Our Seventh Day in London - Christmas Day

Trip Start Dec 18, 2004
Trip End Dec 30, 2004

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Saturday, December 25, 2004

We made our way back up to Victoria Coach Station (across the street from Victoria Station) so that we could catch our tour bus (coach) at around 8:30 AM.

After boarding the coach, we traveled around to see Buckingham Palace first. The Queen was not in since she was spending time with her family in another part of London. Our tour guide told us that the reason why there is now barbed wire around the walls of the palace. Apparently, a homeless man hopped the wall, made his way into the palace unnoticed, and climbed in bed with the Queen. When she awoke, he asked her if she had a cigarette! He was promptly arrested and barbed wire was put up.

We also learned about Hyde Park which has a memorial to Princess Diana and a statue of Prince Albert. We also passed by Downing Steet (Number 10 Downing Street to be more precise). Prime Minister, Tony Blair lives here. The street is gated off since the Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot missiles at the building back in the 1980s. We also saw the horse guards at the Horse Guards and Admirality, the palace behind 10 Downing Street along Whitehall Road.

The tour continued up the road to Trafalgar Square where they have gorgeous fountains guarded by gigantic stone lions. At Trafalgar is The National Gallery and nearby Picadilly Circus.

We also stopped at St. Paul's Cathedral where they were holding Christmas Mass. The steeple bells were tolling, and the sound of the historical bells could be heard all across London!

Finally, we passed along Victoria Embankment driving past The Temple and King's College. Both were accented by the glint of sunlight shining from the south sky giving them a warm lighted hue.

We embarked on our journey on a lunchtime cruise down the Thames. The lunch consisted of beef stew for our antipasto, a bottle of French white wine, and a traditional British Christmas dinner of turkey of stuffing, parsnips, potatoes, and Brussel sprouts. Dessert was mince bread with a light drizzling of icing and mince pie... all this topped off with a spot of tea.

The cruise boat turned around at Greenwich and headed back into London. We sat at the bow of the boat taking sunset photos of the silhouetted skyline and bridges. After disembarking, our tour bus dropped us all off at our hotels since the public transit does not run on Christmas Day.

Back at the hotel, we lounged back to rest a spell, and then I sat down to record our travels for the day!

Happy Christmas and good cheer to all! Sending our Love...
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