Monday, September 26, 2011

London Day II

Smoking my pipe along the Thames, adjacent to "The London Eye".

Monday September 26, 2011
Ty and I returned to England and our favourite "Full English Breakfasts" today. We grew tired of the same sausages, egg, grilled tomato, toast and bacon on our first two weeks in the U.K. but say what you want, its not a bad way to start the day and surely the Brits have thought it out over the last few hundred years.
We started our day at Starbucks (Grandi "Filters" with "pouring cream"!) and a walk just up the block to the British Museum where we saw a lot of dead Egyptians, and artifacts including the Rosetta Stone and a few sculptures.

The Rosetta Stone

From there we jumped on a double decker and headed down to Victoria Station and toured Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and walked around the higly secured Big Ben as well as the Parliament Buildings.

Westminster Abbey

In Westminster Abbey

In Westminster Abbey

Parliament Buildings

We have made several observations which I am writing about slowly and will add as time permits. One is our experiences with the natives of London, as well as England's other cities, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Its just been very interesting to me to note the subtle ways that people from different cultures interact with eachother, and the non verbal communication.  London People seem actually quite friendly, though they just don't get our humour or sarcasm with the exception of the black people who give us high fives all the time.  Oh and I will say that the Brits have little or no tans when compared to their French or Italian neighbours... Surely it can't be the constant rain and lack of sun here...

Then we jumped in a London Taxi and did our shopping our Harrods, Harold Nichols and a hundred other fancy shops in the middle of London.

Then we walked down through the Wellington Arch to Buckingham Palace.

We jumped in a taxi and went to Pickadilly Circus for more shopping, having another Starbucks coffee with our beloved cream.  We bought enough souvenirs that we had to take our bags back to our room and after powdering our noses, we took a cab to "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" back down at Pickadilly Circus.

The original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Made out of gumballs

Made out of butterfly wings

These next three pics are all the same piece of wood (as it turns)... Believe it or not!

Made from pennies...

An insane experience... A maze of mirrors and I bumped my head many times, got lost and had to be rescued...

An incredible illusion which messed with my head and made we walk funny for several minutes...
By dark we had dinner at Garfunkels and walked back down to Westminster Bridge in full view of the "London Eye" where we sat along the Thames River listening to a violinist playing classical music and smoked our father and son pipes that we got in Dublin a few weeks back. Then we took the "underground" back to our room on Drury Lane.

Tomorrow we have arranged to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace and then we have lined up several outdoor markets as well as more street shopping.  Perhaps, if we have any money left, we will also take a boat tour of the Thames which would be a perfect way for an old lake captain like me to end my vacation.  We fly out of Gatwick at 9 am, arriving in Calgary 12 1/2 hrs later, though it will be 1:30 pm there.

(PS sorry for all the blurry pics recently... We are missing my last camera, which broke, but had an anti-shake function. I will buy a new one when I get home...)