Ye Old London Town

Trip Start Jul 07, 2010
Trip End Nov 07, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 113-

We both had a great nights sleep in our very own single bed each. Got some tea and toast into us and then headed on the tube from Marylebone station to the Tower of London. We tagged along on a tour with a beefeater who told us lots of gory execution stories, all I can say is I am glad I wasn't around in those days, having to witness some criminal’s head being paraded down the main street on a stick….

After the tour we did some exploring on our own and the first stop was the crown jewels. I couldn’t stop 'ooohing and ahhing’ at all of the sparkling royal bling. I found myself wondering what would Queeny do with half of these things… like a royal orb?? A round gold ball with jewels on it… would probably make a fab table centre.

We also got to see some royal dining plates and serving ware- let me just say, the punch bowl was magnificent, it was a huge carved gold beautiful thing and I am sure I will think of it every time I get out my $25 ‘Sauvage Urban’ punch bowl, purchased from the very classy HyperD.

We then continued the on the tower theme and crossed the tower bridge. We stopped at a pub for a burger and guiness and then continued onto the Globe Theatre and then the London Eye. We had become truly lazy tourists and opted not to line up for the London Eye instead, we ventured onto Big Ben and were lucky enough to hear it ‘ding’ at 3 O clock. Quick stop at Tesco for some wine gums and we made our way to Trafalgar Square. On the way there, we watched a standing down of the royal horse guard. Pretty interesting/ funny, the lead soldier yells funnily.

Last stop of the day was Trafalgar Square which was teeming with tourists. We caught the tube home, got changed and headed to Brick Lane for a curry and a catch up with my good friend Mel.

Day 114

After a well-earned sleep in, we headed off today to visit the queen. At Buckingham the flag was up, so we assume she was home. Being winter, the changing of the guard only happens every second day and there was a thousand or so people with the same idea as us. We pushed our way through for some prime viewing and sort of got a nice shot, but there wasn’t too much to sea. All we were really hoping for was a nice shot of a tall black furry hat.

After we got our shots, we turned our attention to the inside of Westminster Abbey. We paid our horrendous entrance fee, and audio tour in hand, we set out around the Abbey listening to all the history and stories about the church. One of the main things we were looking forward to seeing was the coronation throne. When we were listening to the audio tour, it said to look to the left, but all we could see was a sign – yep, the throne was getting "restored".

After our tour, just as we were leaving the Abbey, there was a small glass window and thankfully the throne restoration was taking place within the church itself, so we saw the throne (and where the Scottish scone of destiny) was kept. It amazes me how they managed to steal it back in the 50s!

We went to the national portrait gallery but our tums were hungry, so we stopped at Trafalgar square and had some lunch while sitting on Lions - well, on Nelson’s columns anyway).

The portrait gallery was great, lots of nice portraits would you believe!

Our plan was to go and explore Harrods, and along the way we came across some real life furry hat guards and took some photos! We were thinking of trying to make them laugh, but some other tourists beat us to it, and had one of the guards with a slight simle. I think they do their marching just to they can have their backs to us to get rid of the giggles.

When we made it to Harrods Cath was in wonderland! So many levels, so many different departments, and no idea where to start!

We wondered around for a bit and even came across the “princess Di and Dodi” memorial which was something different to see.

We soon realized that buying anything in the store might require a second (or 5th) mortgage on the house, so we caught the tube back home for the night.

Day 115-

Friday morning we marmited up our toast and headed out to the Portobello markets. When we arrived some of the stalls were just starting to set out but we managed to sneak in a Humming Bird Café cupcake for breakfast (healthy aren’t we!!!).

We walked the length of Portobello road, and sadly, the season’s didn’t change as we walked (like Notting Hill), and we were stuck in Winter coldness the whole way! There was only one purchase along the markets, which was a bargain ‘Paul Frank’ purse thing.

For lunch today we meet with both of Christian’s god mothers, Laura and Cathy, in a nice pizza place. Time just flew while we enjoyed our pizzas and company.

