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London First Impression (1972)

I’m pretty sure I took this picture of Westminster Abbey and the famous “Big Ben” clock tower from the bus during our “orientation sightseeing tour.” Although pictures taken through bus windows usually belong in the wastebasket, this image— with its raindrops and leaden sky— succinctly conveys our first impressions of London. In the interest of fairness, I processed this image to bring out what little color there was; the dull gray overcast makes the original slide look like black and white.

London was the final stop on our first trip to Europe. After the charms of Paris and Amsterdam it was quite a disappointment. The dreary weather and execrable food affirmed every stereotype of Britain. We later realized that London and Britain are rather nice places after all, and that bad food is simply a matter of not knowing where to find the abundant good food. Unfortunately, there’s not much to be done about the weather.


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