Jolly Old England!
Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
84Trip End Mar 24, 2011
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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.