During my recent trip to the United Kingdom, I tacked on an extra day in London. I love London. It’s a better city, I think, than New York. The accents are so much more appealing. Plus, the history is incredible.

Speaking of history, I got the chance to visit the Houses of Parliament. I learned a lot that I’m ashamed to admit I did not know. For example, members of the House of Lords (to the right in the image below) are appointed by the Monarch with the advice of the Prime Minister. There’s something to be said for the role of the Monarchy in the United Kingdom. The Monarch has a great deal of influence, but absolutely no authority. You won’t hear this Queen screaming, “Off with their heads.”

Another fascinating fact about Parliament dates back to 1605. On November 5 of that year, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the building. Ever since 1606, the Sergeant at Arms (and his team) have gathered on November 5 and checked the basement for bombs. I like to think they are more diligent than searching on a single day (and based on the machine guns the police around the building have, I think they are…)

But London is not all about history. There’s a lot of modernity there. For example the London Eye. I must tell you that this makes no sense to me: A permanent, enclosed ferris wheel?

This really makes very little sense to me. But, based on the line to get in, I’m in the minority. I chose to skip it.

My final experience on this trip was truly awe-inspiring. Just before my plane took off, an Airbus A380 left London, bound for Dubai. It was a truly amazing sight.