London Calling

London is big, beautiful, exciting, historic, crowded and expensive! I love it! Our visit has been fantastic. We prepared for the worst possible weather, expecting lots of rain and clouds and cold. It’s cold, but the few times we see rain, it’s light and I’m happy to say I never have to open my brand new umbrella.

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I’ve got too much to say, and too many photos to share in just one post. We have three full days in London. Only enough time for a preliminary glance at a place so rich in history.

We continue the Beatles trail that started in Liverpool, joining a two-hour London Walks tour that takes us to see the important places. We visit the Palladium, where Beatlemania started when they performed live on TV for the British audience months before Ed Sullivan in the USA.

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Here is the iconic Abbey Road studios.

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Roger walks the famous crosswalk.

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And my favorite part is seeing the building where The Beatles performed their legendary 1970 (surprise) final concert atop the roof on 3 Savile Row.

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The London Eye is very touristy, and very expensive (costing us approximately 38 dollars EACH to ride).

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This Ferris wheel is one of the largest in the world, and the one revolution takes almost 30 minutes, so there is plenty of time to see everything. I am a person who is afraid of heights, but this experience wasn’t at all frightening.

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Even though the Eye is tremendous at 443 feet tall, it moves so slowly and the capsules you ride in are so large, you can’t really feel the motion at all.

IMG_3488On our ride, the weather is perfect. We buy a little 360 degree map so we can ID all the buildings and we marvel that our view is more clear than the view they had when they took the photos!

DSCN2711We can even see the guard gathering at the horse guards parade area, which happens to be our next destination.

We are trying to see the 11:30am changing of the guard, what we end up seeing (and following along their route) is the Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham Palace.

DSCN2728Seeing the Palace is a spectacle which should not be missed when in London.  Give our regards to the Queen.

DSCN2733We view all of the iconic sights of the city from the outside, and we are just fine with that choice. I’d like to see the crown jewels at the Tower of London, but time does not allow.

We do make time to see Beautiful, The fantastic Carole King musical playing at the historic Aldwych Theatre.

DSCN2685The Aldwych Theatre, in London’s west end is over 110 years old.

DSCN2687Of course there is no photography during a live production, I took this while we were waiting for the show to start!

I purchase my first souvenirs of the trip during our pilgrimage to the flagship store of Twinings Tea (established in 1706).

DSCN2737It’s a shop, a museum and a tea bar. Tea is one of the things I like about being in Britain!

DSCN2739DSCN2740In hotels in the USA it’s all about the coffee machine, and the coffee, with nary a consideration for the tea drinkers. But here, tea is the star with hot water brewing machines in every room, and a generous variety of teas to choose from.

RSCN2767I love the tea mugs in our London Hotel Indigo. Honestly, I have to control myself so they don’t accidentally (on purpose) end up in my suitcase!

I suppose a visit to London isn’t complete without a visit to Harrods famous department store.

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It’s tremendous and reminds me of Bloomies in NYC, only much more expensive. No purchases are made here, but the bathrooms are just lovely!

Coming up in my next post, our impressions of the pubs of London. We participate in an organized pub crawl, and do one of our own.
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