Our seventh day in England, and our 2nd full day in London.
This was a FANTASTIC trip!!!
After breakfast, we went to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards. We got there at least a half hour before it was supposed to start, and it already looked like this:
Buckingham Palace before
The Changing of the Guard
Me and Boyfriend in front of Buckingham Palace
with hundreds of our best friends (ha!)
First came the guys on foot in their red uniforms
It was a little scary for me because the US travel dept had issued warnings before we left, saying to stay away from "large crowds" because of possible terrorist attacks...
After the guys on foot came the guys on horse, with the first horse being white and all the rest were dark brown and/or black
I wish someone had been there to explain all this "pomp & circumstance" to us...
After they finished marching into the "yard" behind the gates/fence, the Guard did a bunch of stuff we couldn't hear, and really couldn't see. If you were one of the "lucky people" who got there who-knows-how-early to get a good spot, then i suppose you could see and hear everything.
But we couldn't.
So we left.
We weren't really too comfortable, anyway, being in all that crowd, and constantly needing to think about pick-pockets (as the Bobbies reminded us while we were standing around waiting for things to begin!)
So we walked around town, down to the Thames near Big Ben...
to go ride the London Eye.
(Google that sometime. It is FANTASTIC!)
The London Eye is like a HUGE bicycle wheel with little "bubble cars" attached to it. I was a little concerned that i would be scared up there so high. I get scared on the Ferris Wheel when it comes to town for the Fair, so...
But the view was so marvelous that i didn't have time to think about it!
I absolutely LOVED it!
It took right at an hour to complete the circuit, but it really didn't seem like that long.
What a gorgeous city!
We loved the London Eye, even though it cost SO much!
The Thames River and a piece of the "car" in front of us
I could show you tons more pix we took, but i won't. =-)
After The Eye, we walked around to find a pub for lunch.
A directional sign for a Roundabout.
Remember, their traffic goes on the left, so the first street off the roundabout goes to Lambeth Bridge, then the next street goes to Victoria Station (and that funky red & white symbol means there's a railroad station there too). It's "different" there, but not "un-translate-able". =-)
We found a pub just across and down a bit from 10 Downing Street called The Red Lion. Delicious.
Next, we took the Tube to Kings Cross Station to see...
Taking the escalator down and down and down to take
the Tube to King's Cross Station to go see...
Platform 9 and three quarters!!!
(This meant nothing to W & C, but they were such good sports about it. They even took pictures!)
It was difficult to find, but that was kinda appropriate since it was difficult for Harry Potter to find it in the book. =-)
Boyfriend & me at King's Cross Station,
Platform 9 and three-quarters.
After King's Cross Station, we went to St Pancras Station to try to get re-imbursed for our Chunnel train tickets to Paris. We had planned on going to Paris, but with the "million" people striking (due to the president trying to change the retirement age from 60 to 62 [or something like that]) and rioting in the streets, we decided not to go.
A sign in the EuroStar office confirming that we may have problems if we try to go to France
But did that make them refund us the price of our train tickets?
No it did not!!
Whatever. We still had a BLAST in England and Wales! =-)
After no success at EuroStar, we went back to our hotel for a little drink and a nap, and then we headed to...
Is there some law or something that says every large city must have a ChinaTown? =-)
We were looking for some place to eat.
We wanted Chinese, so what better place than ChinaTown?
Only, ChinaTown may have been a "little" too authentic for us...
Duck in the Window at Hung's
We weren't the only ones looking for Chinese food on a Wednesday night.
We went into a place called The Golden Pagoda.
But still, maybe a little too authentic for us.
The menu was MANY pages, and i wasn't sure what i could eat that wouldn't upset my stomach, so i went with something that had Ginger in it, thinking it would be "safe".
It was called Crab & Ginger. I should have known better.
We didn't think about taking a picture of it until i'd already "attacked" it, but...
They brought me an ENTIRE CRAB!!!
I wasn't sure how to eat it,
but i TRIED!
It was VERY tasty, but slightly intimidating. =-)
Then we walked through SoHo back to a Tube station to get to our hotel.
SoHo at night.
TONS of people, and we were very conscious of pick-pockets.
Anytime we got in a crowd, we kept our purses close.
SoHo at night
We stopped at W's "favorite" pub, the Lamb & Flag, and had a drink before walking to the Tube Station to get "home".
Tube Station (that was very deep into the Earth)
on the way back to our hotel
after another long but wonderful day.