Saturday, May 14, 2016

Friday 14th August

Up bright and early again this morning to get across town to the Tower of London near opening time.

Headed straight for the Crown Jewels as the lines later on were hundreds deep, we walked straight in!
Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos in here, but the creations are stunning.

There is so much history here, unfortunately I don't remember much of it now...lol... but Craig thoroughly enjoyed the visit there. Tim thought history was boring! But agreed that it was a very interesting place. I had been here before with my Grandmother when I was 17.
The historic buildings are amazing.





From there we had got a glance at Tower Bridge

Back on a train to head to Westminster - this was the emptiest train we saw the whole time in London!
Then we had  a stroll across Westminster Bridge which was crazy crowded, lots of scammers on the bridge, who clog up the sidewalks so much you have to walk on the road, but they clear out pretty quickly when they spot a policeman! It was actually quite funny to watch - we could easily pick out their "spotters".


Big Ben and the HOuses of Parliament


London Eye. We went there on the first day in London but the queues were hours long and we never had a time to go back. And that was the sunniest day too! Today was pretty overcast and by this time it was threatening rain. 

Westminster Abbey. Would have loved for Craig to have seen inside (I had been before) but time wasn't on our side and it was really quite pricey just to have a look. But just as stunning from the outside.



 We then headed down to the Thames to find the ferry that would take us way down the river, past Greenwich and onto The 02 stadium. Craig & Tim were booked to do a climb over the stadium this afternoon. Unfortunately the weather wasn't looking too promising!





But the climb still went ahead - it was just a light mist by the time they were ready to go. Here they are walking over the top.


This is what the O2 looks like from a distance. It is like a big Entertainment Centre, used for concerts and shows. There are a lot of restaurants around the area too. I had a wander round while they were on the climb. I was going to go on the Cable car to the other side of the Thames but not worth it with the weather the way it was. So I got comfy in STarbucks, rested my sore feet and caught up with emails with the free WIFI!!!


Craig & Tim at the top.

We finished the day off with a Meat Fest in the Brazilian Restaurant! 
Back on the train to find our way back to our hotel. Time to pack up as we are leaving London in the morning. We had a great few days, so much to see and do and we didn't even scrap the surface. Could easily come back and spend a couple of weeks just in London. One day!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday 13th August 2015

Up bright and early this morning as we had to navigate our way to Picadilly Circus to join a walking tour with Fun London Tours. We chose to do the Changing of the Guard tour as this visited a number of Royal buildings, then followed the Horse Guard to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard.


Our tour guide Jessie was fantastic - very engaging - and we saw lots of parts that we probably never have seen.

 We walked through some lovely areas past some stunning historic buildings



We then came out on "The Mall"....it is the road that leads to Buckingham Palace and they have the Royal cavalcades through here.




We then went to St Jame's palace, currently the home of Princess Anne when she is in town, and that is where the St Jame's detachment of the Queens Guard  leave from to head to Buckingham Palace daily.


 From here we walked/marched/ran alongside these guards along The Mall for a little way - as you can see by the blurry picture we had to move pretty fast to keep up with them to get to our next point on the tour
We then made a quick cut across St Jame's park to another point where the Horse Guard were making their way to the Palace.
Well, there were sooo many people there - it was crazy!!



Then it was around to near the front of Buckingham Palace to the Mall again to see the Horse Guard coming.



And finally - here is Buckingham Palace. We didn't get any closer as there was literally thousands of people there. Even the guide was surprised at the amount of people this day.



We then headed down to see the guards change at  Clarence House which used to be the Queen Mother's residence.

So that concluded our tour.
I am so glad that we went on the tour as if we had gone to the Palace to see the changing of the guard and seen that many people I would have just left! So even though we didn't see the actual changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace we saw a lot of the behind the scenes to the actual event. I highly recommend this tour co.....not very expensive and about 3 hours worth of so much information.

So as it was drizzling now we headed through Green Park to Green Park Station to figure out where to go next.
Starbucks provided a bit of sustenance and dry out of the rain while we figured out what to do and how to get there!
Tim ordered a coffee and wasn't sure of the size so ordered "Venti" (the white cup) which was huge! For someone that usually drinks tiny macchiatos he didn't get through much of this!

Next we decided to head to hop on a red bus to eventually get to Borough Markets. What we found though, a few times, is that the buses often didn't go all the way or to all the stops they were supposed to. So after a few buses and walks in between looking for the right bus stops we found our way to Borough Market - on the other side of the Thames.

At one point in our trip we were sitting in a traffic jam of Red Double Decker Buses!

I think this was Trafalgar Square and Lord Nelson's Column.


So we finally made it to Borough Market and fortunately the rain had cleared.

Fantastic place for foodies!
Craig & I  had Venison Burgers  with this amazing Aged cheese - which were really quite nice!
 Tim had Curry out of this big pot

Eating street side lol

 All the different types of mushrooms


We left the market and headed through some little laneways and past some amazing old buildings through to the Thames and the Shakespeare Globe Theatre




A pub - they have all gorgeous flowers decorating all the pubs - lovely. 


  Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

We walked along the Thames for a bit to the Millenium Briidge to cross the Thames and head towards St Paul's Cathedral.






We went into a shopping mall nearby so get a good view of St Pauls and also the Shard - the super modern glass structure.



From here we headed by train to Oxford Street so I could visit Liberty of London!










Oxford street. I spent a lot of time on Oxford street back in my trip in 1983 with my Grandmother who loved to shop!!

Bit of a walk around the cool streets at the back of Oxford STreet. We found a Jamie Oliver's but there was a 90 minute wait for a table - well it was Friday night!
Anyway we stumbled across a Whole Foods - the American store - fantastic! Tim was very happy. So had a nice dinner there. Yummy pulled pork nachos.

Then back to our hotel.
Man, what a big day!! I mapped it out and we walked over 7klm and that is not including all the steps to and from the train stations, and let me tell you there are a lot of them!
Exhausted! But what a great day.