Day 2 in London started off with a nice view from the hotel:
We explored the lobby area
Breakfast was included, and we were allowed one item from the menu as well as the continental breakfast. The menu offerings were English Breakfast, pancakes, waffles, Eggs Benedict and a few other items. Since this was our first full day, we just had to have English Breakfast, which consisted of baked beans, egg, bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes, and black pudding (which I did not eat as this makes me feel a bit uneasy).
Here’s a view of our table, and then a view of the restaurant
Now to the outside which beckoned me with all its might.
We headed to Charing Cross Station and bought our travel passes – I was told it was best to buy Oyster Cards, that are basically tube and bus passes that you swipe for unlimited travel during a certain period of days. 2 adult Oyster 3 day passes were £60, that contained a £5 refundable deposit per pass – so the net cost was £50, plus £3.60 per day for my son’s travel pass. London certainly is not cheap for getting around or eating out, but it is well worth it. These passes can be used unlimited amounts per day and after you have used £8.60 or so up in a day, it won’t take any more from the balance off your card, so you can keep on taking more rides after you have maxed that amount out, and you won’t pay anything further – the key is to at least use it up to the value of £8.60 in that day. However, I think a single ride is about £2.70 or £3.30 or so, so it makes sense to get the Oyster Pass and you can use it on the red double decker buses (just not the Big Bus sightseeing buses).
Oh, the train is here!
So where to today? I thought we’d just wander around and might as well start off with Buckingham Palace. This involved taking the train to Green Park and then walking through the park to the Palace. We could have walked to Buckingham Palace from our hotel in Trafalgar Square, it would only have been a 12 minute walk or so.
Once we had come out of Green Park station, this is some of what we saw
I had always fancied going into the Ritz Hotel, this is a favorite hotel of the well-off, including celebrities and royalty. Therefore, my curiosity peaked and I could not resist going in.
I can just imagine Princess Diana being welcomed by this employee of the Ritz and then entering the hotel.
Here are some pictures taken in the hotel
Here I am at the Ritz
Last one of the Ritz
Better stay on track and get to Buckingham Palace – so we headed through Green Park. English parks are so beautiful, just how parks are supposed to be – with lakes, ducks, and lots of greenery. The parks in London are some of the best I’ve ever seen. People in London really make use of the parks, and frequent them often.
Here’s my little girl enjoying Green Park
Just a nice building I saw in Green Park
Here is that building again
Here’s an English Bobby (another word for police man) in Green Park
We have arrived at Buckingham Palace, every time I see this place – it feels like the first time, and that is how I feel about most of the places in London, they are special to me time and time again.
There’s me and Chandi with the blooming flowers of the Palace behind us
This memorial just opposite Buckingham Palace is another must-see and very popular with tourists
and yet one more of the Queen Victoria Memorial
Now, I will show you one last photo of Buckingham Palace
As we left Buckingham Palace and walked by one London’s many parks – St. James’s Park – so central, just like Green Park, and Hyde Park. We saw this memorial on the ground – I had to take a picture – I absolutely adored Princess Diana.
We continued on our walk until we got to a tube station that would take us to Westminster, and this is what we saw:
I take way too many pictures, and just think that each picture is unique in it’s own way. I don’t want to tire you with all my pictures of Buckingham Palace, and the Parks, but believe me….I have many more! However, I feel that you can get an insight into life in London – at least with the park pictures, as there are mostly local Londoner’s in the pictures who are on their lunch breaks, and just enjoying the beauty of what is around them. Next post, I will show you some more of what we saw today on Day 2 (which was our first full day in London).
London Is Ever So Lovely – Can’t Get Enough!
My favorite place in the world is London – it is one of the places I can go to again and again, and never be bored. I just love London! Me and my family flew to London on July 22nd, 2014 and arrived in London on July 23rd at Heathrow Airport at around 3:15 pm. We were to have 5 days in London…..I wish I could have stayed longer! In this post, I will just show you what we saw on Day One in London. Since we were going to stay in Trafalgar Square, that is the picture I will show you first.
I could have got a taxi into London, but no….that would not make sense – the traffic is crazy there, and it would have been ever so expensive. I could have got the Express Train from Heathrow, but that was £42 for all four of us (Chandi – my 5 year old would have been free). I thought, no…I have spent so much money already on this trip that I need to economize a little where I can – so what did I do? I was daring and did just as I have done many times before – I took the underground from Heathrow into Central London. Besides, you can’t beat taking the underground for speed – yes, the Express would have been faster – 15 minutes instead of 40 minutes or so, but after an 11 hour direct flight from San Diego, I think 40 minutes was not too bad.
Why do I say that I am daring? Well, you have to be daring to take the underground when you are traveling with three kids, 3 big suitcases, one smaller rolling carry on bag and about three or four more bags. After all, you get just a few seconds at times when those tube doors open and it is quite a process to get all the suitcases, myself and 3 kids out of the door on time! We changed lines at Piccadilly Circus where we got the Bakerloo Line (the brown line) and got off at Charing Cross – just one stop away. After getting out at Piccadilly Circus, and lugging our suitcases up a big flight of stairs (there are escalators, but sometimes you are faced with plain old stairs too and no elevators), I was tempted to just exit and walk about 12 minutes to Trafalgar Square, but decided to plough on and change lines – which meant for the sake of one stop – having to go through all that again…getting out of the tube doors on time, and going up more stairs. Understandably, it was daunting, and we were already quite exhausted.
So you might want to know how much it was on the tube? The tube is another name for underground – but you already probably know that. I had to get two adult one-way tickets since my daughter is 17 years old, and a child’s ticket for my 12 year old son who just turned 13 during this trip, and that cost a total of £14.20 – my 5 year old was free.
We stayed at the Hilton Trafalgar right on Trafalgar Square, you might be able to see it on this picture.
I think I’ll pass on telling you how much it was for my hotel for 5 nights and for our flights to London from San Diego….I’ll be paying it off for quite some time! Anyhow, we checked in and were really happy with our hotel. Additionally, it was heavenly to notice that there was milk for tea in the room, instead of cream or powdered cream….how I hate having to put cream in tea – I always call down to the reception to ask for milk. Similarly, I must have cream for my coffee, and not milk – let’s just say I’m spoilt when it comes to my hot beverages!
I had bought a new Nikon P600 and initially put a setting on it to print the date and time, however, I don’t think I changed the time to local time in England – so it probably reflects an incorrect time of at least 8 hours behind (USA time is 8 hours behind that of England). I subsequently decided to take off the setting a day or so later, as I was trying to decide whether it was kind of cheesy having the date on my prints. Some of the pictures were taken with my Canon G10 and some with my Note 3. I think you have to have a number of devices with you when you travel, as your batteries will get exhausted and what better than to reach into your bag for another fully charged camera!
Well, that is enough talking right now, and let’s get to some pictures.
We walked over to Leicester Square later that evening, it is only a 5 minute walk.
I craved fish and chips, but we ended up going to Pizza Hut in Leicester Square on our first night, that’s what the kids wanted.
This hotel looks ever so nice at night time – it’s right in the heart of Leicester Square
Well, that was Day One in London. I already am having the time of my life, and want the next four days to go ever so slowly. Next time, I will let you know about Day Two, and/or the remainder of my visit in London.