A Cheeky Time in London
Trip Start May 24, 2010
26Trip End Jul 21, 2010
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Our flight to London was slightly delayed but uneventful. We hopped on the tube and made for our hotel where our first surprise awaited. Apparently, the online booking was not working when we made our reservation and we watched the last vacancy being handed out to the couple in line in front of us. Luckily, the hotel put us up at a nicer hotel just down the street for no extra charges plus free internet. After getting settled, we had fish and chips nearby and then ventured off to find our bus tour pickup. Luckily, our bus tour guide was cheeky which more than offset the rainy drizzle – especially apparent on the top, uncovered deck
After switching back to our planned hotel, we made our way to the London Eye (world’s second largest observation wheel) and looked down at Big Ben from above. We then strolled along the Jubilee walkway on the south bank of the Thames, discovering the city’s elephant statues and a courtyard with random wooden furniture. We had time before catching Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre so we stopped by the Tate Modern art gallery. At the Globe, we knew we’d be standing but we didn’t know we’d be poking our heads through the canopy under which cast members roam and surprise the audience. The play was good, but as we were standing, we only stayed until intermission. We then wandered across the millennium bridge, grabbed sandwiches and ate in the courtyard of St Paul’s Cathedral. We wanted to attend the Sunday organ recital at St Paul’s and had a few hours to spare so spent the free time wondering around the city where we found more elephant statues, the Bank of England, and the dragon statues marking the entrance to the City of London. After the impressive organ recital, we ended the night with dinner in a wine bar in a 15th century cellar and a stroll through Trafalgar Square
We started the morning off with our favorite London sight – the British Museum. After going through the 2+ hour audio tour, we left to have lunch at the oldest pub in London, Ye Old Cheshire Cheese. Unfortunately, it was a bank holiday and thus was closed. We found the next closest pub, before heading off to explore the Tower of London. The Tower of London, while probably a necessary sight, was overpriced and more geared towards children with flashy exhibits. We most enjoyed seeing King Henry VIII’s armor and Kelly enjoyed the Crown Jewels (for 45 seconds on a moving walkway). We then caught the Evensong Service at Westminster Abbey. Knowing we’d have to get up at 4am the next morning, we went to a pub near our hotel. There we ordered a dish including Yorkshire pudding, in an attempt to round out our British Cuisine. However, when we received the empty pastry puff we thought it unauthentic and thus didn’t take pictures. Later, Wikipedia told us otherwise. Now we know.