After more than three years I've finally managed to visit HMS Belfast, a WWII cruiser which is moored on the Thames, next to the Tower Bridge. The ship has been converted into a floating museum, and it's part of the Imperial War Museums network (being the IWML the main one).
The Belfast was a heavy cruiser in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Its main tasks were to protect the Atlantic convoy Arctic routes. It is mainly remembered for having participated in the sortie which eventually led to the sinking of the German battleship "Scharnhorst" off the coasts of Norway on the Boxing Day in 1943. This military engagement is quite interesting even from an IT perspective, as it stemmed from the advanced state of the British code breaking and decryption service at that time.
It was in fact mainly due to the work of the mathematicians and cryptographers experts in Bletchley Park on the German ENIGMA encryption method, if the British Navy could stage the ambush to the German battleship (if you are interested I suggest this book as a further reading - or this video for the sinking of the ship).
Back to the floating museum, I think it's worth a visit. It's quite amazing to traverse the various decks of the ship, knowing all the history that every inch of steel there has been testimony of. Up on the bridge, you can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding landmarks (the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the newly built skyscraper Shard of London). You can either wander on the command bridge, or plunge yourself into the hearth of the ship to visit the ammunition storage or the engines, wandering around in steep ladders and tiny corridors. Definitely one of the best attractions I've been in London!
Should you want to see a few of the pictures I've taken, please be my guest here.
Mainly known due to the Principality of Sealand "wannabe" micronation, the Maunsell Sea Forts are a relic of the Second World War. I wouldn't mind going there for a photographic trip! But in the meantime check out some of the pictures from flickr:
The forts were build during the last world war and housed anti aircraft guns emplacements which protected London and the surrounding sea lanes for incoming raids. In the '60s they hosted a number of pirate radio stations, and eventually one of them ("HM Fort Roughs" just off the Suffolk coast) was occupied and declared an "indipendent nation" (The Principality of Sealand), which apparently will host an Online Casino pretty soon! Nowadays they are rusty and gloomy abandoned structures in the middle of the sea! Up for a boat trip anyone? You can find more information and pictures by following this link.
Got some time yesterday to bring out my camera and take some pics of the London Eye. It was a misty night, in the best London tradition!
Some information from Wikipedia
The London Eye is a 135-metre (443 ft) tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.
It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006, and then the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008. It is still described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel" (as the wheel is supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the Nanchang and Singapore wheels).
Commonly known as the London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, formerly the Merlin Entertainments London Eye and before that, the British Airways London Eye. Since 20 January 2011, it has been officially known as the EDF Energy London Eye following a three-year sponsorship deal.
The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Per una volta, per quante ne abbia dette sull'Italia e per quanto io sia fermamente convinto di non ritornare, viste le condizioni e il clima generale ... per una volta, sebbene qui stia andando tutto a gonfie vele ... è proprio mentre sfreccio su un treno (nuovo, pulito e in orario come di consueto) in Nottinghamshire che all'improvviso mi viene in mente il treno rotto, freddo e perennemente in ritardo che mi portava avanti e indietro tra Piacenza e Milano ogni giorno. Sarà il tempo un po'nuvoloso e umido, anche se l'unica similitudine è il cielo...perché in basso è un susseguirsi di case a tetti spioventi, campi verdi e folti d'erba, punteggiati ogni tanto da cavalli e pecore che nel Lodigiano non si vedono... ma del resto credo sia comprensibile avere ogni tanto la mancanza del tuo paese...
Definitely one of my favourite spots in London, especially during one of those rare clear sky nights :)
For once, a nice sunny day in London, and I took the occasion to remove some dust from my Canon EOS camera. After a while, I was really craving for a nice photo session. Enjoy!
I've spent a day in Blenheim Palace, an English Baroque palace located in Oxfordshire (near the town of Woodstock). It is also famous as being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Spent there a day organized by my company, visiting the place and its beautiful surroundings, as well as enjoying falconry displays, jousting tournament and archery trials. Really a nice place, and definitely the place to be in one of the hottest days ever since I am in United Kingdom. It looks like this year's summer is really hot and not too rainy, which is more unique than rare in this country...
A bunch of photos from United Kingdom ... Isle of Wight, London ... nice places ...
I have to say that owning a Canon EOS 500d is a total different story :asd: The photo quality and the feeling when using a reflex is so much better!