Trafalgar square, the largest in the capital, is often considered the heart of London. The square was originally called Charing. Later it became known as Charing Cross, after a memorial cross on the square. The nearby underground station is still named Charing Cross. In the 1820s, George IV engaged the architect John Nash to redevelop the area. Nash cleared the square as part of his Charing Cross Improvement Scheme. The present architecture of the square is due to Sir Charles Barry and was completed in 1845. At the center of the square is the tall Nelson's Column which was built to commemorate the victory of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson over the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar on the 21st of October 1805.
We took the “Chunnel” from Paris to London this morning, about a 2 1/2 hour trip. It's still amazing to me that they built a tunnel under the English channel. We were greeted by the Olympic rings and some very nice ladies in the Pancras station that explained how to use the subway to pick up our tickets. On leaving the station for some fresh air, we were immediately struck by how different London looks compared to Paris. Almost all the buildings are brick, including the train station. Lots of two decker buses and security with guns. There are banners and billboards everywhere heralding the arrival of the Olympics.