London 1st & 2nd day

We arrived!

We arrived!

We got out of Madrid fine, up before 4 and caught our flight to Paris. Paris was cold, what happened, I think we missed autumn and went right into winter. People were still wearing shorts in Spain. I also forgot how expensive coffee was. $4.80, for a little cup. But I actually had my sandals on and I was freezing. We thought we might walk around Paris for a bit but with Al needing to be close to a rest room and the cold weather, we only made it around the block before we went back inside to just sit and wait for our train to London.
When we arrived in London we got a tube, to our hotel in Hammersmith. 
Hammersmith is a busy district. Not as crazy as Paris or Madrid, but it seems nice. The staff at our hotel are great. And at the train station some other tourists gave us their tube pass, which was a ride all day pass. We were able to get to our hotel and check in, then use the pass again to go into London and look around at something besides tube and train stations.
The next day Monday morning we hit London and did see a lot of interesting things. We took a tube to the Westminster Station. We walked out and there is Big Ben, incredible. Right next door is Westminster Abby. This was incredible. A lot of these places give you headsets as soon as you come in so you can just follow along as you walk through. This is where the coronations take place here for Kings and Queens. They even have a coronation chair which has been used since the year 1308. What I didn’t know is that they bury inside the church. It’s really a giant tomb! A couple of well know dead people, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. 
After the Abby we went to Buckingham Palace.
We walked past most of Saint James Park to get there. They have signs everywhere not to feed the squirrels but we could see everyone doing just that. One squirrel started keeping pace with us, then jumped up on the fence and was getting ready to jump on us. Then it started stalking us until someone else coaxed it away. That was scary, squirrels are vicious. I was afraid of another attack like the dog.
We could not go into the palace because the Queen was in residence so no visitors, but we go to the Royal Mews. The Royal Mews is one of the finest working stables. It also has the royal collection of coaches and carriages. This was pretty neat, the people who work here, live here. Above the stables is a housing block and whole families live here. Generation after generation of families work for the royal family. So a child growing up in the mews might start out helping somewhere and end up being a driver or one of the many hands needed to keep this place so spic and span. 
After the Mews we walked down past the park and saw the Guards Museum. 
Al really liked this one, all kinds of uniforms and medals. Did you know those big blacks hats they wear are made out of bearskin? And that little bit of feather in the hat, the color and placement also means something. So I learned something. 
We walked past Churchill’s war room, no thank you. We couldn’t walk past 10 Downing Street, All barricaded off, home to the prime minister. We walked through the parade ground of the House Guards.
Then we got back on the tube to go to the Tower of London. This was incredible. It is something like Old Sturbridge village. It’s a giant museum with other smaller museums inside of it. A big wall surrounds it, then there is also a castle inside, called the White Tower and this is where the Crown Jewels are kept, and once the royal mint was here also and there is a Fusiliers Museum as well as a bunch of other stuff. We spent a lot of time here. They had several towers and ramparts we could walk across and they had a torture chamber of course.
From there the river boat cruises were right below, so we jumped on to that and rode the boat back to Westminster. I should mention before we left Al bought a London Pass, kind of like our Paris Pass except it did not allow for those hop on hop off tourist busses. Al had to buy a separate ticket to do the Eye. No thank you again from me! The Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the bank of the river Thames. He loved it, we have had kind of cold weather but the sun came out for a bit and he got a 360* view of the city from way up there. 
I said I would just stay on the boat because they just do a continuous loop back and forth between 3 stops and I would meet him where he got off. The boat was heated and had a bathroom, that beat sitting in the cold watching a small speck in the sky. 
Well little did I know that I happened to be on the last ride of that boat for the day. There was another boat in 20 minutes. So I find the next boat back and get in line and wait. I’m all anxious because now I’m not where I said I was going to be, I have no phone anymore. On the end where Al is he is now waiting and wondering what happened to me. It is now fully dark and he told me later that he realized that this was the first time we have been apart for more then a few minutes since Sept 4th. When we left CT. Wow! But he waited and I got there. So back to Westminster to the tube and back to Hammersmith for the night.
Tomorrow busy again,
Until then
Be well.

Place was crazy busy

Place was crazy busy

We arrived into London by train

We arrived into London by train

Looking at the Eye from across the river

Looking at the Eye from across the river

Westminster Abby

Westminster Abby

The side of the Abby

The side of the Abby

No pictures in Westminster Abby but this in the hallway on the way to their  store

No pictures in Westminster Abby but this in the hallway on the way to their store

Al in the eye

Al in the eye

As I said, No thank you!

As I said, No thank you!

Inside the Mews courtyard

Inside the Mews courtyard

Their front gate

Their front gate

One of the royal carriages, there were several

One of the royal carriages, there were several

Jubilee carriage

Jubilee carriage

We are approaching London Tower

We are approaching London Tower

The white tower.

The white tower.

At the Tower

At the Tower

Tower Bridge from London Tower

Tower Bridge from London Tower

From the boat, Westminster and Big Ben

From the boat, Westminster and Big Ben

Big Ben at night

Big Ben at night

They call this the Shard, tallest building in London.

They call this the Shard, tallest building in London.

The two of us in front of Tower Bridge.

The two of us in front of Tower Bridge.

Palace guards

Palace guards

St. James Park

St. James Park

One comment on “London 1st & 2nd day

  1. awesome! i was wondering what and where that shard bldg was. thanks!

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