The song that came to mind was the one that Phil walks around always humming, tic tok… “wake up in the morning…I grab my jacket I’m out the door I’m gonna hit this city!”
Breakfast… toast and jam and tea. And lunch/dinner sandwiches packed. And I brought along my mix of dates, figs and hazelnuts (that I bought in Switzerland). Served as lunch, dinner and snacks supplements.
Hopped off the bus to meet up with Abbie, Sarah, Monica, and Mel! We decided to do the “original bus tour” It was a pretty good choice, because we had an (English speaking) tour person on each bus that you could hop on and off.
First stop, BUCKINGHAM PALACE!!!!!!!! We did not see the changing of the guards that day. Non the less it was still awesome to walk past the gate with the guards dressed in uniform standing on the inside. The middle monument area had some stairs, and fountains around it. With that extra height..one got the best view of the plaza area, the palace, and the gardens to the side. Oh there were so many lovely gardens all throughout and around London. I wanted to run through them, make picnic lunches with friends and spread out a blanket. (also, new intention for life: when I have a house and a family, I shall also need a park where I can walk my baby in a carriage. I have seen so many doing so in the parks, and I think it’s lovely J )
Next! WESTMINSTER!!!!! And Parliament..with “Big Ben”! Which is correctly called the Great Clock of Westminster. We were told the names of some of the statues enclircling the courtyard outside the great church. (Martin Luther, Winston Churchill. And Lincoln was even there across the street too) Oh! Also passed a statue of King Richard..you know, the good king whose country Robin Hood preserved until his return.
No one else was interested in going into Westminster…and I didn’t make it back. Plus, it was 15 euros! I doubted the inside of the church with the little plaques over the graves of some (serious) greats was worth it..this time.. Besides, I was there! (just outside the walls, instead of inside). We got an unexpected tour of the courthouse. (With pleasant security people!) there were three different main rooms for varying levels of trials. It was really interesting.
Big Ben! Was more than I expected!! With the delicate gold colored embelishments! Though all I could think about was Peter Pan, Wendy and the boys alighting on the clock hands of the big clock. I also gave a shout out to the clock for a couple friends!
Hopping back on, and finally succeeded in getting a seat on the open, top. We drove over one of the many bridges to the opposite bank… Which used to be the docks.
Across tower bridge to drive around “the Tower of London” ..which is misleading because there are actually four towers on this old fortress. It was all such a blur, and I spent every moment clinging to railing and craning my head (without a window finally) to see everything. We left the bus at Piccadilly Circus.
Piccadilly is not actually a circus, and the streets to not have entertainment on them besides what the crowds bring. Which was actually pretty exciting!! Just the hustle and bustle of people in the city and the activity the crowds bring. We walked back to Harrods, just to walk through. The front display windows were sort of trippy with the colors and the manikins dress and the “set” design. But a couple brought to mind Alice in Wonderland. Though only one had the mad hatter in it…
Inside were floors and entier levels devoted to things like perfume, clothes (expensive clothes) and a notorious toy department. It was crazy, but really spiffy and nice. ( Though If the place sold out and donated all profits..we could probably solve world hunger/find a cure of cancer or AIDS.)
Next we walked to a corner restaurant, up a narrow, carpeted stairwell to the upper part of the restaurant for food. Since I had packed food, I just had a light ale (English style) with some help from the bartender/server in picking! It was nice and relaxing.
Off to the metro then to Victoria Coach station to safely board the bus. Slept like a champ for most of the ride back. Picked up by Francois in Cambridge, and once “home” curled up in that big, soft, warm bed (yes I have said this already. The novelty will doubtfully ever fade.