Our European Trip - 2005 travel blog

Thames and London Eye

Houses of Parliament

Cleopatra's Needle and the Largest Clock in London

Queen Mary on the Thames - this Ship Sailed on The Clyde...

HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge

New London Cty Hall - the Leaning Tower of Pizzas!

Tower of London

Crown Jewels Building, Tower of London

Tower Bridge from Tower of London

Beefeater in Tower of London

Victoria Monument & Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Guard at Buckingham Palace

We went downstairs for breakfast to be offered either a full English breakfast or a continental breakfast - we had one of each. I asked the waitress about help with my case, and she referred me to the hotel proprietor. He was most helpful, and with his tools we broke the lock and I was able to change my clothes - much to everyone's relief, I am sure.

We then headed out to walk the short distance to Buckingham Palace. We saw one of the Hop on Hop off buses and decided to take it, to discover that there was no changing of the guard today, so we completely changed our plans and took the bus almost all the way round, seeing the various squares, some the scene of novels we have read, statues, buildings, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, St. Paul's, Tower of London etc. We got off as it returned, near the Houses of Parliament and took a boat (included in the ticket) back down the river to the Tower of London, seeing the city from a different angle.

We had a snack then entered the Tower. The last time we were in London we had lined up for this and abandoned it after some considerable time as the line moved so slowly. This time we had bought our tickets from the bus company and did not have to line up at all.

We took the audio tour and enjoyed learning more about the Tower and its various occupants and those who had been beheaded at the scaffold. Apparently only famous people lost their heads there, especially those who may have evoked sympathy from the populace had their demise been in public. We saw the Beefeaters and the famous ravens. After the tour ended we went to some of the areas not covered, including the crown jewels, which are quite spectacular.

We headed back to pick up the Hop On Hop Off bus and dismounted near Buckingham Palace, searching for somewhere to dine without having to mortgage our home - quite a feat in London these days! We happened on a small restaurant on Buckingham Palace Road which seemed promising, and enjoyed a really nice meal at three times the cost of an equivalent meal in Edmonton. As we sat discussing our day, the couple at the next table started asking us questions. We discovered they were from Albuquerque, and we wound up spending a long while in a most interesting discussion with them on their travels and ours. The meal and talk took nearly two and one half hours. We had been to many of the same places on both sides of the Atlantic and shared our experiences. They are off to Paris tomorrow. It was a most delightful end to the day. We exchanged addresses, street and e-mail, and hope to meet up again.

We walked back to the hotel and relaxed before getting to bed. Tomorrow we have to make decisions as to what to do and where to go, as, even more than other places, there is far too much to see and far too little time to see it.

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