Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Holiday To London-NYC-Niagara - Day Three

Woke up aroung 4:30 this morning and we decided to go for a jog at five o'clock. Up Gower Street, down Tottenham Court Road and rounded the British Museum. Showered and had breakfast just after seven. Booked tickets online for the Tower of London. Thankfully I didn't have to print the tickets out and could collect them from the venue.

Hard to believe that I lived in London for seven months in 1994 and never visited this tourist attraction. Great service at breakfast - English breakfast, juice, tea, toast and cereal. Never experienced such friendly service.

 Bit more shopping for groceries at Tesco. One hundred grams of chocolate only 30p (roughly 45 cents - normally $1.50 or so back home). Much of the food in the supermarket is two thirds of the price I'm used to. I'm amused that my credit card needs to be scrutinised so much by the staff when I'm making a purchase of only a few pounds.

Caught the bus downtown (24 or 29) to Trafalgar Square. Had 45 minutes to kill so wandered around the place. It seems that nothing opens in London until 10am. First stop was the National Gallery - Constable, C├ęzanne, Van Gogh, Turner, Gauguin, Monet, etc. Even The Boy recognised a few of the paintings. What a stunning gallery - no photos allowed though.

Caught a no. 15 bus to the Tower of London. An old French couple on the bus pretended not to understand English when found to have the wrong bus ticket. Protracted argument with the conductor ensued. As soon as I had collected the tickets we decided to eat lunch. Walked past a pub called the Hung Drawn and Quartered. Lasagne and jacket potato for me at the City Coffee Lounge. The name doesn't quite leave the same ring to it. Walked back to the magnificent looking tower. It is a fabulous old building steeped in history and captured the attention of all of us. So much to see in the way of towers, weaponary, fusiliers, a torture chamber (disappointing), the White Tower and the Crown Jewels. I liked the Crown Jewels but thought that the silver and gold objects - spoons, punch bowl, basins, plates, etc, were even better viewing.

Guard at the entrance, a Spaniard it seemed, paid me out about, "Someone has to support them," in reference to my West Ham shirt. Spent some three hours there and were quite tired from all the walking. The spiral staircase from the top of the White Tower to the bottom was something else. Of course the missus had to buy a souvenir bear.

Wandered over to Tower Bridge for a few photos. Another magnificent structure but we were too tired and not willing to pay the entrance fee of £8 for a tour. Caugh the no. 15 bus back to Trafalgar Square, which was very slow due to the heavy traffic, and gave Ben (uni mate) a call regarding catching up tomorrow night.

Hotel for a rest and had a bite to eat at Subway - needed to eat some veggies. They don't prepare the sandwich in the same manner as back home - no asking your preferred cheese type, whether or not you wouldl like it toastaed (or using the tray for the hot oven) and no carrots available (corn instead). The guy insisted that I purchased a drink too as it made the meal 59p cheaper for a 6-inch sub. Weird.

No. 14 bus into Piccadilly Circus an walked down Regent Street. Some of the big name shops were closed. Hamleys was on the itinerary and, I have to say, that the biggest toy store in the world was a bit disappointing. Lots of toys but not much that we were willing to buy. Shopped at Lilleywhites and bought clothes for The Boy and West Ham gear, on sale, for me. The official merchandise was much cheaper than from the vendors on the street. We were very tired by this time and caught the bus back to the hotel - it was around 9:30pm.

The White Tower, circa 1080

Photo Album Vol I
Photo Album Vol II
Photo Album Vol III
Photo Album Vol IV (Final)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Bob