London I will miss thee

Sadly it is farewell to London, this city has definitely made it on the must re-visit at a later date list. 

      Yesterday was another busy, and exciting day of walking around, checking out the sites, and riding the Tube. I now have an Oyster Card which got me pretty much fifty-percent off most routes in zones one and two, which are the zones that most sites one will visit are located within. 

       First off I woke up early, had my traditional English breakfast, then it was a short ten fifteen minute walk to Buckingham Palace, which reminds me of the quote from National Lampoons European Vacation;

Clark Griswold: There’s Buckingham Palace, kids. That’s where the Queen lives and works. 
Audrey Griswold: Works? What does she do, Dad? 
Clark Griswold: She queens… and vacuums. 

    I was right up against the high black and gold wrought-iron fence of the Palace, I arrived an hour and forty-minutes before it began. Good thing I did too a nice size crowd formed behind me when I turned around just before the official start time of 11:30 a.m… Once it started it made the long wait worth it. The wonderful pomp and circumstance of the changing of the guard. As well as the music that was played, the horse guard which was closest to me played the theme to Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as some other well-known movie themes, which of course I cannot recall right at the moment. Will have to check the Palace or Horse guard website to see if that information is listed. From start to finish it was a little over thirty-minutes. Once the crowd behind me started to disperse I was able to make my way down The Mall. Before I could get to the Mall, a family from California asked me to take their family picture, once that was done it was half way down the Mall before it was closed off with a barricade and several British Army soldiers keeping everyone out. 

       Then it was off to Trafalgar Square again for the second time, this time I was able to see the famed four lions surrounding the statute of Admiral Nelson on top of column. 

Image

Trafalgar Square is just in front of The National Gallery, which on this day had a group of Japanese drummers playing. After listening for a few minutes it was inside to view some Peter Paul Reubens, Jan van Eyck, Titan, to name a few. Then it was off to eat some lunch.

 

After lunch it was off to visit the Photographers Gallery, most of the big museums are free, they just ask for a donation of a few pounds. The Photographers Gallery was asking for a donation of two pounds, which I gladly gave. Then I took my map in hand took the elevator up to the top floor and worked my way down to the lower floor which contained the bookstore. Which I must say contained one of the largest choice of photography books I have ever seen. Which is good since, one would hope a place called the Photographers Gallery had a nice choice of photography books. It was a nice Gallery, one that I would visit again on my next visit to London. I almost purchased a book entitled “how to publish your own photography book”, though I decided I would just wait till I returned home and order it from Amazon.com, free shipping, and one less thing I would have to ship home. 

       The next stop was Carnaby street where I walked for a little while, before popping into the pub for a pint of beer called “Mary Jane” no marijuana, or anything illegal was in the beer I can assure you. 

Image The name of the pub where I had my pint of “Mary Jane” Once I finished the pint, it was off to the famed Harrod’s department store, which is HUGE, and deserves a visit, even if it is just to ride the Egyptian styled elevator. While I was at Harrod’s I stopped by the food hall, and purchased some Middle Eastern food for dinner, I decided on one lamb style pizza, and two spicy potatoes that were the size of a small cookie. The total was about the same price I would have paid for a meal at subway or a pub. Then it was back to the bed and breakfast for a nice deserved shower, update of the blog, and most importantly dinner, followed by some BBC television, and then off to bed.  That 9 a.m. wake up call would be arriving before I knew it. 

       Until next time!

One last European Vacation quote for today. I actually heard someone say and I said to a fellow traveler while in Rome as well, you know. The phrase “When in Rome!” Here is a brief exchange between Clark and his son Rusty.
Rusty Griswold: Who was it that said when in Rome do as the Romans do?
Clark Griswold: That was Rome not Paris. This is Paris and you’re drunk.

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