London offers many tourist attractions. But do they live up to the hype? Below I compare various tourist attractions with the aim of determining whether they live up to expectations.
- Big Ben Vs. Guy With Bike On Head- While Big Ben is an undeniable thrill to witness, this guy balancing a ten speed bike on his forehead was more amusing. What decided in the favor of the street artist with the bike as helmut was the fact that he held this position for close to thirty minutes.
2) London Eye Vs. Globe Theater-The defeated schlep on the left, The London Eye, seemed grand from a distance, yet once hand-to-hand combat began it badly disappointed. A tourist trap on a grand scale, they charged far too many pounds for a ride. The newly constructed Globe Theater, on the right, built to closely resemble the original from Shakespeare’s day, put on an excellent production of Henry V. What is more, the play, which was brilliant, helped me fall asleep.
3) Stonehenge Vs. Royal Guard-The Queen’s Royal Guards have protected the Sovereign and Royal Palaces since 1660. This particular guard appears to be in a sour mood. This is understandable. To have to stand in the same position, for hours at a time, has got to be a real bummer. Still, watching him twirl his bayonet, and march around, on the hour, was not quite as thrilling as visiting Stonehenge, the legendary monument/burial ground, with enormous stones transported hundreds of miles by primitive civilizations at least four thousand years ago. Stonehenge used it’s legendary mysticism to force this Royal Guard to cry out in defeat.
4) Westminster Abbey Vs. Tower of London-Her Majesty’s Royal Palace was a valiant competitor. The Yeoman Warders, like this gentleman on the right, who regaled audiences with tales of gruesome tortures, beheadings, and escapes made for an even more ferocious combatant. Still, Westminster Abbey put the Tower of London in the sleeper hold. The burial place of everyone from Queen Elizabeth to Charles Darwin, it resembled a Hall of Fame for great Brits. Imagine a room where everyone from J.F.K., to Babe Ruth, to Marilyn Monroe was buried. Poet’s Corner, in particular, inspired me to write a sonnet.
5) The Rosetta Stone Vs. Parade For The Queen’s Birthday-The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year. Her actual birthday on April 21st, and another day on a Saturday in June, largely because the weather is better. The parade and festivities for the Queen’s Birthday tried to uppercut The Rosetta Stone, but it, and the other treasures housed in the British Museum, blocked and countered with body blows. Throw in The British Museum’s nearby first chess set and excellent ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and the Queen’s alternate birthday ended up writhing against the ropes before collapsing in a sweaty heap.