Monday, January 10, 2011

London Day 1

If I could sum up our visit to London using just one photo is would be this one:

Surreal is all I can say - to see Big Ben & Parliament in person. Being from the US and always seeing these places on TV and in movies and then being able to see them in person was just awesome. Beautiful too.

We had a great time in London. I have to be honest and say I was a little nervous about going there - just Chris and I. Our tour guides were back in Germany and now we were on our own. But we did it! Our hotel was out at Heathrow which is a good 20-30 minutes into London. First we had to ride a bus from our hotel to the airport. From there we caught the Tube (the underground train) to the city. Then we navigated various stops until we could get close to where we wanted to be. We saw the inside of many tunnels! The underground was easy to navigate too which was so good. They announced every stop, told you how service was and announced any changes in stops or routes. So that made it very easy to figure out how to get around.

Our first day we stopped at Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. For December there were quite a few people there and we found it hard to see some of the ceremony. But it was worth it. After that was over we decided to head to the Royal Mews (stables) just down the street. I really wanted to see the horses and was disappointed to see only 2!!! But we did see all of the royal carriages including the gold coach used for coronations. It was very ornate.

After the mews we headed down towards the Thames to see Big Ben, Parliament and ride the London Eye. It was so neat to turn a corner and see Big Ben down the street! And of course we had to stop at the red telephone booths. I got the feeling these were placed just for tourists!

We enjoyed the view of the river and then rode the London Eye. I did not enjoy it nearly as much as Chris did but the views were incredible. I just did not like the feeling of being so high up surrounded by nothing but windows! I need a little more security.

By the time we left the London Eye it was nearly 4pm and starting to get dark. We walked back across the river and headed for Westminster Abbey. I was really looking forward to this. We decided that instead of paying to tour the abbey we would wait until 5pm and attend an Evensong service (which is free). We got a few wary glances as I'm sure some people did not believe we were there for the service but there were other tourists there as well. That service was amazing! To be sitting right next to the choir boys singing inside that church was unbelievable and beautiful. It was a great experience and I wish I could share with you the mental images from that time.

Finally we caught the underground to Harrods! WOW! What a place. We probably only saw 1/4 of the place and had a hard enough time figuring out how to get around. It is layed out in a bunch of squares each with a different theme (perfume, fruits & veggies, candy, purses, etc.) But they should really hand out maps at the door. We ate dinner there (hey why not? They had a pizza kitchen) and then caught the train back to our hotel, exhausted and ready for Day 2.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love that first shot! What great timing - the sun burst effect is amazing. So glad you are still posting about your trip. Keep it up! Can't wait to hear about day 2.