Jolly Old England!

Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
Trip End Mar 24, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, October 14, 2010

OK - here goes - the initial blog entry :)   The flight to London on Tuesday night was as smooth as could be (with the exception of the plane load of giddy Italian school children and the fact that Air Canada prefers to serve me vegan meals such as scrambled tofu for breakfast).

Heathrow Airport was one of the easiest I've ever navigated through.  We were warned that due to Labour actions, there would be long line-ups in Customs, but we all zipped through in about 10-15 minutes!  Caught the clean and efficient Heathrow Express train to Paddington  Station and a quick 5 minute walk to my B&B, which is in a lovely area near Hyde Park.  Got settled in and did a walkabout, getting familar with my new 'hood.  Loved the food options at the nearby Marks & Spencers and Sainsbury's and the neighborhood has dozens of restaurants and shops to choose from.  Had an early night - not jet lagged, just temporarily temporally confused).

Thursday was a sightseeing day.  London put on it's most English weather for me - overcast and cool, with a chance of rain - completely what I expected :)  Had a hearty breakfast at the B&B (no tofu to be seen) and grabbed a hop on/off tour bus.  Saw many of the iconic sights - Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey etc.   Just happened to be strolling by Buckingham Palace when the changing of the guard occurred - it only happens every second day, weather permitting.  Cool.  Grabbed a sandwich and ate it on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral this afternoon doing some people watching.  These Brits are natty dressers :)  Spent a couple of hours touring St. Paul's - it is truly awe-inspiring - so immense and beautiful.  Lit a votive candle for my Dad and spent some quiet time in the seating areas before climbing to the first level of the dome and then heading down to the crypt for some tomb touring.  Good old Horatio Nelson has quite the spot down there!  Apparently his coffin was actually made long before for Cardinal Wolsey who fell out of favour with Henry VIII and didn't get to use it so when Nelson died (and was transported back to England in a keg of brandy by the way), it was brushed off and given to him!  Oh the drama!  

Walked back to my B&B from Hyde Park and grabbed fish and chips from the local chippy around the corner for supper - yum.  Going to have my strawberry scones from M & S for a little snack later - double yum.  Hope to visit some galleries/museums and/or Westminster Abbey tomorrow if I can figure out the tube schedule.  Feels good to put my feet up and eat scones this evening.
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Brenda Chandler on

I wish I were you!!
You are so smart to do this!!
Have fun, great pix.

Jonathan Toms on

It looks like you are having a great time A. If you get a chance try and get tickets to go and see Prescilla Queen of the Desert in the West End. It is an amazing show. Have fun.


Cheryl W on

Wow!! I'm impressed! Your site is incredible. Maybe you could be a professional TravelPod blogger. I feel like I am there with you. Did your fish and chips come in newspaper?
There is a ticket wicket in Trafalger Square where you can pick up last minute (tonite) shows for very little money. How long are you in London?

Alan Brown on

Great sidebar humour as always. Are you going to venture 'The Eye in the Sky' ? You insist in teasing us with those great pastries, what's the chance of a black puddin supper ? Keep the pictures and commentry coming, so entertaining.

margaret on

I'm on my way to work and took a side trip to London before I headed out. Thank you for that. Enjoy, enjoy.

Michael Winters on

Terrific blog Albertine. Ring up Liz and ask for an invite to tea at the Palace!
Based upon the content so far, I would venture to say that PBS may have an opening or you.
Have fun.

Lynn Hadley on

I see a great book in the making.. I can't wait to read about day 2.. You are making great memories and that is what life is all about!! You go girl!!

Susan on

Busy time! sounds good.Love the pics. Small room? Can't wait to hear more

Renena on

Awesome, A!!! Looks fabulous!! Can't wait to follow the rest of your travels! :)

mary lynass on

Bravo Albertine. It makes my heart race to read your blog and look at your photographs. You are truly a brave and adventurous woman. Cheers

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