides of the chamber. They mark out where you need to stand behind so that the opposition can’t stab you with a sword (which they used to a few hundred years ago). The mother of all parliaments indeed.
Nice pics Anil
I would to spend a few days videoing and observing that bridge; though suspicion is something I do well 🙂
Unfortunately this last time I was in London it was a very quick trip and I didn’t get a chance to go in Westminster. I didn’t know about the red lines though, however it sounds like one of the reasons I like the Parliament so much there. It’s passionate, as democracy should be I think.
Anil, the picture is now showing up.
Nima, I just made some DNS changes as well as how photos are handled by my server; that might have caused the problem. Thank you for letting me know, it should be sorted within 24 hours.
Fantastic picture! I really like how it seems to shimmer.
Thank you Debbie 🙂
Stunning photo. Such a foreboding atmosphere!
I stayed there for a long time and did not see any pickpocketers. Although I guess it is always better to be safe than sorry.
A few hours on that bridge and you begin to notice the outliers in crowd dynamics. That’s the security part of me going though!
I was there in June and I didn’t notice any suspicious pickpocket gangs around the corner. I was more worried about the weather as it rained heavily and the area was overcrowded with tourists. 🙂
Not so much gangs as unusual crowd dynamics; patterns I tend to look for and habits that are hard to break 😉 Not sure I’d be so diligent though if it were raining heavily, something that seems possible any time in London!
It seems that there is no summer season in London lol 😉 I was there in June and it rained everyday! Seriously, I was more worried about the weather than anything else. I didn’t really enjoy London just because of the weather. I’ve seen more suspicious pickpocketers in Spain, Italy and France. 😉