All over London

Our first full day was packed full of sights, and a long day with a very early start.  Still adjusting to the time change, we were awake at 4:30 am, and out the door at 6:30.

We took full advantage of our public transportation cards, and I lost count of how many different busses we rode.  After our first ride, gawking at sights from the upper level of a double-decker bus, we got off near Buckingham Palace, surrounded by a gnarly fence.

We could only see the outside of the palace, as it closed for the season a few days ago, but here is a picture of the traditional guard, contrasted by a modern-day worker with a leaf-blower:

A horse-drawn carriage was waiting out front.  When someone near me asked a policewoman guard who the carriage was for, she explained it was delivering and picking up the mail, a “posh post.”

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Next up was the changing of the Horse Guards (11:30 am) then we walked to Big Ben to hear the 12:00 noon bells.  Lunch at a traditional English pub (fish and chips for me, and steak pie and a Pimm’s Cup for Dave).

We boarded another bus, just to see where it would take us, and ended up crossing the Thames, where the driver stopped and said “This bus is stopping here – everybody off.”  This happened to us at least three times during the day, so we would just get off and explore for a while, then get on another bus.

We strolled the walkway along the Thames, and walked over the Tower Bridge:

bridge small

At Westminster Abbey we went to the 5:00 pm Evensong service.  The organ was magnificent, and I enjoyed the choir and worship service, and it was nice to sit after all the walking we had done, but it was very tempting to just nod off!

The weather was beautiful all day, and we ended with a 9:00 pm dinner at an Italian place near our hotel.  I’ll end with a picture of the quintessential British phone booth – these are everywhere!

phone small

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