It was our sixth warm and rainless day in London and we were heading home after spending a pleasant afternoon visiting Kew Gardens. Arriving back at the Boat Dock on the Thames at Westminster Bridge, it was the evening rush hour. We knew that it would be crowded down in the tubes, but it was also a very nice, warm and sunny this late afternoon, so we decided to walk back to our room near Victoria, perhaps finding a nice pub along the way to drop off for dinner.
We were walking West from the Thames with the sun in our eyes. Occasinally, we would pause, check our map at a street corner, look left and right to see which side street looked to be more promising for a bite to eat, let some of the evening commuters rush along home and so forth.
We would also look back after passing a well-known landmark site along the way, since our flight home was the next morning and this would be our last view until our next visit. With the setting sun and cloudless sky, we were treated with some nice views...
Big Ben, from Bridge Street at Parliament Square:
Westminster Abbey, Western Entrance
Our walk took us past the Houses of Parliament and over to Westminster Abbey, arriving just as the setting sun's shadow was creeping across the small courtyard at the Kings & Queen Column.
Inside, Westminster Abbey is filled with marble statuary memorializing a list of Who's Who for the British Empire and over 3000 graves tucked into every nook, cranny, corner and seemingly every third or fourth flagstone on the floor. Unfortunately, these days, they no longer allow interior photography, flash or no flash.
With the bright setting sun illuminating Westminster and a clear blue sky overhead, this, the last frame on the last roll of film for the trip made for this "post card perfect" view of this icon.
PS: in scanning in this image, I found tiny white speckles in the sky that I thought was the usual dirty-something photographic rubbish.Instead, as I looked more closely, it may be that the polarizer that I used on this shot may have helped the first of the evening stars to become visible. Look in the upper right corner to see a few that were strong enough to have made it onto this low-resolution .jpg file.
All images © 1999 Hugh Huntzinger