|London Eye From Westminster Bridge|
|London Eye Pod|
|Palace of Westminster as we were heading to London Eye|
|Near the top on the London Eye|
The ride on the London Eye took about 30 minutes and there were about 15 people in there with us. I think we were the only ones who spoke English as a first language. It was interesting!
After the ride in a big circle we headed towards the Palace of Westminster. We stopped at McDonald's first to get something to drink and all the products showed the calories. I wanted a mint McFlurry so bad but saw it was 400 calories! Seeing the calories really made me think twice about it. I never did get one, even though Frankie so graciously said he would eat half. I would love it if the calories were posted everywhere in America. It would make counting calories so much easier and I think really show us why we are such a fat nation!
Anyways, back to London! We tried to get a picture of ourselves with the Tower of London in the background. I think we were doing OK.
A guy saw us trying to take pictures of ourselves and volunteered to take one for us. We didn't even ask! It was very kind of him.
|In case you weren't sure, it was a little windy and colder this day.|
|Detail of clock face of the Tower of Big Ben. So beautiful!|
|I love this picture with The London Eye and Tower of Big Ben together!|
We were in luck this day. When we got to the Palace of Westminster they said that we could go in and watch the House of Commons members debating! How cool is that? We had to get a picture id taken and wear it around our necks. The picture was awful, if you squinted very hard you could just make out that it was a person. That is security!
Before getting to the House of Commons we walked through Westminster Hall, which is the oldest part of the palace. When they say old, they are not joking. This part of the hall was built in 1097. That is not a typo...1097 AD! This hall is 915 years old and they just let people walk in it!!
|So many historic events have happened here. They commemorated a lot of them with plaques on the floor.|
|The stained glass at the end of Westminster Hall showing the coats of arms of the Kings of England and Scotland.|
Back outside we continued our journey by crossing the street to go to Westminster Abbey church. This is where Prince William married Princess Kate in April of 2011. We decided to not go inside. We didn't want to spend $50 for that and we were more interested in seeing St. Paul's Cathedral, which also cost to visit. I did walk around and take some photos of the outside.
|Westminster Abbey's front facade.|
|Gargoyle at Westminster Abbey|
We thought our next stop should be Wimbledon but we got side tracked, squirrel, and went to the Clink Prison Museum instead. We had never heard of it, but I think Frankie saw a sign for it or something. I have no idea how we came about going there, but it happened. I have heard the expression "to get throw in the clink", and this is where it comes from. It was a nice little museum, but not one that I would go to more than once. I did learn a lot of history though. London was a very bloody place back in the day. Prisoners today have NO idea how good they have it. Oh wait, one man apparently does. I took a bunch of pictures of the information signs and set ups. You can find them and all my pictures from the trip on my Flickr London set.
|A prisoner would have to beg for money to buy food or to pay |
off the debt that landed them in prison in the first place.
If a person was thrown in a hole like the one above it was basically a death sentence. They were thrown in there and forgotten about. The Thames river would flood with the tide causing raw sewage to swirl around the prisoners legs. All the standing in dirty water would cause sores and after a time their skin would fall from their bones.
Another lovely tidbit I learned at the Clink Prison Museum and also the Tower of London, was the fact that once a person had been executed in what ever brutal fashion was the choice of the day, the dead person's head would be chopped off and put on a pole. The poles were then tied to London bridge. London bridge was the only way of coming in or going out of London at the time, so all would see and be warned. See what I mean! Very bloody!
One of the very cool things that we saw on our way to the Clink Prison Museum and then again heading away from it was Borough Market. Now that was amazing! It is a food market filled with all kinds of food. Now, I love groceries stores. I love seeing all the different products and learning about them so this was wonderful in my eyes! Let me share some pictures with you.
|I hear it's good for roast potatoes....|
|Even I liked the way this picture turned out and I detest onions!|
|Deer leg, hog leg, other leg? Not sure.|
|If I can see its eyeballs, I am not going to eat it. Period.|
|Theses were as large as my hand, not that it is saying much, but for meringue, it is!|
Since we were near it we decided to walk to and across the Tower Bridge. We were on the south side of the river Thames and needed to cross anyways to get back to the hotel, so why not cross at the Tower Bridge?
I really liked the bridge. I think it was one of my favorite attractions in London. On the other side of the river we walked past a street vendor selling caramel roasted peanuts. Oh they smelled so good, so we bought some. They were as good as they smelled! Continuing on to the hotel we walked past the London Tower. We have plans to come back and see it another day since we already bought tickets online before leaving home.
When we travel we have times of definite plans to see things and then there are the times when we go where the wind blows us. In walking back to the hotel we suddenly (there was a sign) decided to take a boat tour of the River Thames (pronounced Tims) which took us from London Tower to the London Eye. At the London Eye we hopped on the tube to head back to the hotel. It was around 5 PM and we decided to not go as late tonight as we did last night and give ourselves a little break and rest.
The tube was crazy crowded. I was standing and since I am short, I pretty much had my face in a couple of peoples armpits. Lovely. As crowded as it was I thought we were in New Delhi or something! Strangest thing was that there were so many people reading the same newspaper while on the train. It was the free London evening paper which they hand out everyday, but it was still strange to see so many of them at the same time. We missed our stop because we just simply could not fight the crowd to get off the train when we needed to. We managed to get off at the next stop and just walked to the other side of the tracks for the train going the other way. This one was not as crowded and we made it to our stop.
We ate supper at the hotel at the Côte Restaurant which is French food. We planned on breaking out of our American shells and trying Indian and Japanese this trip. But for now, this was our second try with French food and it was very tasty!
While we ate we talked with a guy sitting at the next table who was from London. He gave us some tips on where to get a full English breakfast in the morning. Bellies full of good food and heads swimming with the thought of future good food we drifted to our room and to sleep.
The blog posts are taking forever to write up for each day, but I will continue on! So fear not, there is more to come! :)