Monday, October 6, 2008

London II: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, & Trafalgar Square

The people and tourist pamphlets of London will tell you that Piccadilly Circus is London's answer to Times Square. They are wrong. Piccadilly Circus has good shopping, some decent American restaurants, and is close to the cinemas in Leicester, but that's really it. Well, I guess I should give it credit for its fountains and statues. The statue of Eros and the charging horses are really great, even if my photography isn't.

Most of our time in Piccadilly consisted of wandering around looking for the H&M's. (Hint: it's located next to the departures terminal for Victoria Coach Station, so don't bother looking around the Circus.)

1) Piccadilly Circus trying out its "Times Square" look.

2) The fountain with charging horses. You can have a cookie if you tell me what it's called; I can't remember or find it listed.

NOTE: Brice wins the cookie for knowing that they are The Horses of Helios, and I'd like to add that they were designed by Rudy Weller in 1992. The horses names are Pyrois, Eos, Aethon, and Phleyon. Don't look very sunny, do they?

We spent a lot of time in Leicester Square at the cinema. I didn't take any pictures of it, because, well... it's a block full of bars and movie theatres. What's there to look at? But we did see How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which was standard Simon Pegg insanity without his witty script writing, so see that if you get a chance. We also saw Eden Lake, which was only worth our money in that it tried to portray dark psychology and did better than... I don't know, half of the other movies that attempt similar stunts. Rent it maybe, if you're not sqeamish, but don't expect much.

Trafalgar is another one of those places you shouldn't miss when you're in London. It houses the National Gallery (admission is free, like all the other museums) and those famous sculptures of the lions, yes, but the fountains are the real highlight. Unfortunately, Trafalgar also houses several of London's more active social protests, so it's full of carts, stages, and pavilions. We had a nice time in the Gallery on Sunday, and took full advantage of their coat and bag check to avoid the hassel of dealing with our luggage all day. We saw Botticelli, da Vince, Van Gough, Monet, Picasso, and more paintings of the Madonna and Christ than I ever wanted to see. It's also worth noting that between 1300 and 1600 the left breast vs. right breast debate went in an almost perfect left - right (the change taking place in the mid 15th Century) pattern. I wonder when they decided that Mary's right breast was less offensive than the left?

1) The National Gallery

2) the fountains, the lions (if you look closely), and the bottom of the Nelson Column (featured above).


Shadowcat said...

I believe it's called "Horses of Helios."

I can haz cookie?

Ray Yaegle said...

OK, you can have a cookie too, but Brice beat you to it by a few hours. Thanks for finding it for me!

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