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London, England 1

After dealing with so many different cultures, languages, currencies and customs, our final stop in London was an opportunity to slow our pace and enjoy wandering through a more familiar setting.
 

 

 

The main sights of London flank the north and south banks of the Thames River. A walk along the embankments offers much to see. 
 

With 548 shops, Oxford Street is the busiest shopping area in Europe. Flagship stores include Selfridges, Primark, Gap, and Marks and Spencer.

 


 

Trafalgar Square is the hub of the West End. The Lord Nelson Column looks down Whitehall towards Big Ben, while behind it sits the National Gallery and the Church of St-Martin-in-the-Fields.
 

Greater London is the most populous municipality in the European Union. It boasts being the world's largest financial centre, hosting the most travellers through its airports, and having the largest concentration of post-secondary educational institutions. 
 



The London Eye, rising above the Houses of Parliament,  is the second highest observation wheel in the world. Its 32 capsules offer total visibility across the city.
 

Along every street, pubs serve as important gathering places for both tourists and local business people. Many look the same as they did in Victorian times.
 


 


 

Buckingham Palace is the Queen's residence. It overlooks St. James' and Green Parks.
 

There are 10 large parks in London which serve as green oases in the large metropolis.
 


Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park is a place where public speaking, often on topics off the mainstream, is enjoyed as a spectacle. Marx, Lenin and Orwell have spoken here in the past.

A tradition of tolerating free speech is observed in this protest against the British involvement in Iraq.

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