Trip Start Aug 23, 2008
10Trip End Sep 09, 2008
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Greetings from London, England - Officially the new home of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games - the celebration kicked off here today but we were a little late for the celebration due to flight delays in Costa Rica on Saturday.
About 15 minutes before the taxi was to pick us up there was an instant message from my mom saying that she was checking our flight and that we were delayed - as it was we didn't have much time to make our connection in Newark, so I immediately started researching the other options for getting to Heathrow and we had three flights from San Jose to Houston and then we had two options from there to Heathrow. We ended up getting on the second flight out of San Jose and connected with the last flight out of Houston so we only ended up being about 5 hours late overall
We took the train from the airport to the Paddington Station where we hailed a taxi and had about a 10 minute drive to our hotel. We checked in - organized our luggage, freshened up and then met up with our friends Roseann and Glen who have been here in Europe for the last 10 days. They welcomed us with some nice Sangria and then we headed down Oxford Street and ate at a great little seafood restaurant called SeaBass - we all had fish and chips with mushy peas because...we are in England! After we finished dinner it was nearing 8 pm so we decided to head down to the Thames and see Big Ben, Parliament and the London Eye and see those sights in the evening. We want to go on the London Eye - but think we will try to fit it in during the daylight hours and tomorrow will be our only chance. Since we arrived later than planned to London - we essentially lost one good ½ day of sightseeing. We have tomorrow and then on Tuesday we are doing a tour outside of the city.
We have quite a list of sites to see tomorrow - we will do our best to get it all in - but I have a feeling that we will be leaving a lot of sites for the future.
That was about it for the first day. Will, I am watching the Lions game right now from Saturday. I am looking for you in the stands - I heard you had a lot of fun
August 25 London
We had a late night last night so we slept in this morning and planned on meeting up after breakfast.
We took a double decker bus due to the fact that....we are in London.... over to the Tower of London and spent a few hours touring the various towers, grounds and seeing the Crown Jewels. Quite a collection of jewels for sure - no photos allowed in this site - but we did enjoy the grounds - meeting the famous ravens - and viewing the execution site with the now very beautiful 'chopping block'. The Tower was not only a place for prisoners but also a palace. The White Tower which was constructed in 1077 was just the beginning of this walled fortress along the Thames.
Right outside of the Tower of London is the Tower Bridge - you will see some photos of this famous bridge.
After leaving the Tower of London we headed over near St
From Harrods we headed back down to the Thames River and got our tickets for the London Eye. The World's Largest Observation Wheel - at least it was for a brief moment in time - is an amazing ride regardless of its status. It took 30 minutes to complete one revolution and we enjoyed the sunset and nice views of the City of London. We just had 12 people in our 'pod' and we have realized how lucky we have been in these past two days to have very short lines or no lines at all for the attractions and sites that we have visited.
We walked around the area a bit when we were finished and then headed back towards our hotel where we found a pub for a little something to eat before retiring for the night.