Sunday, February 19, 2012

Christmas Day Walk - London

On Sunday, December 25th, there was no public transportation. We were not able to get to a church for worship. There were not stores open. It was dead. It was Christmas! We slept in, because really we couldn't do anything else, and eventually got out the door by noon. We started walking towards Trafalgar Square looking for lunch. We were hoping, just hoping we would find something to eat, because we chanced it and didn't buy any food at the grocery store like we did in Rome (which wasn't needed) and in Dublin (which was needed).

Here are some of the sights we saw along the way.  If you are curious as to what they are, hover over the picture with your mouse and you will see the title of the photo. You can also click on the picture to open up Flickr to see the title.  I tried to look things up the best I could, but there were somethings I still have no clue as to what they were.  All I know is that if I took a picture it was something caught my eye!

City of London

The Punch Tavern

The Old Bell

Green Elephant at Serjeant's Inn

El Vino

El Vino's Window Display

Romanian Orthodox Church

Falcon Court EC4

Ye Olde Cock Tavern

Corner of Fleet St and Chancery Ln

The Old Bank Of England

The Royal Courts of Justice Sign

The Devil Tavern

Temple Bar Memorial Top

Twinings Tea

Somerset House

We found that a restaurant called Scotch Steak Houses were open so we went in for lunch. We both got the Scotch cheeseburger with chips (let me translate that for the Americans...french fries).

Hamburger and Fries at Scotch Steak Houses

It came to the table and Frankie asked for mustard. They brought it and he lathered on, took a bite, and found out it was English mustard which is very spicy.  I took a bite of mine and found the burger had been cooked with pieces of onions in it. I hate onions.  We both ate our burgers despite the "surprises" and survived.

After eating we kept walking and the closer we go to Trafalgar Square the more stuff that was open!!  If we had waited just five more minutes we could have had this!

Pizza at Alexy's Cafe

 If we had only waited!  Oh well, live and learn!  I continued to take pictures all along the way to Trafalgar Square.  The closer we got the more people there were.  We were actually very surprised by how many people were out and about.  The following are pictures I took while we wandered around Trafalgar Square.

Interesting People Trafaglar Square

Gold Mime Trafalgar Square

Shrek at Trafalgar Square

Waiting in Line at a Wall Trafalgar Square

I have to make a comment about the picture above.  These people were standing in a line, but the beginning of the line seemed to start at the wall.  There was nothing around that seemed to require a line, especially one that started at the wall.  And to top it off, it was not just one line but two!  No clue.

Trafalgar Square Fountain

Nelsons Ship in a Bottle Far

Nelsons Ship in a Bottle Front

Olympic Countdown in Trafalgar Square

Lions at Trafalgar Square

Nelson on His Column

Red Phone Booths, Cafe Nero, and Pret a Manger
The real London: Red telephone booths, Caffe Nero, and Pret A Manger, on every corner!

Little Frankie's
Awwwhhh!!!!  Little Frankie's!!!!
After finally seeing Trafalgar Square in the daylight we decided to start heading back to the hotel.  As we were walking we stumbled across the Calvary Horse Guard Museum with real horse guards!

Horse Guard-Beware

People were standing by the horses to get pictures and some of them would grab the reins! You don't grab the reins of a horse that you aren't sitting on without asking unless it is an emergency! A few people would be near the horse to get a picture and they were scared to death of the horse.  I am sure the horses are use to being around lots of people and have been trained, but they are still animals who could panic at anytime!

Horse Guard with Asian Tourist
Asian tourist throwing the peace sign....

 There was one guy guarding on foot.  He would pause and tourist would run up beside him to pose for pictures.  Then he would turn to go to a different spot and they people would run after him.  I don't know if he was moving because he was suppose to or just to mess with the people.  I know they are trained guards, but the poor guards looked really silly with their pony tail hats and it was hard not to pity them on the horses. They were in their special pretty red Christmas uniforms though.

Horse Guard From Behind

We continued making our way back to the hotel passing the Tower of Big Ben for the final time.

Big Ben in Distance


Frankie Pinching Big Ben Tower

Close up in Evening

London Eye Portion
Last view of the London Eye

We finished our walked back to hotel along the South Bank. It was so lovely and peaceful.

South Bank with St Pauls

River Thames in Evening Light

Crossed the Millennium Bridge one last time with the spectacular view of St. Paul's Cathedral.

St Pauls and Christmas Tree from Millennium Bridge

Back at the hotel we mapped out our walk online and found out we had walked four miles! It was good for us. We washed all the clothes and packed for our return home in the morning. Every bag we had was stuffed to the gills and our suitcase ended up being a few kilograms over. The airline didn't charge us though. Probably because we only had one bag between the two of us. But we learned a very valuable lesson, from now one we take a bag each.  This way we don't have worry about being possibly charged because we brought back more than we took over!

We had a fabulous trip to London and it is a place that we would go back to visit. There is so much to see and do!  We have been talking it over and it looks like our next trip will be to Budapest Hungary this summer!  We have been bitten by the travel bug and it has now infected us!

So until later, bon voyage!