Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Holiday To London-NYC-Niagara - Day Four

Brekkie - scrambled eggs, cereal, juice, tea, bacon, tomato and toast. I could get used to this. Rang Jason, old school friend, to see if he was interested in seeing Buckingham Palace with us. He was but I had great difficulty in obtaining tickets. Arranged to meet at the changing of the guards. Bought ourselves tickets for the big tour.

Caught a bus to Hyde Park and wandered around for about an hour and a half. Found it to be a little disappointing. Walked over to Knightsbridge to H&M and promptly there was a fire alarm and an evacuation. So The Boy and I went to Harrods whilst the missus went elsewhere. So many expensive items. I took a photo of a Louis Vuitton bag costing £10,700 and was told immediately that I wasn't allowed to - deleted it. Found the toy section and we were surprised that PC games weren't sold there. Bought the missus a Paddington Bear. It was on special!

Together we visited a few more clothing shops before catching a no. 14 bus back to the hotel. An Australian couple asked me for directions at the sop and I made sure that they found their stop - Piccadilly Circus. Had to do this for some French girls when they asked me for directions to the Victoria and Albert Museum - they'd caught the bus going in the opposite direction and it was only quite a bit later that they realised their mistake. What am I, a walking directions guy? Whilst on the bus my friend Martin rang and we spoke about plans to visit him on Saturday night. Great to hear from him.

Grabbed lunch from a sandwich shop called Eat. Nice food. Getting late and we needed to catch the tube to Waterloo Station and a train from there to get to Hampton Court Palace. Purchased the additional section tickets for the train, picked up a book with 150 2-for-1 offers, and then had to argue with the ticket clerk who said that we wouldn't have enough time at the palace because the train would arrive at 4:20 and the palace shut at five o'clock. My guide book said that the palace shut at six and I had to meet Ben anyway for dinner.

Uneventful train ride but and on the way I discovered that the coupon book offered a 2-for-1 offer for Hampton Court Palace - great! The palace was a short walk over the bridge next to the train station. Got the cheaper tickets and in we went.

Talk about wealth, opulence, grandeur, extravagance - you name it. Massive place and so well decorated. Unbelievable. Better than the Tower of London. The apartments were huge, the chapel covered in gold leaf, the maze (oldest in UK) was great fun, the gardens were enormous - totally awesome. Definitely recommended.

As we were on our way out, after seeing pretty much everything except the gardens in-depth, Ben rang. Perfect timing. Haven't seen him for probably eight and a half years - met his wife Jules and son Xavier. There was a pub next to the park, Blubeckers, and we had dinner there. The Boy finally got his first fish and chips, haddock, and I had a fish house pie - salmon in a pie. Chatted away for two and a half hours until Xavier became tired. He was quite well behaved for a three year old with nobody to play with. Very shy until the time we were leaving and then he opened up - isn't that completely normal for kids?

Got to the train station and the guard was blowing his whistle as we reached the platform - perfect timing again as we ran and jumped on the train. Back to the hotel in about 40 mins. Quite a tiring day for all.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos and a beautiful family. Bob