Tuesday, August 30, 2011

London: Day 4

Well, we made it through London. Day 4 was our last day and we took it a bit easier. We slept in a bit and started out on a Double Decker Bus Tour. We did The Original Tour and it was pretty good, with one exception. We started at Victoria Station and went out along the river, got to the Parliament Building and decided to get off the bus and grab some pics (since you can hop back on at any stop).

The building is huge and pretty amazing with all the Gothic architecture. It was interesting to find out that the different parties (Lords and Earls) enter through different doors, as well as the Queen has her own door when she comes for a visit.

We went to get back on the bus at one of the stops and waited for about 45 minutes before we gave up and walked back to the stop we originally got off at. Not cool! It was good to get a little bit of down time after going full speed.

We got back on the bus and our tour guide was pretty good. It was really fun to see the sites from a different perspective up higher on the bus (and it was finally sunny!).

I think this was the building of the British version of the IRS (Nerd!).

I'm not sure of most of the buildings we drove by, but they were sure purrrty.

Legally Blonde - next time we'll go see a show!

We drove by this district that had a bunch of old war posters. Lots of Churchill.

We drove through the Tower Bridge and past the London Eye.

Picadilly Circus.

We got off at Leiscester Square (it's pronounced like "lester" not "ly-chester" like I thought it was) and walked around to get lunch and kill time before heading to the Odeon to see Harry Potter(!). We walked past China Town...

...and then decided to head to the theatre and get in line (even though we had reserved seating). They have it set up so every seat is assigned, just like when you go to a play or musical (it was kind of nice!). Going to see Harry Potter in London was one of our favorite parts of our London trip. 

The crowd during the movie was awesome. Laughing, crying and cheering out loud throughout the movie (especially after Mrs. Weasley's big line - I think you know what I'm talking about). It was an awesome experience to go see it on opening day with the locals! Probably the most expensive movie we've ever seen too (totally worth every penny pence)!

After HP (we were super jazzed!) we made the trek over to Trafalgar Square (also the center of London) and the National Gallery (again, Free!). We were a little bummed because the DaVinci rooms were closed, but loved the rest of it. Our favorite painting was the Execution of Lady Jane Grey (she was the 9 day Queen and only 16 years old when she was  murdered). So many amazing paintings all in one place! And they already had the Olympic Countdown going (I'm not a fan of their logo).

Next, we hit up the British Museum (also, Free! - thank goodness), which had tons of artifacts, mummies, and Greek statues. It was cool at first, but a little bit in the mummies started looking the same and I was super tired. After so many statues, they just start running together. So I went to Starbucks while Z continued to tour the museum. I did see some cool Egyptian artifacts (including Cleopatra's tomb) and the famous Rosetta Stone before I left though!

After the museum, I really wanted to go to Notting Hill (you know, because of the movie). So we took the Tube to that district hoping to grab some dinner and explore. Too bad it was already getting dark and we were starving so there was less exploring and more eating. Rick Steeve's suggested a small little cafe called Cafe Diana where the walls are lined in photographs of the late Princess (it's really like a shrine). We went but they only took cash and we didn't want to take out any more pounds since we were leaving the next day. 

So instead we went down the street to this restaurant chain we had seen around called Zizzi. It was Italian food and SO delicious. I had the Fettuccine Alfredo with this delicious bacon/ham (of course) and Z had Lasagna. We split some blood orange gelato after, which was amazing. 

We took off back to the hotel, got an hours worth of Internet and then hit the hay for our earlier departure the next morning.

Next stop... Paris!

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