The Travelling Trooper Does Soho

We had some time to kill before our third and final Strawberry tour–Soho–so we went off to see the sites.

Buckingham Palace: Check.

Note: Canada Gate is NOT a magical gate to Canada. I was sorely disappointed.

Also, holy crap, that’s a lot of people gathered to watch some dudes in Marge Simpson hair tramp around during the Changing of the Guard! This was the best I could do.

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Westminster Abbey: Check

Big Ben: Check

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A phone booth in London and Churchill: Sure, why not?

The Eye: Check

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Imperial War Museum: Check

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Nazi Germany used V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets to attack London and southeast England in 1944 and 1945. They killed thousands and damaged over a million homes. These weapons were built under brutal conditions by workers enslaved by the Nazis.

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This First World War British Army field gun was used by the L Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery during a battle at Nery in northern France on September 1, 1914. During the battle, a quarter of L Battery’s troops were killed or wounded. For their bravery, three members of L Battery received the Victoria Cross.
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This Spitfire was flown by 609 Squadron, Royal Air Force, during the Battle of Britain in 1940. It flew 57 sorties during the battle, at the hands of thirteen different pilots. They included two Poles and two Americans. Only six survived the war.
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On March 5, 2007, a suicide bomb destroyed the Mutanabbi Street book market in Baghdad. Thirty-eight people were killed and over a hundred injured. This car was detroyed by the bomb, and was later toured across the United States by British artist Jeremy Deller.
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This tank was built in Czechoslovakia in 1954. It was later sold to Egypt and captured by Israeli forces during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. It was acquired by Imperial War Museum in the late 1970’s. The T-34 was a highly successful Soviet tank design of the Second World War.
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This civilian fishing boat, Tazmine, is the smallest surviving ‘Little Ship’ that helped rescue the British Army from Dunkirk in May and June 1940. In May 1940, the Germans advanced quickly through Holland, Belgium, and France. The French and British fell back to the coast, where as many soldiers as possible were rescued at Dunkirk. Hundreds of British ships and small boats crossed the Channel to work in the beaches, carrying men t larger warships moored further off the coast.
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Two million of these special red and blue Mickey Mouse masks had been issued to children between the ages of 2 and 4. The masks were smelly and sweaty and most disliked wearing them. However, some children found that if they breathed hard enough, they could make a raspberry-like noise just like a big fart, and this made them laugh even when they were scared.
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In June 1940, when Italy declared war against Britain, Major Ralph Bagnold formed a new unit in Egypt. Using a deep knowledge of the desert acquired before the war, he set up the Long Range Desert Group to gather Intelligence behind Italian lines. For this new unit, he picked New Zealanders. Tough and self-reliant, these men were just what he needed. Using 35 borrowed or bought trucks, by September they were patrolling hundreds of miles across the desert.

The National Gallery: Check

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I don’t know why, but this made me think of Game of Thrones for some reason. I suppose the guy in the middle kind of looks like Robert Boratheon.
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That little girl looks super sketched out by those sketch bags. Even the dog is scurred.
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I believe this was an unfinished Michelangelo piece.
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Venus (Love), Mars (War), and a bunch of naughty satyrs. I love the one underneath Mars. Such a weird painting. And is it just me, or does Venus seem not impressed with Mars’ performance? Typical, dude falls fast asleep as soon as the deed is done.

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And with the exception of the Imperial War Museum, none of those cost me a thing! Huzzah!

Honestly, though, I think a person could spend two full days in the War Museum and just barely get through it all.

The contrast between war and art was entirely unintentional, but it was well appreciated.

We spotted ol’ Charlie here right before starting the Soho tour.

And now, Soho!

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Golden Square offers peace and quiet right in the midst of the chaos of London.
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Mr. Hendrix himself wowed the people of London right here. He also found himself a BFF in one Eric Clapton, who just happened to be in the house.

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We befriended two Canadians on the tour: Melanie, who just uprooted her life to London from Toronto, and Martin from Montreal. During the tour, our guide recommended the John Snow pub as a great place to get cheap drinks, and lo and behold, that’s where all the Canadians ended up. We had a grand ol’ time. We were literally the last people in the pub. O’ Canada.

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