Here's to you, Mrs Windsor

Trip Start May 27, 2011
Trip End Jun 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ibis London Heathrow Airport Hayes
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, May 28, 2011

The flight into London was definitely not as fun by myself than when Ted was with me. My neighbouring passenger put up his privacy screen early in the flight so I felt quite bored in my lonely luxury. For the first time ever too, I was actually refusing the airline food as there was so much of it. So arriving in London was something of a relief too. Particularly when we thought we'd never get here, courtesy of yet another volcano exploding in nearby Iceland!

The express immigration pass was an incredible luxury - almost like a "Get out of Jail Free" card, only better. After Ted and I collected our bags we found the local Hoppa bus and transferred to our hotel. We knew the hotel was cheap so we weren't expecting accommodation like Buckingham Palace. But if it's clean, quiet and safe, we're easily pleased.

Neither of us have been sightseeing around London since the early 90's, so we were both excited to catch the underground to Piccadilly Circus. And it was exactly that - a circus. Someone forgot to tell Ted and I that the UEFA Champions League was on, as the city was crawling with football fans from either Barcelona or Manchester United. It seemed like everywhere you turned, you'd either get smacked in the face by an overlong scarf, or deafened by the overenthusiastic chants of a nearby hooligan. I thought that a city crawling with Spanish men would be a dream come true but unfortunately for every one Antonio Banderas, there were at least 20 Manuels from "Fawlty Towers".

As we hadn't eaten since the flight, Ted and I were keen on some good English grub. Unfortunately yet again, the only thing open was - sigh - McDonald's. It seemed like history repeating itself when we were looking for authentic French food last year on the Champs Elysses. After that we headed in the direction of Buckingham Palace to call in on Her Majesty. It ended up the streets lining the way were blocked as they were doing a dress rehearsal for the Trooping of the Colour, before the Queen's birthday. So we were lucky to witness all the pomp and spectacle before the actual event. It was like saying that you met the second man on the moon - pretty impressive but not quite the same.

There were a lot of horses, soldiers and brass instruments to keep us entertained but it would have been even better if a royal had made an appearance. We would have been happy even with Princess Eugenie or the Duchess of Cornwall! We followed the parade all the way to the palace for one more look before deciding - unwisely - to try and go back to where we had been. So basically we were swimming like a salmon upstream against a crowd twenty-thick. I think we pissed off a lot of Brits in the process but I guess that makes up for them sending us "Dad's Army" and "On the Buses".

We then checked out a few more sights, making a beeline for Westminster Abbey where I felt saddened that I wasn't on that all important guest list exactly one month earlier. After that came the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London before we became very tired and decided to find a nice pub. We found one called the Duke of Wellington which was a cool little venue in Old Compton road where they offered drinks other than Guinness. We then went back on the tube to our hotel before the jet lag kicked in.

We have an early start tomorrow as we fly to Norway. No problem getting up early though as we were both asleep by 7pm.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Rachael Coleman on

Hi guys, thanks for including me again on your trip blog. I love reading about your many adventures. Can't believe you're off again.....didn't you just come back from Bali?? Congrats on the J class travel. You soooo deserve it! Have a great time.

elke on

Hi guys, loved your tour of London, made me feel like i was there again. The old buildings are so lovely, when walking the streets of London, it feels like walking on the monopoly board. Thanks Andrew, u write beautifully love mum xx

Wayne on

Ah, Ye Olde Dart. How faaaabulous! Wish I was there running around with you. Alas, I'm in LA. I know, don't fall over, but I was called out yesterday. How rude! How wonderful that you found The Welly in Soho! It's a bustling place of an evening. Quite a grounded crowd, too. How I love Soho: the restaurants, cafes, bars and the eye candy. And the warm weather brings them all out in droves! Enjoy what's next on the itinerary and take care. Ciao! Oh, and what's wrong with Dad's Army & On The Buses???

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