Wednesday, August 17, 2011

London: Day 1

We started our trip off on the right note - got into Heathrow Airport at 7am after traveling for 24 hours (only about 15 hours with the time change), waited in line for customs for an hour and a half, couldn't get cash out of the ATMs, and took the Double Decker bus the wrong way. What a way to start a trip, right? We were just glad we started in London where people at least spoke some form of English.

After finally figuring out our daily cash withdrawal limit (shame on us for not checking before we went), we got to our hotel (Manor Hotel in the South Kensington & Chelsea District) in Earl's Court five hours later. Took a little two hour nap in our 4 x 5 hotel room (with a shared bathroom) and then we got to it and started walking. The view from our room...

With no plan in mind, we stumbled on the Victoria & Albert Museum. We hit it up right before they closed, but the best part is that all the museums in London are FREE! (How's that for the spending diet abroad?) The V&A had lots of medieval artifacts, some Greek statues, and a royal wing that had this HUGE famous bed. It was literally like two kings put together. I wish I would have gotten Zach in the shot for scale.

Next we stumbled on Harrod's. AKA Super-Fancy-Nordstrom. I felt out of place just walking through there (never mind that we looked like tourists already in our jeans and t-shirts). It is ginormous and had tons of fancy stuff. 

From there, it was on through Mayfair to scope out a Rick Steeve's recommended bar that was completely packed. So it was on to Hyde Park, then Picadilly Circus where we found a nice little place called The Stockpot that served traditional English fare. It was Shepard's Pie for the Hubby and Fish n' Chips for me. So good.

We wandered some more through Picadilly and SoHo (avoiding the "adult" alley... haha) then took the Tube home.

The best part about the Tube is the British lady that tells you where you are and where you're going at each stop. Picture in your best British accent the lady saying, "Please mind the gap between the train and the platform. This has been a Picadilly line service to Cockfosters." We cracked up whenever she would say Cockfosters. Yes, we are twelve year-olds.

Here are some more random shots from the day...

Without the signs on the roads, I'm positive I would have been hit by a car.

London, we loved you from the start.

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