We hopped first thing onto one of the red bus tours around the city. It was everything I hoped it would be! The tour guide was engaging and interesting and we were able to learn so much about all the big historic spots as well as some of the small historic spots.
Daniel and I keep commenting on how stunning the architecture is. I realize how American I will sound when I say this, but I must record my shock and awe: I kept thinking that there is no way seeing the big historic site in person would impress me. I have already seen all these site in everyone else’s photos or on the big screen in movies. That being said, I am so very wrong; every sight we see takes my breath away.
On the tour we got to see Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, The London Tower, The London Tower Bridge, Twinnings Tea Shop (that has been serving tea there for 300 years!), the first two faced clock (Politician’s clock), Pudding Street (and the story of where the London fires originated; the fires that killed all the rats that killed out the plague), the bank district, the business district (which included the “walkie talkie building” and the “cheese grater” building as our guide called them), the smallest pub, the oldest pub, St. Paul’s Cathedral (famous for being another astounding church by Christopher Wren as well as other things, but I best know it as the place that Mary Poppins sings about “feeding the birds”), Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Downing Street, and even some of the stores where the royalty shops, etc etc.
About halfway on the tour we took a stop to walk along the Thames river and cross the London Tower Bridge. We stopped at a covered Farmers Market called Burrough’s Market. We stumbled across it and were drawn in by the smells and sights of amazing looking food. It ended up being one of our biggest highlights! Every single stall of food took our breath away; displayed as though just casually laid out…but with such perfection to draw the eye and lure you in. Our jaws just kept falling to the floor in awe. We got pork belly and a scotch egg….the most lovely stop of serendipity.
We ended our walk all the way at the Tate Modern. Despite the incredible history everywhere in London, Daniel and I can’t help being drawn to modern art. Picasso, Monet, Magritte, Kandinsky, Pollock, Warhol….so many of my favorite artists not to mention the incredible modern art by new artists. After two hours we only scratched the surface of all this free museum had to offer, but our feet and backs told us it was time to call and end to our touring.
After all the walking we couldn’t wait to sit so it just seemed like the perfect idea to take in a show in London’s famous West End Theater district. I have always wanted to see “Wicked”, and there it was, walking distance from our flat. We dressed up, took in a fabulous dinner, and got treated to the “Ambassador’s Lounge” before the show. The show itself was breath-taking. The sets, the singing, the acting; I have never seen a show so impressive! It was everything I imagined it would be and more!!
What an incredible day! London is even more awe-inspiring then I ever imagined it could be.