Denise and David in Europe 2016
September 29-30
  England - London part 1
last updated 30 September 2016
Back to England - Bradford, Skegness Forward to England - London part 2

Thursday 29 September - Skegness to London

We set off from Skegness and drove, in the main via the small towns into London. However we did hit the A1 for our final approach.

Traffic had been congested once we hit the outskirts of London and we edged our way closer to the Hotel.

Pictured below Park Lane.

The only way to enjoy London is to walk it.   Here are some happy snaps along the way - Westminster Cathedral

The Albert.

Remember these?

Westminster Abby

Big Ben.

The Eye

Whitehall Gardens where we sat for a while enjoying the tranquility compared to the hustle and bustle of the city.

Across the road from Whitehall Gardens, The Playhouse.  1984 was playing so that was our evening sorted.

The subway...... never mind about graffiti... they made their own.  Lots of murals depicting different parts of London.  What a great idea.

Trafalgar Square sites - a most unusual statue.

Trafalgar Square sites continued.....

The National Gallery

The play was fabulous.  Great special effects and intense character portrayals made this a must see.

Friday 30 September - London

Today we set off looking for Abbey Rd but got a little side tracked.  We found ourselves in Baker Street.
Baker Street is home to the Beatles memorabilia shop
But their prices were SO high!!!!!!  100 pounds for a jumper is what we call a little excessive.  Yes and 8 pounds for a tin badge even more excessive!  More importantly 221b Baker Street, which is, in fact the Sherlock Holmes Museum.  Imagine that .... a museum based on a fictional character LOL. 

But there at 221b Baker Street, we found the real fictional home of Sherlock Holmes which featured a large Holmes Museum



We had to leave quickly though because we had a 10:30 appointment to visit the Queen.  We had picked the right day as the queen was in - and we had won the hotel raffle.  We were not allowed photographs when we entered the gates of Buckingham Palace.  But David did sneak in a selfie of the three of us in her gardens.  What a fabulous lady!

I had tried to explain to her that Friday was casual day and a public holiday in Melbourne.  But it fell on deaf ears :(  Still what a life long memory to have.

Because we did not leave the palace till after 11am, there were only a few vantage points left to see the changing of the guard.  Below is our vantage point.

Here come the horses and the guards with the pointed hats.  Unfortunately they were entering from the far gate and our vantage point was not as good as it could have been.  However it was better up on the fence rather than in the crowd where it would have been difficult to see anything.

Pictured below - one of the regiments that actually used the gate we were closest to.

Quite a large crowd as the band marched in to the palace gates on the far side.

Here is a closer shot.  The new camera is working out well.

Those guards must have had a lot of steak for breakfast.  They were real Beefeaters!

Huge crowds all along.

While walking back to the station.  Wow.... UK train tickets are expensive.  To ride a 3 or 4 stations without an Oyster card costs 5 pound each.  (Australia - read AUS$10 each).  With an Oyster card, it costs 2 pound 50 pence each (Australia - read AUS$5 each).  Between us we racked up AUS$80 in train fares in a couple of days - after optimisation.

Back to the walk.  An interesting view of the lake from St James Park - with some interesting buildings in the distance.    Great view.

And the garden that Denise only can dream of for the back yard.

We we had a late lunch in a pub called The Swan which was near "Mansion House" underground station.

A short walk over the river to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.  "I am sorry sir, you miss the last tour, because of a matinee performance.  Tours finished at noon.  Options?  You can see a performance if you wish but MacBeth is sold out this afternoon.  We still have seats for 'Imogen'   After a regroup on what we would do David cleverly negotiated the price down from £45 pounds each to £20 pounds each - so he was happy.

The Globe

On the way back to the hotel, splendid views of the London landscape.

After a brief rest,  off in the cab to the Globe for dinner nearby and "Imogen".

Inside the Globe Theatre - reproduction of an "end of the 16th century" theatre.  People sat in three levels with a large standing only area in the middle. 

Den's Mecca!   The play was brilliant.  Oh by the way it is a really good investment to hire a cushion those bench seats can get a little uncomfortable even with a cushion so can't imagine what it would be like not to have one.

and...

Those in standing room were open to the elements.  And of course, it rained during the performance. 

We saw the Shakespeare play Imogen (aka Cymbeline).  The star of the show was Maddy Hill - known to all of us Eastenders fans as Nancy Carter.  Pictured below was Denise catching up with her after the show.  She was in real life the same as her character on Eastenders.

We collapsed into bed about 1am - and promptly slept through the grand final.

Back to England - Bradford, Skegness Forward to England - London part 2