Saturday, February 26, 2011

22/2/11 Mom and Dad visit London: Day 3

     Mom and Dad will pose for any photo I tell them to pose for.  I will have to use this to my advantage.  Their third day here and we are so tired and sore.  So much walking and so much to see.  We had bought tickets for the open top bus tour which included a river tour and bus tickets that were valid for 48 hours.  We headed straight to Westminster where we waited for the cruise to leave while walking along the South Bank of the river.  It was a cold and gloomy day but still beautiful all in it's own.

Big Ben from the other side of the river.
Despite the haziness and lacking sun shine I
think the colors were still gorgeous.   Like
a muted gold and green...oh and brown river water. 

Mom and Dad walking along the river.  

On the boat waiting to leave. 

You got an up close view of the London Eye.
Today would not have been a good day to be up there.
You probably couldn't see much.  In fact, when we
were passing underneath it, they were emptying the
whole wheel.  Almost all the cars were empty....maybe
daily maintenance??

An old barge.  Now THAT'S an open air tour. 

View of St. Paul's dome from the river.  Some girl's
dome in the foreground. 

We passed by the Globe Theater.  A replica of the original
built close to its original spot.  Sean doesn't know it yet
but I want to drag him to see a play there this Spring. 

An old war ship (forgot the name) with Tower Bridge in the
background.  Love the colors here.  Again, that gold and green.

The very ornate Tower Bridge.  

    After our amusing river boat tour  down stream we got off at The Tower of London.  The ride was cold but the tour guide had a great sense of humor and had us all laughing.  We ate our tea biscuits and pretzels while floating along although I wish we had a thermos of hot chocolate.  
   The Tower of London was way more cooler than I had thought. In fact I had no idea what it was. I thought it was just a tower. It's not.  We walked around but opted out of the expensive tour but I think next time they come visit we'll add that to our to see list.  You would have to spend a whole day there exploring and learning it's history. I am intrigued. 

Tower of London.  You had to pay to get in so we walked the
perimeter instead.  I really want to go back here. I usually don't like
history but this sparked my curiosity.  We did however take
a good look around the gift shop. I bought Sean
a keychain: Henry VIII,
and I got one of a gold crown.  

Mom and Dad in front of Tower Bridge.
Mom clinging to her warm Starbucks Coffee.

In front of the traitor's gate.  Down below would have
been the moat. 

Tower Bridge. 

After we had our coffee and bathroom breaks
we were a little more energetic.
   After the Tower we jumped back on the tour bus to head back across the river to get a peek at the Globe and the Tate Modern.  I plugged my headphones in for the quick ride and the only thing I remembered was that along the shore they did an archeological dig and found ancient wolf bones.....
Mom pointing out something interesting. 

This is the Millenium Bridge going from the
Tate Modern to St. Paul's.  It's just a foot
St. Paul

Huge and beautiful!
Statue out front.
Mom and Dad disappointed.  We had
JUST missed the open hours for touring
the inside.  They had just closed it to prepare
for evening services.  
    So we got off the bus, looked around the Globe but saw that you couldn't really get a tour.  On the way out I grabbed a brochure for the upcoming season of shows.  Looks pretty cool.  We walked out and headed towards the Millenium Bridge where we crossed the river once again to check out St. Paul's Cathedral.  It huge and loomed over the busy streets of downtown London.  Unfortunately we had JUST missed the visiting hours and got turned away.  Bummer.  So it was back over the river once again to head to the Tate Modern where we hoped to warm up and see some cool art.  When we got there the fire alarms were going off and everyone was huddled outside.  No one was allowed back in. Forget it!  We walked on feeling defeated, cold, and tired.  On the way to the nearest tube station we passed a little water color gallery and popped in there. It was warm, free and there were gorgeous paintings on the wall.   At this point we were exhausted and our feet were throbbing.  The sun was setting and whatever warmth there was before was gone.  Now it felt like cold, damp, London.  We made our way to the tube and stopped for fish and chips on the way home.  With a little help of wine we were all zonked out in our beds before we knew it.

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