|First day in London we trained to Waterloo where the London Eye is, then did a cruise down the river to Greenwich Village. It was so funny to see everybody lining up to have their photo taken on the line on the ground which signifies GMT time.
Next day Dana showed us around where she works at Chelsea, then we caught the no. 11 bus into town ...cheap tourist trip past Victoria Station, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Downing St, and St Pauls Cathedral. Went into St Pauls, where all around are gravestones of various people, and in the crypt below are the gravestones, and tombs of lots of famous explorere, poets, Lords, and people like Duke of Wellington and Horatio Nelson. Climbed up a couple of hundred narrow steps to come out at the top of the dome at St Pauls. Great views of London from here.
Walked thru town to the Tower of London, which is actually several towers, houses and grassed areas inside a big stone wall complete with resident ravens. Viewed the Crown Jewels, and the Royal Armoury where there is an amazing collection of guns, swords, cannons, suits of armour,and other weapons dating back to 1200AD. Crossed river via Tower Bridge and walked along South Bank where various musicians, human statues and others entertain the passerbys. Great atmosphere here. This is where London Eye is, a big wheel that gives rides to view the sights of London, goes 135M up in the air and does a complete circle in about 30 mins. Rode this just as the sun was setting.
We crossed Millenium Bridge in the sun next day to visit Shakespeares Globe Theatre. This is a replica of the theatre used in Shakespeares time, where the audience sit round in tiered open air circular seating watching the performances, no microphones needed. Found the Wall hangings that NZ Embroiderers had donated to the theatre, including the hanging that Mum worked on.
Back over the river to Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. Very impressive gothic style buildings right on the rivers edge. Behind this is Westminster Abbey. Inside here a lot of the area is dedicated to gravestones, caskets and tombs of most of the kings, queens and famous people. So many that some are stacked in front of others.
Off to St James Park for a bit of quiet, even though there were plenty of people milling around. Nice lake and walkways. Buckingham Palace is near here. Just a big stone building with black and gold steel fence in front, no gardens anywhere. The Queen Victoria Memorial on the roundabout opposite was more impressive!
Walked along The Mall to Traflger Square where a big screen TV was set up to watch the Olympics. We joined hundreds others watching the womens 10km run. Wandered up Charing Cross to Leicester Square where all the ticket booths were very busy selling show tickets to anything you want to see. Down thru crowds and buzzy atmosphere to Picadilly Circus with artists displaying their paintings for sale.
Off to meet Peters neice, Anna at Hyde Park. Looked at the New Zealand Memorial for soldiers killed in the wars there and after beers at a nearby bar, walked up Edgeware Rd past heaps of middle eastern people, to near Paddington Station. Had dinner with Anna here at a Thai Restaurant before tubing home.
Visited Kensington Palace the next day, nice gardens and walked thru Kensington Park to the huge Albert Memorial. Carved figurines below a gold covered statue of Albert, big towering dome above him. This is opposite the Royal Albert Hall which is a large round brick building.
Back to Putney to watch the AllBlacks beat South Africa!! Yay - then finished off with a good Kiwi BBQ with everyone at Dana and Robs flat.