Back in London for 4 days

The last part of our trip to the UK was four days back in London. We jumped on a train and were in London in about 2 hours.

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We needed to find a cheaper place to stay near the center of London for our last few days.  Our kids had showed us how easy it was to use airbnb.com website. Check it out for your next trip.

We found a place that was close to the public transportation and not that far from downtown London. We booked it for 4 nights because that was about the cost of one night in a hotel nearer downtown. And the bed was much more comfortable.

We stayed with a pharmacist called Graeme. He is Scottish but works in London. Graeme had told us we could use his kitchen as well and he had all kinds of helpful suggestions about travel etc. So we were so grateful for his help and his nice homey place.

We went all over by public double-decker buses. It was fun and easy!

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We had mostly sunshiny days and we were so grateful. We got some more pictures of the Tower Bridge.

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Tower Bridge from the street view as we walked across it.

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Since there are many bridges that cross the River Thames this one is called the Tower Bridge although most visitors call it the London Bridge.

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We also had a 30 minute cruise on the River Thames on a small city cruiser boat which was a part of our bus tour.

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Not far away was the tower that houses Big Ben. We got a good view!

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We walked along the Princess Diana Memorial walkway which takes you along Hyde Park, to see Kensington Palace and Garden, St James Place and Buckingham Palace. It is a beautiful walk through many gardens.

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One of the gardens along this walkway.

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Outside of Buckingham Palace

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Gate at Buckingham Palace grounds

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There were Beefeater guards in many places. Here Kent and I were talking to one of them and even Flat Silas got into the picture.

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One day we went to Regent Park also which has lots of gardens too. I was so grateful for all of the spring blossoms. I am usually in Phoenix until after all of the spring blooms. So this was a treat as well.

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Here is the Garden around Kensington Palace

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We went to Trafalgar Square named after a famous naval battle where the British fought Napoleon.

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It is not a square but large area where people come to just hang out on a sunny day. There are all kinds of statues all over commemorating many famous war heroes including one of Sir Winston Churchill here with Westminster Abbey in the background.

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We went to see the British Museum right off Trafalgar Square.

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Flat Silas was there with us. He enjoyed all the old Egyptian statues and even decided to take a nap on a BIG TOE.

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Not too far from there is Baker Street and the address of the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes. 221A Baker Street. They had a museum at his fictional address and a statue of him in the street.

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Hyde Park is one of London’s large centrally located city parks. We walked around and through the park several times.There were flowers everywhere and we enjoyed them.

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Another thing I wanted to see was “Speakers Corner” in Hyde Park. At that corner, anyone who wants to say anything, can speak and say whatever is on their mind and nobody stops them. It was a cacophony of different speakers all shouting to get everyone’s attention. And yes, there was someone shouting about salvation too. I was glad to hear it although I could barely make out his words with all the other speakers there. You can see that even a downpour of rain didn’t stop them.

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One of our highlights was going to see Westminster Abbey.

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This is the church where Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was held about 60 years ago. Our host told us that we could go to the evening service as a worshipper and so it would be free to see it. I was so excited to do this. We were in line with hundreds of others. And all of us got in and there was plenty of room for more.

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All the history in that place was awesome. We had a lovely service and I was pleasantly surprised how good the sermon was. I loved the old hymns in that acoustically majestic historic building and the whole atmosphere there. It was a blessing! When we came out it was near sunset and the sun was shining so beautifully on the building as well. I can tell you that I loved it!

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We also went to Harrods’ store. I wasn’t sure what to expect but now I know why so many people want to go there.

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I knew we weren’t going to buy anything, but the structure and the architecture was awesome. They had an escalator that went up about 5 stories.

In between the levels of the aptly named Egyptian escalator there were balconies and they had an opera singer at one of them singing beautifully.

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One day we went to a street market called Portobello Market.

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It was a long street that had many stalls from antiques, fruits and veggies to all kinds of ethnic foods. There was the usual crush of people in that kind of environment.

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After an hour or two we walked on to the next adventure.

Another thing we got to go to was Covent Garden, which is not a garden but instead an area of London where they have lots of shops, a small market that is open on Sundays and then a fair type atmosphere.

We were able to get to see the large Apple store in London in Covent Garden. It is architecturally beautiful too.

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Apple Geniuses at work

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When we were hungry and ready for a place to sit, we stopped by a little outdoor cafe. I love these little places to eat.

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As we sat there other people also sat at tables near us with only about 6 inches between tables it was impossible to not to hear conversations and eventually get into theirs and they into yours. Several asked us questions and we ended up talking with this one family from Philadelphia for quite a while. It made me glad to meet someone from my home state.

We decided to stop for a light early dinner at an old pub called the Grenadier.This place has been serving customers since about 1600’s. That is when the United States was just being discovered. We loved all the history here.

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And the food was good too. Here is Kent’s satay chicken and my cheese plate and of course TEA!

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It was such a nice day we walked all the way back to our hosts home that evening. We walked along the Thames River and could see the London Bridge in the distance.

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This was a very special trip and one we will never forget! Again I am grateful for my mom’s estate that got this started! And we are so grateful for the new friends we made and many wonderful, friendly people that we met along the way.

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Gratefully yours,

Jan and Kent for the Roaming Reimers

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3 Responses to “Back in London for 4 days”

  1. LuAnn Says:

    Sounds like a lovely visit. This is a city I would love to see someday.

    • RoamingReimers Says:

      It is a very fun city and so easy to get around. We loved it as you might be able to tell! How are you doing?

      • LuAnn Says:

        We have had some challenges lately. I won’t even go into the issues with caregiving, but this past week we learned that Terry’s prostate cancer has returned. We just received back the results of his full-body bone scan, CT abdominal scan and chest x-ray, and thank God, all were clean. We are heading to Columbus tomorrow to discuss treatment options with a radiation oncologist. Please keep him in your prayers. Hope all is well with you and Kent.

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