Day 4: From Eucharist to the Motorways

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Our last day in London, and first day on tour! It went thusly:

 

  • Hopped up bright and early and attended 8.00 am Holy Communion at St Paul’s cathedral. Like our usual church we were 15 minutes late, unlike our usual church the building dated from the 1670’s and was the crowning achievement of famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, whose tomb is in the crypt beneath the cathedral alongside some heroes of mine, William Blake and Sir Arthur Sullivan. A mere 257 steps above the cathedral floor was the whispering gallery housed in the main dome, the acoustics were crystal clear yet strangely Anna still complained I wasn’t listening. A further 120 odd steps was a look-out over london. Not bad at all, although a little foggy.

    Windsor Castle with two Bobbies
    Windsor Castle with two Bobbies
  • Packed up the hotel room and headed to Guilford via train and picked up car. Navigated our way to Windsor, where we were too late to go into the castle but enjoyed much of the town (and a narrow escape from some very vigilant clamp-happy parking police!), including the crocked house of Windsor, more than a fair share of gift shops, and St John’s church which housed an enourmous painting of the last supper dating back from the 1600’s (the painting dated back to the 1600’s, the last supper was much earlier than that, obviously).
  • Navigated to Marlborough, a rural town in Wiltshire, where we stayed the night in a B&B called “Brown’s Farm”, scenery is unbelievable and made all the more incredible by a further 15 cm of snow which fell over night. Met a nice Edinburough couple at breakfast who gave us some travel tips for when we are in that neck of the woods.

    MISSING: One Ford Festiva
    MISSING: One Ford Festiva

 

Not sure how we will travel today with the snow and ice – it continues to snow at the moment. Catch you later, Tom and Anna

PS – Hi to Shaye  – you should see the yummy pastry shops over here. Tell Dale the holiday is a must 🙂 xx

PS – Hi to Anne, moving day is still fresh in our memory, it has made shivering away here much more bearable! Have been advised that the beard has now reached it’s length and should now be kept trimmed…

Day 3 in London

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Flat chat yesterday. And I think today will be much the same. Here’s the latest, in exciting new bullet form:

  • Breakfast at the hotel: “Continental” breakfast means more or less what you’d have at home. English breakfast is the one to look out for.

    Standing near the Albert memorial in Hyde Park.
    Standing near the Albert memorial in Hyde Park.
  • The Albert Memorial: Built to remember Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. Tall monument, gold and ornate. Across the road from…
  • The Royal Albert Hall: Large and round and quite impressive. I wouldn’t mind coming back sometime…
  • Natural HIstory Museum: Nice building. Interesting exhibits.
  • Harrods: Basically Myer with history. We felt like it would be a waste to leave without buying anything, so we bought some morning tea and ate it in…
  • Hyde Park: Icy from all the snow. Very peaceful though. We shared morning tea with a fairly plump robin – obviously not his first scammed crumb.
  • Tom Cribb Inn: to satisfy my desire to eat in a traditional English pub, we found the Tom Cribb Inn, near Picadilly Circus. I had Fish and Chips with mushy peas and Anna had a chicken pie. We washed it down with a pint of fine English ale.
  • Britain at War Museum: INteresting, but not compulsory viewing.
  • Back to the Hotel for a quick nap, then…
  • Cirque de Soliel at the Royal Albert Hall: This was unbelievable. We didn’t have tickets, but were able to buy some at a good price out the front from a chap who looked seriously dodgy but seemed to have the goods. The show: Awesome. The Hall: Impressive. The man in front of us with the huge head: Disappointing but inevitable.
Yesterday’s pedometer reading: 16, 457 steps.
Today I do my first driving in the UK. Driving through snow is pretty simple, right?
Tom and Anna.

Europe: Day 2

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After a quick breakfast and check to see what was happening on the internets, we packed our day bags and headed into town.

There is still plenty of snow about, although now it’s mostly crushed down and icy.

The White Tower with Snowmen, by Anna.
The White Tower with Snowmen, by Anna.

We did a “hop on hop off” tour of London today. We climbed on the open topped double-decker and set off. We drove past some great monuments, listening to a commentry along the way. We saw Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Fleet Street, a few famous pubs and things.
We hopped off at the Tower of London and spent a good couple of hours there. Could have easily spent longer I reckon. We did a tour with a Yeoman Warder named Bob. Yeoman Warders are also known as Beefeaters but Bob didn’t seem too keen on that name and he was a little intimidating. We were able to check out the crown jewels – not a bad collection at all. Also we were able to walk through the white tower, which was the home to the English monarchy for a fair while. It was also a prison, housing many famous and infamous people over the years including Queen Elizaneth I and a polar bear. Fascinating and also a little indimidating, although as Anna mentioned, all the snowmen about the place seemed to take the edge off.

A quick lunch and we were back on the bus.

Next we visited Trafalgar Square. This is one of those places that I’d heard of previously in books and film, but I’d heard of them in the context of CS Lewis, Agatha Christie, Douglas Adams and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Unwittingly I think I had put places like Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus in the same category as Cair Paravel, Hobbiton and the planet Vogon, so it was bizarre to stand at the base of Nelson’s column and check out the view. The fountain had frozen over so it wasn’t switched on.

Next we visited the Winston Churchill Museum that the wartime cabinet rooms, which is set down in a bunker, not far from 10 Downing street. This is where England was run during the second world war, so we were actually looking at the desks, beds, chairs and telephones used by Churchill and others during the war!

Lastly we stumbled back up to Picadilly Circus and caught a West End show. We saw “The 39 Steps”, which was excellent fun.

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you’re enjoying the updates. We’re certainly saving on postcards.

 

Tom and Anna.

Us in Europe: Day 1

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Well, we got away okay. The extraordinarily long flight wasn’t quite as bad as I thought. We touched down in London at 6am, local time, but couldn’t get off until 9am due to snow everywhere. Due to careful planning, we had managed to arrive in London for their heaviest snowfall in 18 years.

We managed to see a bit of London yesterday – Picadilly Circus, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Buckingham Palace – but most things were closed due to the snow.

The snow did make things look pretty awesome but.

We’re doing a London tour today so we’ll get to see these things in more detail.

K Bye.

 

Tom.