London Bridge is falling down.....falling down....

Trip Start Aug 08, 2010
Trip End Aug 29, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The wake up call came in at 7:30. I told myself, I would just rest my eyes a couple more minutes.  The next time I opened my eyes, the clock said 9:15.  I hustled down to the restaurant and ate breakfast, and after showering was out the door by 10:00.  I took the tube down to Picadilly Circus, and made a b-line for the Original Bus Tour again. 

I followed the yellow line down to the Westminster Bridge.  Here I jumped off the bus and walked along Parliament.  Parliament is the meeting place of the legislative branch of the government.  It includes the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and originally was the royal residence for the King and Queen until the mid 1500's.  Turning the corner, I walked past Big Ben as it was just chiming out 11:30.  I approached the Westminster Bridge, and decided to use my portion of the Original Bus Tour that allowed me to take a free Thames Cruise with the City Cruises Line.  The boat led us down the Thames River, past such sites as the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathederal, Shakespear’s The Globe Theatre, under the London Bridge (and it didn’t even "fall down"), and then docked after reaching the Tower Bridge.

While now on foot, I made my way around the Tower of London.  The entry price was a little too steep, so decided to make my way toward the Tower Bridge and walk across to the South Side District.  After taking several pictures, I thought I would try my luck into finding Fendall Street.  This street has to do with a branch of the family that remained in London when my line had removed to Maryland in the 1650’s.  This branch became rather wealthy in the early 1800’s and set up shop in the Bermondsey District which is in Southwark Burrough of London.  I knew that the street was only about 2 blocks long at current, despite the fact that it originally connected all the way to the Tower Bridge.  I wandered around with no much luck, trying to find the street.  After having several people try to help me, I finally found a business man who was able to look it up on line and help guide me the rest of the way.  The street is located approximately 1.3 miles from the Tower Bridge.

After taking several pictures, I made my way back to the Thames River and decided to stay on the South Side and wander down to Shakespear’s Globe Theatre.  It had started drizzling here in London.  It was a shock after yesterday being quite warm and sunny all day.  I found out later, that yesterday’s weather had been an anomaly for London recently.  Little did I know, that this rainy weather would last the entire day.  The Globe was sold out, so I was unable to catch a show, and now that I think of it, with the Globe not having a roof, I wasn’t exactly sad about it.

From here, I decided to walk back across the Thames on the Millenium Footbridge.  I continued on to St. Paul’s Cathederal, which was built by Christopher Wren in 1822.  It was an imposing structure. 

I made my way west down Holborn Street.  I knew eventually I would run into the British Museum.  Along the way, I was becoming famished.  Fortunately, I had remembered to sneak out of the breakfast area with a bagel and orange in my possession.  I think I will make this a habit, as it came in very handy.

The British Museum, was very interesting.  The fist item I came upon was the Rosetta Stone, which was responsible for archeologists being able to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  I continued on enjoying the Egyptian and Assyrian dynasty artifacts.  Another impressive thing was a set of winged lions which guarded an Assyrian palace 800 years before Christ.  I would have been more impressed, had I not just been inside the MET in New York City only 1 months ago, which was very similar.  After spending nearly 2 hours inside, I decided to walk back toward Picadilly Circus.  Picadilly Circus is not a circus at all, just to let you all know.  A circus is named for a circular area.  Picadilly was named for the fancy ruffled shirts that became famous in the time of Queen Elizabeth.  They were called picadils, and they were made in this particular neighborhood.  After taking additional pictures, I walked down to St. James Park.  I enjoyed watching people feed the ducks, birds, and squirrels while making my way down the Princess Diana Memorial Walkway toward Buckingham Palace.  The Palace had just closed, so was content with taking pictures near the gates.  This royal residence has been just that since 1837.

Upon leaving Buckingham Palace, I made my way toward Westminster Abbey.  Again, I arrived too late for a tour, which was kind of sad.  I had been told that this Church is the greatest church in the English speaking world.  It has been the place where England’s kings and queens have been crowned and buried since 1066.  I walked around the side of the Abbey and again walked by the Parliament Building and Big Ben like I had earlier in the day.

About this time, I had developed two major problems.  First of all, my left knee had had enough of the pounding for the day, and was beginning to fight back.  Secondly, chafing had developed between my thighs, and I found it increasingly more uncomfortable to walk.  I knew it was important to find my way back to my hotel room as soon as possible and with the least amount to steps possible.  I took the tube from Westminster Station to Earl’s Court, getting off only to change lines that continued back to Hammersmith.  Just outside the station, I found a local deli shop where I purchased a Chicken with Tikka Paste Wrap.  Still not sure what Tikka is, but it was tolerable.

Back in the hotel lobby I was able to use the computer located there for 5 minutes.  I logged onto facebook for the first time since leaving the Denver Airport…..think I was going through some major withdrawals.

All in all, I found London incredible.  I would definitely like to come back for a future visit.  Now I know what the city has to offer, and what things I would like to actually go through.  London was a perfect city to begin my European adventure.  The biggest reason is it is a predominately English speaking city.  I say predominately because I was surprised to hear as many different languages spoken as I did.  Obviously there were quite a few tourists here.  Out of the 50 pounds I had brought with me, I spent all but 16.  Think I will try to find some souvenirs to purchase with the left over pounds here later tonight before I go to bed.
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Gretchen on

I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, as my husband and I are going on this same trip on the 19th of September. We've been curous about what the optional tours are like and what they actually do include on the included tours. Keep up the good work.

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