Saturday, December 08, 2012

2012 Holiday To London-NYC-Niagara - Day Five

Brekkie again - I wake up around the right time so no jet lag to speak of. Wrote my diary beforehand. Somebody stole our regular table - never mind. Caught a No. 10 to Hyde Park Corner. Walked past Wellington Arch down Constitution Hill out the front of Buckingham Palace. Jason was sick so couldn't join us. We were nearly an hour before the Changing the Guard was due to take place but were still three deep in front of the palace. The missus decided to stand on the Queen Victoria Memorial statue. Actually, she had the best view but a flat camera battery so had to make do with her phone that doesn't have a zoom. The ceremony wasn't that great. I didn't really see what was so fascinating about it.

Following that I went to collect my tickets for the Buckingham Palace Day Out tour. Whilst I waited the 20 minutes or so the missus and The Boy went off for lunch and ended up at, you guessed it, Pret A Manger. Glad we had mobile phones or I would never have found her with the directions that she provided - direction sense in my wife is not well defined. At lunch a policewoman sat next to me, after looking for a table for some time, and so I had to ask, "Don't you have the power to ask people to move on?" She said that it was only if they were being a nuisance.

First port of call after lunch was the Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist exhibition in the Queen's Gallery. Marvellous, original pieces of work. Not actually owned by the Queen though. Then onto the Royal Mews - stage coaches and stables. Not that exciting but still some amazing stuff on display. Then - the big one - Buckingham Palace State Rooms. By comparison, Henry VIII over at Hampton Court Palace, was poor. The palace interior is absolutely splendid. Exquisite. Can't imagine how much money was spent fitting it out, or the upkeep, but it is wondrous.The Grand Ballroom was 14m H x 16m W x37m L and could contain 2000 guests. Made me feel like dancing and, in fact, I did a very quick jig with the missus. When the tour finished we exited through the garden at the rear.

Caught a bus back to the hotel and the missus jumped off at Regent St to go shopping. Rang an English mate, Bully, to say that we could meet a bit earlier than planned. The Boy and I had dinner at the Fitzrovia pub - steak and ale pie for me and jacket potato for him. Ice creams from Tesco followed. The barmaid was confused when I placed the order as she thought it was only for one meal. Turns out that the pie comes with a side serving of either chips, mash or jacket potato.

Met Bully at Covent Garden and he was half an hour late. Whilst waiting there was a huge group of people dressed in white with deck chairs, etc, out the front of the tube station. Looked to be a bit mad but perhaps celebrating a wedding. Wandered around a bit before settling at Pret A Manger for a drink and some horrid crisps. Had a chin wag for the next two hours until it was too much for The Boy. He was dead tired.

One thing we did discuss was how it was funny that I was more comfortable using the tube than he was and will probably see more of London than he ever will.

During the night I had to get up and politely tell a large group of Spaniards to shut up. My Spanish must have been effective as they got the message.

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

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