Friday, June 25, 2010

London: Day 2

Wow...what a busy day we had!  First, it is so great the sun is up around 4ish and doesn't completely set until around 10pm...lots of time for seeing all this town has to offer!

After a tasty breakfast at the hotel (not your typical comp continental here at the K+K George London...and the best part...Nutella in little individual containers which make for a great snack on the run!), we headed to the Tower of London.  You can spend hours wandering around the different towers...and trying to find your way out!  Of course, no visit to the Tower would be complete without checking on the Crown Jewels and I'm happy to report they are safely tucked away for the Commoners to view.

Next was a brief ride along the River Thames en route to the Eye of London.  Our guide was full of typical British humor...a true treat.  With a long queue ahead of us, we popped in to a cafe for a light bite...true genius on my part if I do say so because by the time we finished lunch, our queue time to stand in line to buy the tickets and then stand in line to board the flight was less than 20 minutes.  

From a distance, the wheel looks as though it is barely moving and up close it looks a bit faster...until you try hopping on as it is in motion.  The wheel continues to spin as passengers jump off and on.  With 32 pods full of 25 passengers each @ £17.95 per passenger and the wheel making 2 full rotations an hour, British Air is definitely making a nice penny!  But it is well worth every penny as it is an unbelievable view of the city on such a clear day like today.  We have been very fortunate with the weather as it has been in the upper 70's and very sunny...who would have thought I would come to Britain and get a tan?!

A view from above...

Next stop...Churchill Cabinet War Rooms...after another pass of Big Ben and Parliament (beginning to feel like I'm on Lampoon's European Vacation).  With all the sounds on the audio tape, you get a little idea of the chaos of the time.

Fortunately on today's ride back to the hotel, we all made the same train!  Linda Lu has gotten quite accustom pushing like the Londoners do on the tube.  Small world as we ran in to some other folks staying at our hotel we met at breakfast. You know Southerners, we'll talk to anyone if we're next to them for more than a minute.

I've discovered Brits are similar to Egyptians when it comes to time/distance as we asked two officers how to get to PC World when we go off our hotel tube stop and were told it was a 15 minute walk up this road to High Street with a right on High and then we'd be right there.  After walking more than 15 minutes, I asked a man on the street where PC World was and he said "oh just about 15 minutes up this road and right on High Street and then you can't miss it".  Another 15 minutes later, same situation with another man on the street...the Brits are a very nice/friendly lot!  Finally after almost an hour, we arrived at PC World!  I began chuckling inside as it so reminded me of my trip to Egypt as no mater how far your destination, Egyptians would tell you "5 minutes".  The truly humorous part is the hour long walk took all of 10 minutes in a taxi to return to the hotel!

For dinner we popped in to a local pub and had the traditional fish n' chips (with peas).  The Brits do love their soccer as every telly was on World Cup!  I just don't get soccer...maybe after this trip, I'll understand it better.

The true adventure will begin tomorrow around high noon as that is when we'll pick up the rental car and head to the Cotswolds.  Look out Brits, Lesa will be taking the wheel!

Stay tuned for news from the Cotswolds tomorrow.

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