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First Full Day in London

Hey is that the Sun?

semi-overcast 15 °C
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Day 2 in London was supposed to start early. After all there is a lot to see. The 2 hours of sleep on the plane had a little bit more to do with the delayed start to the day. 9:00 am, up and at it .. still reasonably early and most of the things we want to do don't open when I am normally awake.

We arose to a half marathon happening outside our window along The Strand. People dressed in Pinapple costumes seemed to be the prevailing theme. Not sure why but hey whatever floats your boat. Our first destination was The Shard. A tall multi-use building comprised of public viewing, residential and hotel uses (Shargi-La is the hotel). It is a part of the London Pass we bought and gives fantastic 360 views of the city. Up we went to the 68 and 72 floors. Nice to know that the tube in London has the same areomatic smells as Toronto, though it is multiples upon multiple larger. The weather was cloudy but the rain at this point had held off. A great photo op.

Aftet The Shard we walked along the Queen's walk, past the HMS Belfast (a WWII battleship) towards Tower Bridge. We did the Tower Bridge tour and were a bit hungry afterward as we hadn't had anything to eat so far today. It worked out well because the rain has suddenly started again. By happen stance we ended up in White Chapel which for all you history buffs is famous for a well know murderer in the 1800s named Jack The Ripper. It was on my list of places to see if time permitted and we had a great cheap brunch in his former hood. Check off the list. 10 pounds each for brunch and that included an adult beverage.

After we built up our energy stores ... off to the Tower of London. For most, the main attraction here are the Crown Jewels, I am more interested in the history of Ann Boleyn and to see the Mideval Castle than the crown jewels to be honest. Plus the line to see the Jewels was really long and we had other things to see and do. We can see jewels elsewhere which was one of the next things on our list. I'll get to that in a minute.

Once done we in the Tower of London we walked up the road to grab the tube to head out to Hyde Park, Kensington Castle, and Notting Hill. We walked up to the tube ... closed for maintence. So we checked the map for the next closet station... walked there... closed ... humm a theme seems to be developping here. After being advised by a very nice homeless man, our third station was open for business. 10 stops later, welcome to Notting Hiil Gate station. We walked to see Kensington Palace, down Kensington Palace road, past a series of Embassies and into the grounds of Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. We did the tour of Kensington Palce which is where we saw some royal jewels ... so we saw some bling and that was enough for me. No we weren't invited in for tea by the Windsor's in case you were wondering.

After our tour of Kensington Palace, we toured the Princess Diana Memorial garden and then we made our way into Notting Hill, saw the market did some window shopping and took some photos of the narrow streets and colourful facades of the buildings. This area was made more famous due to the film starring High Grant and Julia Roberts. We did go into the Travel Book Store which I am sure has seen a boom in their traffic and sales since the movie aired years back.

Once done in Notting Hill it was time to head back to our home base to rest for a bit before heading out to exchange some hoodies we bought yesterday .. they ended up being a bit small when we tried them on. This exchange happened in Piccadilly Circus. While in the area we decided it was a great night to celebrate Thanksgiving. Where better to do that than in a pub? St. james Pub it is. When in Rome do as the locals would. Fish and Chips please for me as I hadn't had any as yet. Not a bad meal. On our tip back to the hotel we walked though Leichester Square... which has lots of Casinos and is China Town in London.

Back to to Hotel we arrive. Time to write my blog, and total the stop count for the day 27446 and we are done. Today wasn't all rainy, the sun actually made its way out and gave us a chance to dry out a bit. A full day, time for some rest.

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Posted by JuiceQ88 14:19 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london

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