London!!!

Two days travelling around and exploring inner London…..perfect!

Yes two days in a row and we were up at 6am, ready to catch a ride into London city with Daniel and Marysia. They have to leave home at 7am to be at work in time. Phew…what a mission! Four of us getting ready for the day in one hour! It isn’t a quick trip back home if we forget anything. And our ride home would be after work at 5.30pm, then traffic willing we would get back home at around 7.30pm. What a long day for all the commuting workers of London!

So us three girls trotted off to the great unknown….no actually Judy and I had both been to London before. I nearly lead us all astray as Hyde Park was much bigger than I remembered. Apparently we had only walked a tiny wee bit last time, and to get to the place that I had walked was going to take about an hours walk to get there. And to Judy’s grace and willingness (haha) we walked Hyde Park. What an amazing park to have right in London itself. Actually London has lots of parks in the inner city. It is very well planned. So we joined all the cyclist and joggers and started our own walking group of three on a very pleasant Tuesday morning πŸ™‚

NZ war memorial
NZ war memorial
Representing NZ soldiers killed in the war. The NZ Memorial
Representing NZ soldiers killed in the war. The NZ Memorial
IMG_4722
Gates at the entrance of Hyde Park
An early morning walk to brighten up the day :-)
An early morning walk to brighten up the day πŸ™‚
Diana memorial walk
Diana memorial walk
The amazing Hyde Park
The amazing Hyde Park
Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch
Photo taking of the Wellington Arch
Photo taking of the Wellington Arch

We walked all the way to Buckingham Palace via the Wellington Arch…took some photos to prove we had been there and then caught the hop on/off bus to discover more of London. Passing such monumental places like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament, The London eye, Tower bridge, Tower of London, Piccadilly circus, Victoria Street Shops and Harrods of London….to name a few! We decided to stay on the bus and go right around the whole route. That way we could decide on the places we wanted to stop at the most.

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
Big Ben
Big Ben
St Pauls Cathedral
St Pauls Cathedral
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
The gates of Buckingham Palace
The gates of Buckingham Palace
The palace behind us
The palace behind us
A smallish crowd outside the palace today
A smallish crowd outside the palace today
By the statue outside Buckingham Palace
By the statue outside Buckingham Palace
House of Parliament
House of Parliament
So many wonderful old buildings to see!
So many wonderful old buildings to see!

By the time we had finished going round the route we were starving. The decision to get off near Trafalgar square was unanimous and we found the first food place to eat at. Marysia had suggested two places that are great for fast food, yet healthy and relatively cheap. We were within a block away from a ‘pret a manger’ which was one of her suggestions, and we weren’t disappointed. Fabulous food! And apparently they are owned by McDonalds…who would’ve known! A shopping trip to Victoria Street was in order as we had a ‘need to shop’ urge come upon us (well actually Teresa more than Judy and I, but we were happy to go with it).

We joined the bus trip again and found our way to St Pauls Cathedral. Here we were meeting Daniel for our adventurous trip back home. Two very full train trips and a short walk to the car park and we were off. Three hours later we arrive home very tired and hungry. It was a very bad day for travelling on the motorways….apparently!

The next morning was a repeat of the previous day but Marysia was the driver. Our first stop was the Tower of London. We had tickets so headed straight for fast track entry. Luckily we arrived early and there wasn’t too much crowd. But we found this place amazing and ended up spending all morning and until 1.30 there. The Tower of London is a must see! We didn’t go there last time and I am so pleased we managed to fit it in this trip. So much history and a well preserved castle. The crown jewels are also kept there so we were able to do a walk through and see the amazing richness of them all.

This window caught my eye. I had to focus in the cross. Very significant I think!
This window caught my eye. I had to focus in the cross. Very significant I think!
The Tower bridge from the Tower of London
The Tower bridge from the Tower of London
The Tower of London
The Tower of London
Guard and guns
Guard and guns
Buildings inside the Tower of London
Buildings inside the Tower of London
The bridge view from the ferry
The bridge view from the ferry
On the ferry on the river Thames
On the ferry on the river Thames
Posing on the ferry
Posing on the ferry
We wanted to go on the Eye but just ran out of time. Maybe next time :-)
We wanted to go on the Eye but just ran out of time. Maybe next time πŸ™‚

IMG_4833

The Tower bridge
The Tower bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
The Tower of London
The Tower of London
Looking at the Eye through the trees
Looking at the Eye through the trees
Another view of the Tower of London
Another view of the Tower of London
Tower bridge form the Tower of London
Tower bridge form the Tower of London

From The Tower of London we walked down to the fery terminal and caught the ferry up to The London Eye. Our plan was to have a ride in the eye. Sadly it was almost 2.30 before we got there and we still had so much to see. The queues looked very long and the trip around in the Eye is nearly an hour long….so it had to be by-passed this time round!

Our last place of interest that was a ‘Must see’ for us was Harrods. So after a lovely roast meal lunch in ‘Shakespears Pub’ combined with a shandy….we followed with a Harrods Beer (wine for Teresa), olives and almonds in a Harrods restaurant! Oh to live a life of luxury. Sadly we couldn’t afford many purchases at Harrods, just a memoir or two πŸ™‚

Us in one of Harrods many themed restaurants/dining areas :-)
Us in one of Harrods many themed restaurants/dining areas πŸ™‚

Now to cap the day off just nicely we hopped back on the bus and took a trip to Notting Hill. We wandered through the shops and markets of Portobello Road. What a amazing place to visit and meander through. A few purchases made here and we wandered around to find the little bookshop from the ‘Notting Hill’ film. I will include a photo, but need to mention the bookshop from the film is actually the little shop on the right of the now new copied Notting Hill Bookshop. Still….we went there!!! After our leisurely look around Portebello markets and shops we caught a taxi to the huge Westfield nearby. Marysia met us there and we picked up lovely chinese takeaways to eat as the day ended. Another perfect day…I am so blessed!

The Little white building is the actual shop in the movie Notting Hill
The Little white building is the actual shop in the movie Notting Hill
Plaque of Notting Hill
Plaque of Notting Hill
The Hummingbird Bakery :-)
The Hummingbird Bakery πŸ™‚
Walking along the markets
Walking along the markets
Portobello Street = beautiful!
Portobello Street = beautiful!
Portobello Street
Portobello Street
Notting Hill Bookshop...film one is the place next door on the right :-)
Notting Hill Bookshop…film one is the place next door on the right πŸ™‚

Read my blog? Let me know what you are thinking :-)