I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Monday, June 11, 2018

London, United Kingdom: a Taste of London

I am naming today “a taste of London” because we barely brushed the surface of everything there is to see in London. We arrived very early (6:30 or so) at the train station to check in for the Eurostar. Unlike taking the train around France and arriving 15 min before your train departs, we needed to arrive 1 hr before the Eurostar departed. Once we arrived we could see why! The line to check in was very very long! We first needed to scan our ticket (once the line finally arrived at the kiosk) and then we went through security to leave Paris and then security to enter the U.K.  All of this took about 40 minutes so we were glad we heeded the instructions to arrive early. Our train ride took around 2 hrs to go to London and we all took a little cat nap. Once we arrived in London we went straight to Westminster Abbey. We had hoped to tour ourselves inside, but the line to go through security and enter was soooooo unbelievably long! We knew we had a lot to see and only a limited amount of time so we opted to just take a few pictures and move on. Big Ben and part of Parliament are completely shrouded in scaffolding as they do restoration work to the structures. We took the Tube (subway) over to St James Park, near Buckingham Palace. We walked alongside the park and were surprised to see the Palace guards, horses and band preparing for something. We didn’t realize it was for the changing of the guard! The changing of the guard happens at 11 am and we were able to find a spot along a rail to watch the pomp and circumstance happen.  Unfortunately for Caitlin she didn’t feel well and I left with Laurie to find a bathroom. Thankfully there was one in the park! We were dismayed to see that it cost 20 pence (which we did not have) but we explained to the attendant that Caitlin wasn’t well and she let her go in for free. We were so grateful. With Caitlin feeling better, we met up with everyone else and went walking to find our next destination, Harrods. Danny was navigating and accidentally navigated us to the bus station instead of the train station but then successfully brought us to Harrods. We walked into Harrods on the ground floor and wandered through the many food halls ooing and ahhing. We didn’t stay long or check out the other floors because we were getting pretty hungry. Around the corner from Harrods is Tattersalls Tavern. We think they have good Fish and Chips and everyone ordered it and ate their fill. Laurie said she has enjoyed all the food thus far but this may have been her favorite. The food is served with “plain peas” or “mushy peas”. We all chose plain but Danny and Laurie were the only ones who ate them. After lunch we went in search of Tower Bridge. I explained to everyone that this is not THE London Bridge although this is THE bridge associated with London. It is iconic. We took pictures in front of the bridge while Danny took a seat in the shade and watched us. He has figured out that pictures of everyone take awhile and he is so patient to wait. After looking at Tower Bridge and talking about the Tower of London and it’s history and importance, we went looking for a snack at Covent Garden. It was here that we found gelato and sorbet from Venchi and cookies from Ben’s cookies. We took the time to eat our snack and went in search of a Starbucks for a free bathroom, stopping along the way to shop for some souvenirs. After our bathroom stop we searched for a nice photo spot to take pictures of the London Eye. We found that on the  Waterloo Bridge and I reminded Debbie that we had stood on that bridge with meme and Brittany several years ago to take pictures. We did not have time to ride the London Eye so we had to be content to just look. Our time was quickly shortening before we had to return to the train station so we did not have time to go inside of Westminster Abbey. We decided to go back to the train station a few minutes early so we could find a sandwich to take on the train. With our meal in tow we boarded the train and reflected on our lightening fast tour of London giving everyone just a taste of what London has to see. There is so much more and maybe one day they will return to spend more time there. We were blessed with beautiful weather today in London and hopefully tomorrow we can tolerate the rain that we are expecting in Paris. Until tomorrow...

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