Here we are in England, to be more specific, London. Unfortunately we were battling 180kph head winds which made us half an hour late into Heathrow. However we had some luck by being the only aircraft to arrive at terminal 4 so we did not have massive queues to get through Immigration and Customs. The agent met us promptly and efficiently escorted us to the coach and we drove to the Princes Court Hotel, which proved difficult to find due to some creative numbering of the streets. It was impressive to watch the driver reverse a coach down a road smaller than your average Australian driveway with ease.
A very quick unload and scramble and we were back on the coach to be dropped at Victoria station to catch the “Original big bus tour” of London. Oh and did I mention it was 6 degrees, but not raining?
So everyone wanted the best possible view, so up to the open top deck and off we went! The view of the sites was fantastic, but it was a bit cold. Did I mention it was 6 degrees? (then add the wind chill) But it wasn’t raining!!
Some cold boys
London is home to classic sites as you will see soon, but also some very new items consistent with a dynamic and changing city. Like full size “jelly people”
We even saw Sherlock Holmes outside Baker Street Tube station. It is perfectly normal as he just lives around the corner in 221b Baker Street!
There were lots of other statues, most with Pigeons but this “chap” decided to be different and wear a seagull!
The great buildings of London were there in all their glory. St Pauls has been cleaned for the Olympics, and Big Ben was as tall and beautiful as it is in all of the books and T.V. shows.
By this time the boys were very cold and exhausted, but the Imperial Lion was totally un moved.
A pit stop was made to various food and beverage sellers. (I bet their trade went through the roof when this horde of starved Australians descended on them. After some refuelling it was decided that everyone wanted to go to “The Tower”. Their first ride on the “Tube” was taken and we alighted at Tower Hill station, saw a remnant of the old Roman wall around “Londinium”. The boys were able to see the Crown Jewels (one wanted to know if the Hope Diamond was a crystal) the changing of the tower guard, the dungeons, the White Tower, the Armoury and the Ravens. (There are a group of Ravens that are bred and kept at the Tower of London because legend says that if they ever disappear then England will fall)
On the way out we saw Tower Bridge I the late evening light, and the roof shows that now it was raining. (just a light drizzle really)
Tomorrow it is a very early start to get off to York on the 8.00am train.