Saturday, January 1, 2011

London - The Highlights

We left for London on Christmas night. I guess you could say this was our Christmas gift to each other. We got into London on Sunday morning at about 7:30. After a little nap, we were off to explore.

These pictures are a bit out of order but that's just too bad because I can't rearrange them easily.
Big Ben. Notice the ferris wheel in the background. This is the London Eye and is the tallest ferris wheel in the world. We took a ride on the London Eye and were able to get a good view of London.

Westminster Abbey. No pictures allowed inside. This place was something else. So much history there. So many people buried there. This was a very interesting and beautiful place.

Harrods. This is a huge store. It is also an expensive store. One thing London has is large stores. There was another store we went to, Selfridge, that took up an entire block and needed its own zip code. These stores are so big that people are standing around handing out maps.

This is an ancient Roman bath at, of all places, Bath. We drove there on our last day, Wednesday. This was a really neat place. These baths were around at about 34 AD!!! 34 AD!!!! And the lead lining at the bottom of the bath is the original lining. It was very neat to see all the well-preserved ruins here.

This was on Sunday in Green Park. We just walked around exploring. Sunday was Boxing Day and this is a national holiday and it is also a big shopping day. There were tons of bargain shoppers out and about. We did a bit of shopping ourselves.

Hyde Park at night. Mike tried Mulled Wine here for the first time. It was basically hot red wine. It was pretty good. We walked all around here trying to find a bathroom. One thing we learned is that London doesn't believe in a lot of public restrooms or trashcans.

Buckingham Palace. We saw the changing of the guards on Monday. There was a big crowd so we weren't really that close. I really don't know what the fuss was about. But, now I can say that I've seen it.

This is another out of order picture. Does something look odd about this picture? Yup, Mike is driving on the wrong side of the car. We took the Tube to Heathrow and rented a car. This was an experience but really Mike did a great job. There were only 3 curbings. Thank goodness for GPS is all I have to say. If we didn't have the GPS, we'd still be trying to get out of Windsor. Those round-a-bouts are tricky.

Tower Bridge. I LOVED this. This is iconic London. It is just so pretty. We got here right as the sun was going down, which is about 4:30 (London is farther North than you may think). We took a tour and walked around the bridge and checked out the engine room.

This picture would have been good except for...what's up with my hair!!!

St. Paul's Cathedral. There were no photos allowed inside but take my word for it, it was breathtaking. We walked up a ton of stairs to the top (well, almost the top) of the dome.

Windsor Castle. This is not very far from Heathrow and it was the first stop on our road trip. The Queen actually lives here part of the year. We had to go through metal detectors to get in. Again, no pictures allowed inside. It was very opulent and very hard to believe that someone lives like that. Talk about money!!!

Here we are again at the bath. Again, this would have been a good picture if only Mike was actually looking at the camera. We meet a native Londoner at Windsor Castle that lives in Texas now. He convinced us to go to Bath rather than Stonehenge. It was a very good suggestion.

Finally, this is Trafalger Square. Our hotel was right across the street from here. This is a gathering place in London and is within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, West Minister Abby, Big Ben, and Parliament. It is a good central location.

The weather was good. It was cold but you just wore your cold weather gear and you were good. It only rained one day but it really just drizzled off and on. Wednesday was overcast and foggy but it could have been much worse. I'd been wanting to go to London for awhile and it didn't disappoint.


Lisa said...

Wow, I am jealous!

The pictures are great! The Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square look like fun places to see.

Susan said...

Cute goulashes!

Annette said...

Makes me want to go back! I cannot believe Mike drove in London!!I want to know the name of that hotel right at Trafalger Square.

Absolutely Kathy said...

I am so jealous. Looks like you guys had a great trip. Can't wait to see all the photos. And hear all the stories.

Tice said...

That's cool, thanks for sharing! Love the pics, I've got to make my way there someday