Thursday, April 3, 2014

London, England

I am still trying to put into words, the magnitude of London.  Everything I saw was very ornate 
and intricately detailed. Everything was on a 'royal' scale. Makes sense, since they are ruled by a Queen. 
I was not prepared for what a melting pot of people this city is.  I was expecting what I see on BBC shows like "Call the Midwife", "Dr Who", and "Sherlock".  
Parts of it were very much what I expected, while other parts were nothing like I anticipated.  

One of my absolute favorite parts of the trip was the Underground.  So fun and exciting trying to navigate around the underground train tunnels.  As you step on to the train a voice says "Mind The Gap" in a British accent.  I am still saying it weeks later.

 We flew in to London on a very early flight and then took a 1 hour cab ride (on the wrong side of the road!!) to the city. By this time, we were ready for breakfast, so we made a stop at Starbuck's, for 'tea and cakes' and then straight to Tiffany's to have 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'! Very glamorous indeed.  
After breakfast we toured all four floors of the store.  Everyone who worked there was very kind and humored our shopping outing.


One of the teenage girls with us, Jessi, recognized the restaurant 'Nando's' as we walked by it, as a favorite place of some of the members of "One Direction".  The manager was extremely kind, and sat us at the exact table the band sat in.  He also let us take menus as souvenirs and gave Jessi a shirt and some of the Peri Peri sauce the restaurant is famed for.  It was a delicious lunch and made for great memories!

 Everyone had to get a picture in the iconic red telephone box!
 We had a great night going to a little Italian bistro and then to Novello Theatre to see 'Mama Mia' on stage.  They did a great job with it and we couldn't help but sing along! 

We spent the next day trying to cram in as many sights as we could 
before it was time to catch a plane back to Germany.

We planned a stop to 221B Baker Street.  Also known as the Sherlock Holmes Museum.  My husband and daughter are huge fans and I have to admit, I fan-girled a little bit!
We took a ride on The Original Red Bus Tour, which is a hop-on hop-off bus, two levels high, and open on top.  We were able to see many of the iconic London Sites in a short amount of time. St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the London Eye were just a few that we passed.

I felt like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's European Vacation where he says, 
"Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament"  We passed them about as fast as it took to say that.

The parts of London that were very modern seemed almost out of place to me, but were still amazing. The first one is overlooking Blackfriar Bridge, and then the next one is "The Shard".
I absolutely loved that the buildings that were almost on top of each other, could be decorated so differently, almost as to differentiate one from the other.  London is definitely a concrete jungle.  Residents take the opportunity to put green anywhere they can, so a lot of windows are greened up with baskets of flowers.

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