Sunday, September 20, 2009

Trip Recap - Day 4 London

Day 4 was our last full day in London and we tried to make the most of it. We planned to get up early, but as was the case most of our trip we ended up sleeping in until around 10am. Once we were finally ready we grabbed coffee and a pastry (do you see a trend here?) at Paul and hopped on the tube to Westminster. Once topside we joined the crowds of people to tour Westminster Abbey. We opted for the audio tour (per Rick Steve's recommendations, thanks again Rick!) and wandered through the abbey past tombs and the coronation chair and wow, just so much cool stuff. I am not usually a huge fan of old stuff, churches, etc. but Westminster Abbey was incredible. I could go back there again.

What really irked me in Westminster Abbey was the tourists. There were signs everywhere asking that you not take pictures and that you talk quietly in respect, but there were huge groups of people snapping photos and talking like they were at a baseball game. Disappointing.

After leaving the abbey we took the tube from Westminster to the Baker Street stop and found our way to 221b Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes.

We payed our 6 pounds each (!!!) and took a tour of the Sherlock Holmes museum. It was cute, but really, 6 pounds ?!? Chris really enjoyed it though, so mission accomplished.

Once he was done exploring the museum we hopped back on the tube at Baker Street to the High Street Kensington stop and walked over to Hyde Park. The gardens around Kensington Palace were impressive.

We stopped in for high tea at The Orangery. High tea itself was quite enjoyable although our service left much to be desired. I suppose I'd be a bit sullen too if I had to serve the tourists with their Rick Steve's books day in and day out, but hello, you're in customer service. Get over yourself.

After leaving the Orangery we explored Hyde Park for a while and walked, and walked, and walked some more. After what seemed like hours of walking we found ourselves at the Diana, Princess of Whales, Memorial Fountain. I know there is much controversy around this fountain but I found it fitting and a very nice tribute.

After exiting Hyde Park we found ourselves right in front of Harrods so of course we had to go in. It was crazy insane in there, to say the least, but wow, I could shop there more often. Chris kept saying to me "I bet you wish your mom was here with you" and he was right, I really did. Next time!

By this point we were beyond exhausted and decided it was time for a pint. We stopped in at a pub called the Duke of Argyll and soon realized that we were right on the edge of London's Red Light district. The people watching was pretty entertaining! We finished off our pints and walked through SOHO over to Picadilly Circus where we again found ourselves unable to decide on dinner. After a couple of false attempts we finally found ourselves at All Bar One and had a delicious meal. I'm pretty sure that is the only lunch/dinner meal we had in london that wasn't in a pub.

Since it was our last night in London we decided to explore a bit more before heading back and we found our way over to the Tom Cribb.

The patrons of the Tom Cribb we quite entertaining. There was the drunk guy at the counter that kept trying to pay for his beer (even though he'd already paid). And then, there was a group of people that appeared to work together (speculation) and seemed to be really tying one on for a Monday night. At one point a lady in their group was doing a funny dance and declaring "I'm Dildo JO JO Baggins of the Shire" over and over again. What a hoot! Chris enjoyed a Bishop's Finger and then it was back to the hotel!

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