Tuesday, February 7, 2012

London - Big Ben

Woo-hoo! Little bear is in London... the real London... not the fake one in Ontario. Wow... London is a big place! There are tonnes of people, tonnes of bears, tonnes of cars and... well... just more of everything! More noise, more buildings, more history, more everything. Little bear arrived at Victoria Station on the train from Gatwick and didn't know where to go first...

After a bit of dithering, he caught the Tube down to Westminster Station, which isn't very far to walk... but little bear has little legs and... that was a long distance or a little bear! He came up the steps out of the Tube station and there it was... Big Ben!

Wow... it is... big! That goes with the whole big plane, big bear, big wolf theme that little bear has been experiencing lately. Everything just seems really big and this clock tower is no exception. Little bear wonders why it's called Big Ben, and a bit of searching on Google leaves him dissatisfied. Well... no one really knows why it's called Big Ben... it might have been named after the Commissioner for Works whose name is inscribed on the bell or it might be named after a boxing champion of the time.

Little bear did learn that, techinically, the thing that is called Big Ben is the big hour bell in the clock tower, not the whole thing itself. But most people don't really care about those technicalities and just call the whole thing Big Ben. Little bear learned that Big Ben has been running almost continuously for over 150 years... that's a long time.

Little bear has learned that there are some things that, even though they are just things, have great meaning for people. People can recognize its sillhouette and it is a symbol of London. It might just be a building... but it's not just a building. We have places like that in our lives as well... places that are just places, but they symbolize so much more for us... They might be famous places... or they might be places known only to us.

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