The main purpose of my business trip took me to Johannesburg, South Africa for a couple of weeks. I ended up taking the new international flight from Austin to London on British Airways, and then London to Johannesburg. My stop in London was a 12 hour layover, so my coworker and I decided to do a little sight-seeing while we were there.
Our stops included some of the most touristy spots that were easy to get to from the underground, which included Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London.
I'm a big fan of English gardens, so I loved viewing all the Royal Gardens around Buckingham Palace. These beds right outside of the palace were full of red geraniums.
The Royal ponds also included various ducks and geese. I had never seen this brown variety of a duck before in the US.
Fall was in the air in London, and along with it were the fall asters in the gardens. These ones were beautiful. I definitely want to plant some asters in my fall garden this year.
I loved looking at all the perennial beds in the Royal Gardens. It is especially wonderful to see varieties of plants that I wouldn't normally see in a Texas garden.
The Royal Garden included a bridge, where if you look in one direction, you see Buckingham Palace, and if you look in the other, you see the London Eye.
The last stop of the short sight-seeing day was at the Tower of London where hundreds of thousands of red ceramic poppies filled the old moat. It was a display called "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red," a commemoration for the 100 year anniversary of Britain's first involvement in the First World War. 888,246 ceramic poppies were placed in the old moat, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war. It was a very powerful visual - especially with the thought of the poppies representing the blood spilled. Poppies are also a symbol of remembrance, so it was a very moving display.