If there is one thing that makes my heart sing and causes me to contemplate moving to a new city, it’s green space – being outdoors, breathing in nature. Sunshine helps too. 😉 And I experienced all of that during my third day in London! And all subsequent days in this city. Hallelujah!
The weather greatly improved after my first rainy day in London town. My outlook greatly improved too after a few nights of great sleep! 🙂
We started our day at Buckingham Palace with plans to watch the famous changing of the guard ceremony. Unfortunately, the rest of London had the same plan because the place was PACKED!
We stood on our tiptoes trying to catch a glimpse of the parades of guards coming down the street but couldn’t see much over the heads of the masses that had congregated in front of the palace on this beautiful, sunny day. I’m still undecided on whether I can check this off my list of world travel experiences…
On to Green Park and some rest in the shade while mapping out the rest of our day.
We took the Underground to Kensington Gardens where we enjoyed a picnic lunch while surrounded by the beautiful park. This is where my thoughts about this city started to change. As I sat there, I wrote in my journal: “My first day here I thought I would never want to live in this city. Now, I think I would actually enjoy it – as long as it doesn’t rain everyday. :-)” Hmmm…
After hanging around Kensington Gardens for a while and enjoying our first (of many!) ice cream treats of our ten week adventure, we decided to head toward Notting Hill and the street market on Portobello Road. Unfortunately the map of London we were using didn’t include the Notting Hill area. So, of course, it took us three times as long as it should have to find this place.
Some of the vendors had already closed up shop by the time we got there but we still enjoyed wandering through the market. Can I just say that outdoor markets are one of my favorite things? Especially all of the fresh food! Of course. 😉
We took the Tube back to our hostel, freshened up a bit, then headed out again to find a place to eat for dinner. We ended up at Bella Italia and enjoyed some good Italian food.
The next morning we got a later than anticipated start to our day (my alarm clock, named Teresa, had apparently adjusted to the time change and was no longer naturally waking up early) and headed toward the British Museum.
We entered into the Great Court which was incredible and is the largest covered public square in England. We picked up a map and headed first to the Assyrian Galleries. I just find it so amazing to see all of this history up close and personal. I love it! I just wish I could go back in time and see these items in their original homes.
Anyway, we explored the Roman, Greek, Asia, Europe, and (my favorite) Egyptian Galleries. Some things we saw dated back to 3,000 B.C. which I find absolutely amazing.
This museum is huge and we didn’t come even close to seeing everything housed there. We probably would have seen more if I hadn’t developed multiple blisters on my feet (another lesson learned – don’t bring un-broken in shoes on vacation). Since I was struggling to walk, we finally decided to bring our museum time to a close and head back to our hostel.
Once back, I changed into comfier shoes and we headed out again to leisurely make our way to the London Eye. We stopped to pick up chicken nuggets and fries from a cafe on the River Thames and sat on a bench eating our dinner with a view of Big Ben and Parliament across the river. Nice.
We had purchased tickets for our “flight” up the London Eye that morning at the Britain & London Visitor’s Center. We had a reserved time for our ride and arrived a few minutes early. We enjoyed the 30-minute flight in our “pod” as the setting sun provided a beautiful backdrop to the city.
After we landed, we picked up milkshakes at McDonalds 🙂 and took the long way back to our hostel. The walk back took over an hour but we enjoyed our pleasant stroll along the river and tree-lined streets, and past Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey.
A lovely end to our day!