Through our Egypt travels, we were told about the Rosetta stone and saw a replica but since we were in London, we thought it only right to go to the British Museum to see the real deal. The funniest thing about this was we weren’t allowed to take photos on the fake in Egypt, but we could take them of the real thing in London – crazy!

While it was my birthday in September, being floating on the Nile meant my sister planned a nice birthday treat for my while we were in London. We got all dressed up and went to the theater to see Avenue Q. For those who haven’t seen the show, it’s extremely funny and inappropriate. You have to leave any morals at the door when you enter, I would describe it as “naughty Muppets”. When we were leaving the theatre we left via the back door and hung around for a minute or two. While we were hanging around, actors from the theatre adjacent were leaving. We were lucky enough to catch Jessy St James from Glee (Rachel’s boyfriend from the other school) leaving the cast door and Cath snapped up a nice photo together.

Day 116-

Today I got up with an extra spring in my step as it was market day and Jamie Oliver Restaurant day!!!

We left the house bright and early and walked through and ate a bacon and egg Butty ( I have been waiting for the time where I could say butty)It was Ian’s lucky day as I got through half of mine and got distracted by all of the wonderful Market stalls around, so he scored the rest.  These markets were HUGE and were filled with so many eccentric people, so people watching was part of the fun!

We headed to Jamie’s restaurant for lunch, sadly no sighting of the man himself but lunch was still pretty good. Afterward we headed on the tube to Picadilly Circus and booked tickets for ‘Love Never dies’ which is sequel to ‘Phantom of the Opera’ which we saw at Broadway. We had a few hours to kill, so we had coffee, shopped and ate some dinner. 7:30 rolled around pretty fast so we headed back to the theatre and settled into the best theatre seats we have been in! The show was FANTASTIC! It is currently in it’s opening season here at the West End but Andrew Llyod Webber is currently auditioning for the Aussie version which will open in 2011.

We headed home on the tube, which was pretty interesting as it was filled with Halloween enthusiasts. A perfect day in London Town.

Day 117

Writing today is a little bit sad knowing it’s our last day in London. Last night we booked tickets for Madam Tussauds as it was school holidays. In the morning, after sorting out 90% of our bags, we walked to Baker street. There was one crazy big line leaving the building and we were so pleased that we booked in advance. Inside the wax works it was manic, with people everywhere taking photos. I think we managed to snap up photos of almost all the celebrity wax works, some of the favorites would have to include Russell Brand and Cath’s all time favorite, MJ.

Our ticket included a 4D Marvel Movie which was similar to most 3D movies with the glasses, but it was one that sprayed you with water when people sneezed etc. The highlight would have to be when Wolverine stabbed things, the chair stabbed you back – so many screams it was hilarious!

After Madam Tussauds, we walked down to Oxford street and stopped half way down for some Cream Tea. We had been meaning to do it ever since we arrived in England, and being our final day, we had no excuse. We did a few bits of shopping along oxford street and fought with the crowds till we made it to the Marble Arch.

After walking back to Laura’s to grab our stuff, we headed off down the tube to our airport hotel. The hotel was a mile from the station, so we decided to walk it, and stopped at a lovely pub for tea. Being a Sunday, it was lovely to have a Sunday roast, and it has to go down as the best pub meal of England! We enjoyed the pub so much, that after checking into our hotel, we headed back and enjoyed a cocktail.

Day 118

Thismorning (which is now yesterday) nothing exciting happened, we woke up, had a donut and borded our airport bound bus. Not even anything exciting happened on the plane, so all we can say is that we have arrived saftely in Singapore and are making use of their wi-fi to upload the blog!
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Ali on

Is it ok to be homesick for somewhere that isn't home anymore?

Bruce on

Really enjoyed reading this blog - great photos. You certainly had some fun.

Cathryn on

Did you know your great grandmother went to Portabello Road School in 1897 and 1898? She was awarded a prize in these years for "attending punctually".

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