Friday, 21 July 2017

Another super day to walk around London! Joining me today was Viktor who had another day off of work this week. We met after his English class and as we were walking toward the Grenfell Tower we then decided to take the underground down toward the London Eye. The Grenfell Tower seemed to be out of step with the rest of our plans for the day.

We took the underground down to the Embankment station then walked over to the London Eye. (I took a picture later in the day from across the river. See below.)

The London Eye was very crowded and it looked like a long wait so we started walking towards the Tower of London and also took the underground once we crossed the river. The train was delayed at the station for about 15 minutes and we almost to taxi, but eventually we got underway. After arriving at the Tower, as it turned out, closing time was in 45 minutes.  Given that, coffee and a treat sounded like the right thing to do.

Our treat was a Victorian Sponge Cake with raspberry filling. Maybe a little too sweet, so I didn’t add any sugar to my coffee. We hung around the Tower of London for awhile talking about the history of the location and took some pictures. Maybe we will return tomorrow to ride the London Eye and tour the Tower of London (Crown Jewels).

Tower Bridge is next to the Tower of London. A walk across the bridge and back seemed like a great idea. We were fortunate to be at the bridge when it was raised to let a boat pass. I have a video that I’ll post to YouTube and share in another update.

Guess it was my idea to walk along the river up to Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower), which is now starting a 3-year renovation project. Our walk up along the river to the tower and Westminster Palace was about an hour. Many bars/pubs along the way were filled with people enjoying a late Friday afternoon drink. We had to weave in and out of construction taking place along the river.

At one point we stopped to look down at the shoreline of the river which was at low tide. We watched some people looking over what the river deposited on the shore. Judging by the looks of their bags, it looked like some people found something to scavenger.

We eventually arrived at around 9:00 in time for Big Ben to strike the hour. From there we walked to a nearby hotel restaurant for some supper. Was good to sit down! We compared the steps that we walked. Viktor had about 22,000 steps on his phone and I had about 20,000 on mine, but he did some walking before we met up earlier in the day. In all, this is about 10 miles of walking!

The picture below shows the progress of the tower renovation.

The time passed quickly during supper. Before we knew it, the time was 11:30 p.m. and the underground stops service on many lines at midnight. We noticed it had begun to rain. I arranged for a taxi to drive Viktor to his place near Sloan Square and me to Holland Park which was reasonably close. Neither of us were prepared to walk in the rain.

Crab salad and Pea Soup (and a Pint)

The taxi driver was fun to talk with after dropping off Viktor. On the way to Holland Park he showed me where Bill Gates, the David Beckhams, and other celebrities had London homes – all just around the corner from me. Who know!

So tired when I walked in the door to my room. Just had enough time to catch up on some correspondence and get ready for bed. Viktor has tomorrow off as well so we will try our luck again with the London Eye and Tower of London. In any case, I’m sure we will have a great time, in deep conversation, as we explore London. I’m enjoying having company while touring around, while I’m okay with going solo, having a travel buddy is great!



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