London, England 

We had to wait a few days for the finance on our campervan purchase to be finalised, which gave us a perfect excuse to head back to London and see what the city had to offer. We donned our tourist hats and hit many of the major sights, including (in chronological order):

  • Borough Market (a.k.a. heaven for Danny)

  • London Bridge

  • Tower of London

  • Randon English pub for the British classics fish and chips and bangers and mash

  • Green Park

  • St James Park (Squirrels! Eating bread right out of my hand!)

  • Buckingham Palace 

  • Hyde Park

  • Harrods (10 minutes was enough, partly because I was scolded for taking photos inside)

  • Victoria and Albert Museum (which contained every type of art imaginable, from every region on earth and from every time period. So everything, basically)

  • Science Museum

  • More English pubs, catching up with friends

  • Tate Modern (our favourite museum in London)

  • St Paul's Cathedral (but refused to pay the steep entrance fee to see the entire place)

  • London Eye

  • Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

  • Westminster Abbey​

  • Churchill War Rooms (very much Danny's idea)

  • Trafalgar Square

  • Yet more English pubs, catching up with relatives. This one involved eating the best burger I have ever tasted in my life, and the first beer I have ever enjoyed: an alcoholic ginger beer

  • Natural History Museum.

All that in three days. Talk about a workout (of our legs, minds and wallets).

I would like to point out that we love the Tube. I don't know why so many people complain about it. Trains come every three minutes and they connect everywhere - it's great. Back home I can spend 30 minutes waiting for a train that only goes one direction, to then wait another 30 minutes for a connecting train in a different direction. Londoners should be thankful.  

 

We walked up to the Ritz hotel to compare it to Australian standards. Unfortunately the staff did not like our jeans and said we could "look through the window" but could not enter. I'm not sure that peering faces from behind a glass window pane was any better than seeing someone in a pair of jeans walk through.

Buckingham Palace: can we have that hour back? I thought in the middle of February, on a cold weekday the Changing of the Guard would be pretty quiet, but I was wrong. There were thousands of people milling about, and some must have been waiting for hours to gain the perfect vantage point. We were about five rows back and could only see the tops of the guards' furry helmets. Over the next 45 minutes some people became tired and left (smart move), so we slowly made our way to the front. It was definitely not the most exciting thing I have ever witnessed and will probably never voluntarily see it again. I'm not entirely sure why people insist on watching it. And why was the band playing songs by The Beatles? It was completely lost on me.

The Science Museum. Big, but not quite as big as the Victoria and Albert Museum. This one was a lot more hands on and interactive, which held our short attention spans a bit better. The coolest part was the flight simulator ride, where we could control an "aircraft" in any way we wanted, including 360 degree turns in all directions. We were supposed to be firing at enemy planes but we were too distracted by spinning in circles and hanging upside down to care about anything else. We landed in the simulated water many times. I want one for home.

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© 2017 Kim Matthews. All Rights Reserved

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