Wednesday, September 10, 2014

London - Day One

Last year we began the process of planning for a 2 week Mediterranean cruise, but soon added an extra few days to allow for adjustments to jet lag and luggage mishaps. Besides, with travelling this distance to Europe, it made sense to spend a bit more time in London. We had less than 72 hours, which was not really much, but enough to get a taste and to know we would love the opportunity to come back and see more!

The photos I am sharing are from my iPhone, iPad and Canon T3I, some I have shared on IG and/or Facebook already, but most have not been shared.

With over a year of planning I cannot tell you (although if you've ever planned a big trip before I'm sure you already know what it's like) how excited we were for this. Marvin and I had never been to Europe before!

Waiting in our seats, already boarded!

A token shot of Edmonton. We left May 10th, a very late Spring for us and our trees were just beginning to bud, in fact we even had a scant amount of snow fall that week! We were ready to leave and looked forward to seeing London!

The time difference between London and Edmonton is only 7 hours, but the flight was 9 hours long. Our direct flight travelled over Iceland and arrived at Heathrow at 11:30 am. This was our first glimpse of what we were about to see!

We stayed at Grosvenor House, across from Hyde Park, which was very comfortable and near most of the sites on our list of must sees.

After 1.5 hours of sleep (not solid mind you) on the plane, our first order of business was to get ourselves settled into our hotel room, freshen up and be on our merry way!
Before we could leave the hotel, I took this photo looking out our room window and pretty much squealed because I was so excited to be here!! A few text messages to family to let them know we arrived safely and then we were on our way to meet John and Tammy.
Our next mission - find a PUB!
Okay, so on our drive from the airport I couldn't help but notice ALL of the men walking about in their suits and bowler hats. Everywhere. Bowlers hats. (loved it). We were told it was the Cavalry Memorial Service. Needless to say, the men left a very good impression on me ;)
After walking around a bit and only a few blocks from our hotel, we ran into an elderly gentleman, who did hear us speaking about food and pubs! He directed us to the Market Tavern, not only did he direct, but told us it was the best Pub in all of London! Well, okay then.. I was pretty happy and felt quite lucky to run into him knowing I was going to eat well!
We walked in and found a seat at the back and were soon given a menu.
I have to tell you - at this point I had not used my camera for months, and in these first few hours I struggled getting my settings right. Wow... I wanted to take photos inside this pub and nothing worked. Even automatic... anyway.. I like the photo below although it is completely out of focus and over exposed. I believe the memory is what counts here...  
The menu had so many wonderful items to pick from and Sunday was roast day, but I couldn't wait to try the fish and chips, MORE importantly I wanted some mushy peas! I was pleasantly surprised. They had good consistency and lots of flavor! I might have to try and replicate this at home.
 Of course we needed dessert to finish it all off... I had the salted caramel and chocolate tart! Yummo!

 After eating and relaxing we decided to make our way back to our hotel. Here is another out of focus photo. I promise they get better!

Our intent was to stay awake as long as possible. We were aiming for 9 pm but found after sitting in the lounge for a mere 45 min we seriously were in need of sleep. By this time we were awake for 30+ hours. We headed back to our rooms and were in bed by 7 pm!
And there you have it! Our first day in London...
Thanks for popping by :)


  1. So exciting!

    I love that first view from the plane: it's definitely the best bit of flying.I hope you have more pictures to show us :)

    1. Yes Sian! I will share more photos :). I agree the first glimpses from the air are always exciting.

  2. Lovely selection of photos. Do men in London really still wear bowler hats!! My dad wore a bowler hat to work every day of his life.

    1. Jacky I can asure you on that very day, every man was wearing a bowler hat! :)

  3. Such an exciting trip for you and it comes across here, in your words and pictures.

  4. Oh, this reminds me of our trips to London and makes me want to go back SOON! You've done a great job capturing this first day . . . and I'm totally impressed that y'all made it until 7pm! The pub shot is perfect for capturing the essence & memory of that first meal out - yum, fish &chips!

  5. Oh I am so excited to see this post, Ginger! It brings such fond memories back for me, of my time in London with my daughter last year. I'm really looking forward to seeing more photos and hearing about the rest of your trip.

    OMG - I want fish and chips and mushy peas now!!! Yum!!!

  6. Oh, this was fun to go through as we did a quick stop over London too this summer ;) We spent about 2 1/2 days so not too much more than you did! We loved it (not the prices, but everything else!)

  7. Loved this little peek Ginger, i know its time consuming but hopefully there is more to come, pretty please...xx were the fish and chips nice? thats what i first had when i was there 20 odd years ago and they were disappointing.

  8. Re the bowler thing ... it is no longer a common sight. You just happened to arrive on the day of the Cavalry Old Comrades parade, which is held in Hyde Park. The King of Jordan took the salute this year and my Chelsea Pensioner friend laid the wreath, as he has done for more than 40 years. Officers and men parade together, with the officers in bowler hats. Prince Harry would have been most likely on parade as well. And that is way you saw lots of bowler hats.

  9. Sounds and looks like a great first day. I'm really interested in hearing about the rest of the trip. We're heading off there 2 weeks tomorrow after a year of planning as well.

  10. Oh, looks like a grand day one. Grand is a word they'd use in London, when wearing a bowler, no less, don't you think?

  11. That's a stunning view from the plane! I am excited to see how your trip panned out and read your thoughts on us over here on Europe - glad day 1 was a success :).

  12. How lovely for you to have arrived on Cavalry parade. Looking forward to seeing more x