This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After farwelling our Paris host, Roman, we headed to Gare Nord (North Station) for our train trip to Kings Cross Station. However there were major delays in processing train travelers as an abandoned package had been isolated and then exploded by the police. So with just a couple of minutes to spare we scrambled aboard our train and made it to the UK. Our first day of orientation of the Underground had us sipping a pint at ‘The Walrus’, taking in the Thames and the houses of Parliament, before a flight aboard the magnificent London Eye. Our apartment in Camden would be described as ‘quaint’, which translates to ‘not enough room to swing a cat’! The ensuite is so small, when I take a shower, I have to put the left hand side of my body into the shower recess first and then the right hand side. Day 2 and we were at the Tower of London with its ancient Roman walls, moat and majestic buildings incorporating the armoury, the White Palace of William the Conqueror, a torture chamber, the Crown Jewels and joined Barney the Beefeater on an extremely entertaining and informative hour long tour, before a visit to see the Tower Bridge, a stroll along the Thames Walk to the bowels of London Bridge and a fabulous, historic ghost tour depicting the history of the bridge through the times of the Great Fire, Jack the Ripper, grave robbers and other nefarious characters. Day 3 was a trip to Hampton Court which has evolved over time as Henry VIII saw off adulterous and treasonous wives, to the Baroque alterations by William III. Clever audio recordings support your tour of the palace, while a variety of re-enactments occur, both indoors and out, to give visitors a sense of the significant events and characters of the time. Had the opportunity to meet his majesty, Henry VIII and his soon to be wife, Katherine Parr. Met our first ‘whinging’ Pom on the Underground on our return to Euston. “I hate England!” “Why?” we asked, “You don’t have to live here.” “Hate my son now living in Perth, because he hasn’t phoned me in three years.” She apparently lives in Highbury, so won’t be going there. Our final full day in London and our first port of call was Westminster Abbey with its 3000 interments and 600 memorials, sadly no photos are permitted inside the main body of the cathedral, to compare with an equally magnificent Notre Dame. Next, the Royal Mews to see the stunning range of gilded carriages used by the Royals, then to Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the Marble Arch, St. James’ Park, became lost looking for Trafalgar Square, however upon finding it were amazed at the enormous, blue rooster on display in the forecourt of the National Gallery. Number10 Downing Street was closed, so we headed for a pint at the Marquis of Cornwall. A full and interesting day but we still haven’t seen all the monopoly sites!

Advertisements