Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Another day in London

During my daughters 'maivicantie' {aka May Vacation or Second Spring Break} we went to Berlin and then on a spur of the moment decision we decided taking her to London would be a great idea! For us, as you can gather from the first post I did last year about a day in London, it can easily be done in a day. I made a few changes to the itinerary this year, so we were able to fit in all we did last year, plus some.

I will say this is a very full day. We were out walking around for 11 hours. It is not for everyone, but it is doable if you are like us and like to go, go, go on holiday. Even my hubby has a hard time keeping up with us girls as we love to walk and love to see everything we possibly can!

So...here's our itinerary.

To find out what we ate, as there is one place on there that is a must-eat check out What I Ate in London.

Night we arrived we walked to London Bridge to take some photos of Tower Bridge all lit up. Many people think London Bridge and Tower Bridge are one in the same but they are not.






We left our Airbnb at 8am, walked to Leon's for English breakfast in a bowl and mochas...so tasty. 

After that we grabbed Oyster cards so we could get to the Eye via the Jubilee line, get off at Westminster and just walk over the bridge!



We arrived at the Eye a few minutes before 9, the ticket office opens at 9. We were toward the front of the line so we easily purchased tickets. We decided to stand in the area where people were queuing even though the ride wasn't open yet so we'd be toward the front...and I'm glad we did. Hey opened the line at 9:30 and about 9:46 it got really long pretty quick, by 10:25 when we were up in our pod toward the top the line was really backing up! So, if you don't purchase tickets in advance getting there early is doable.
I will say going up in the Eye was a nice experience. We went on a very windy day and we couldn't feel the pod shake at all! I was pleasantly surprised!










After the ride we walked over and checked out Big Ben, the Houses of Parliment, and what I refer to as the "thinkers garden" with Ghandi, Churchill, and Mandela statues.




Restoration work happening!


We decided not to tour the inside...hubby and I didn't either during our trip. It is kind of expensive and when you are doing a Euro to Pound conversion it is even more expensive!


Heading in to what I call the "Thinkers Garden". It is a bunch of statues of great people...Mandela, Churchill, Ghandi, etc.

After that we walked down to Buckingham Palace just in time for the changing of the guard. We couldn't get really close but we were able to see a bit at least!


This is a WWII Memorial on the way to the palace. VE Day had just been celebrated two days before...thus the flowers.


These weren't up last time we went. Beautiful though up against the story backdrop.


Garden and flags with gates in the back.


The Palace. The entire front was just crowded with people, I am sure they'd been there for a while.


No idea who these people on the horses were, but it was a pretty procession!



After this we headed back toward Trafalgar Square via St. Jame's Park, it was such a beautiful walk seeing most everything blooming and flowering.



Yes, we are the tourists you see doing weird shit. The week before this she was pretending to climb the Berlin Wall at a landmark there...this particular week pulling cheer stretches in phone booths.

We finally crossed the street into Trafalgar Square...







View of Trafalgar Square from The National Gallery.

Love looking up into the dome of the The National Gallery.

Line of phone booths round the corner from Trafalgar Square near where we ate.

I apologize in advance for the poor photography that is about to occur. It was raining so after Trafalgar Square when we wanted to head to The Tower, instead of walking like we did last time we decided on a double decker bus! 


I love European Architecture!


Our Double Decker was like a retro double decker...I am sad we didn't get a photo of the outside!




Random dragon statue, this had to be memorialized in a terrible photo.


There there was this statue underneath the dragon....


The the "Ye Olde Cock Tavern"...I have a teenager she made me take the picture...then I kindly reminded her a "cock" is a rooster...I thought she'd fall on the floor laughing. I never knew I was hilarious.

I forgot I took this picture, this is actually what our Double Decker bus looked like!

 We got off the bus at Tower Hill. It was still dripping pretty hard so we made our way over to the Costa at Tower Hill Terrace and got to enjoy a coffee and snack while gazing out at my favorite landmark of all time.

After coffee we made our way to The Tower. This is the one attraction that if you only pay for one thing in London, this is what you pay for. With Pound to Euro conversion we wound up paying about €50 for this, but when we left to hear, "that was the coolest thing Mom! Thank you for taking me to see that." It was completely worth it! Plus, a lot of the history that occurred there many of you know I am so passionate about it as I wrote a biography on Anne Boleyn if you remember. (Which apparently is down, so after checking with the author of the blog if it is down I will publish the biography here.)
A model of the King's chamber when this served as a palace.


His private chapel.


I freaking love the doors here...so elegant.





A view of Tower Bridge.




Intricate markings left by someone.






It was just recently the 479th Anniversary of her death, according to The Tower Facebook page.


There is one area of the tower that is completely interactive, so fun!

 After we left the tower we walked out a back entrance that normally isn't open but was because there had been a race earlier that day and we walked completely across the Tower Bridge! I'd wanted to do this before, but hubby wasn't keen because of the wind...the kiddo and I just threw all caution into that wind!




It was ridiculously windy! ha!






Old post box.


This is back on our side of the river.


I haven't seen these anywhere but over by where we were staying, they are 3D maps of the city, kind of like the one at the beginning of Game of Thrones! Pretty neat!


That is the area of town we were staying in.


Even at 15 my teenager couldn't resist getting wet, she went and played in the water a bit hehe









Our trip ended with a walk along this river front area between Tower Bridge and London Bridge. The next day we headed home. It was a wonderful trip and both agreed the best part was getting to ride The Eye as we both thought we were going to skip that, so a little spontaneity went a long way. We were tired and it took a solid three days to recover from the 11 hours spend walking and sight seeing, but it is our favorite way to see a city! 

P.S. When we visited, and it is still going on, is Shaun in the City to raise money for children in hospitals, make sure you check that post out too!

8 comments:

  1. You saw so much! I went years ago and loved every minute of it. I would love to go back.

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    1. Yeah I really wanted to give her the full run down of all the big stuff! We had such a wonderful time and I would love to go back to see a few other things like the Natural History Museum for one! :D

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  2. I would love to go see all these historical sites. Thanks for the pictures.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Tammy...those sites are some of my favorites...I really could go and just spend a whole day in the Tower...especially just staring at Anne's grave...morbid but I am fascinated by her!

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  3. Wow, what a trip. Thanks for all the photos! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you join this week's linkup that just went live!

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  4. What an amazing trip! Thank you for sharing it at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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    1. It really was, we still talk about it! hehehe Thanks for stopping by, Echo!

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