Thursday, January 15, 2015

London Day 2

Hello! How is everyone keeping? I hope you all had a Happy New Year!

Last year we had some pretty incredible travelling experiences and I would like to share more of those from London. So alas, here is Day  2.

Looking back, Day 2 was nuts. Mostly because we packed as much as we could into this short time. This was the day to get it all in, so I had a list which was approved by the group and everyone felt we could manage the list. Ha! Be warned... this is a long post.

We met for breakfast at 08:30 and shortly after we walked to the tube. Our first stop was the Tower of London and so Tower Hill was where we were off to.

John and Tammy had been to London before, so we relied on them knowing what to do. The tube system was very user friendly, but we did hit a bit of a snag and at one point we were not sure which train to take. That's when a gentleman who overheard us talking approached and asked if we were going to the Tower, and he then advised which train to wait for. London... you are friendly, thank you very much!

We hopped off at our stop and up the stairs we went.

And the moment I had been waiting for... Hello! What a view.

It's pretty impressive to see this structure against the modern architecture. We could learn from taking care of our historical buildings.

I took so many photos! Who wouldn't? I loved every bit of it and wanted to spend more time. Here is a taste of what we saw... 

This is the famous White Tower, the Fortress created by William the Conqueror prior to the 1100's. We did not go inside, but when I return to London, and yes, rest assured I will go back one day, I will take my time walking through. 

We walked mostly along the wall and into the rooms where royalty lived and went about their day to day business.
Tammy wanted to have her photo taken with the Yeoman Warder (we know them more commonly as the Beefeaters) so Marvin approached this gentleman and asked if we could take pictures with him, he was more than happy to oblige. He immediately asked where we were from and when we told him, not only had he known where Edmonton was, he said, "I waited many hours at your Sherlock Holmes (a pub at West Edmonton Mall), for my wife, but she only came to drop off more shopping bags". She enjoyed the shopping :) He had been with the British Army and so was very familiar with Alberta and Canada. The British Army shares training at CFB Suffield. I wish I had asked him his name, but did not.

The Gherkin :)

You can buy the Tower of London souvenir book when you pay for your ticket. It provides pictures and historical information about the Tower. I highly recommend it. It describes the Ravens, which are said to be the guardians of the tower, and if they leave then the kingdom will fall. Do you spot him in the photo below?

That was it, that was all the time we had for the Tower. We then walked over to the Tower Bridge where we planned to take the boat to the London Eye, but we thought it was just a bit pricey and the tube was so easy to maneuver.

When we walked up those stairs at Westminster station, I was completely mesmerized by Big Ben, seriously mesmerized. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you already know this :) I couldn't help but take as many photos as possible of the parliamentary buildings and Big Ben, I mean really it is pretty incredible and one of London's most well known symbols. So you can imagine I tried to get the best photo possible, but traffic, joggers, pedestrians and other tourists all seemed to get in my way! I mean really, come on?!! ;) 

Meanwhile, the group was waaaaayy ahead of me. This is the trouble being the one holding the camera :) 
There she is, the London Eye! I could not wait to get up there and have the birds eye view. 
 We had the most beautiful weather while in London! How lucky were we?
Okay, so while we were here in the eye, I spotted Buckingham Palace. Boom! Our next stop.
Although, first things first, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and carrot cake at a bakery near the London Eye  before we started to walk to Buckingham Palace. I thought I had photos of the bakery, but I don't! I must have been hungry and forgot.
I warned you, I have lots of photos of it.
But here is where it gets funny. Remember I said I had a list, yes well I never really pulled the list out the whole day and it wasn't until I looked at the photos on my camera later in the evening when we were back in the room and I noticed the sign "Westminster Station" and realized we completely missed Westminster Abbey. Yes, so this will be on my list when I return. No worries, right? :)
 By this time, me feet were killing me. Obviously I did not bring the proper footwear.

On another note, can anyone tell me the kind of trees these are? This is along St. Jame's Park, Marvin enjoyed the trees, and they were all over London, but no one could tell us the name of them. They were beautiful.
Oh Buckingham Palace, you are beautiful! We walked up to the gates and took photos of the guards. We then made our way to the shop and bought some more souvenirs to bring home. I bought a fridge magnet, an umbrella and some Christmas ornaments. By this time it was close to 3 pm and we still wanted to go to Harrods. I told the group, the only way I was making my way to Harrods was if I could buy a pair of shoes!
Here they are! They are a bit blingie, and I shared a few moves with the group immediately upon placing them on my feet! Yup, they never came off after that.
After partaking in more shopping, we went to the Tea Room where we became ensconced in our seats and ordered tea, scones and clotted cream. Yum.   

After we were filled with our tea room experience we took a taxi back to the hotel. It was raining at this point and we were pretty tired! Our evening was spent back at the hotel for an incredible dinner after which we retired to our rooms to rest and prepare for Day 3.
If you made it here, thanks for reading and having a look at our Day 2 in London.

There will be a Day 3 too!

Take care friends :)