Today I’m meeting up with Paula and we’re touring Buckingham Castle starting at 12:15 p.m. My second time through the palace and looking forward to visiting it again to see the things I missed the first time around. There is so much stuff there along with the history to go along with it. Nice to have someone that I can discuss what we saw.
The palace is very close to where I’m staying and just a couple of tube stops from Sloan Square, the closest stop to me. Was an easy ride to St. James’s Park and then walked up to the palace to meet Paula at the Queen Victoria statue just outside the front palace gates. When I arrived it was during the changing of the guards and Paula was trapped by the Victoria statue and I was on the other side of the road across from the statue. No matter, we both saw most of the guard changing process and took pictures and videos.
We met up somehow amongst the crowd and collected our tickets then waited in line for our tour to begin. This time through the palace different parts of the tour caught my eye and had the chance to look at them closer. We both commented that even though it was very elaborate with all of the gold gilt and fine furniture, but it was all put together so it didn’t appear to be too over-the-top. Hard to describe it until you see it in person. Think we both had it in our minds to do the tour next year too.
At the palace cafe we had tea, shared a sandwich, and each had a treat at the end of the tour. Nice to sit at the end of a tour and share our thoughts of what we saw and learned. We learned that all of the structures, including the cafe, were only temporary and will be fully dismantled before the royal family returned from Balmoral.
Backside of the Palace
After visiting the gift shop we walked through the garden until we exited the back gate of the palace. We walked for a while until we came to Clarence House, where Charles and Camilla live. It is open when they are with their family at Balmoral in Scotland. Paula struck up a conversation with the person attending the front gate and received some great ideas about what to see in the London area. (She took very good notes.)
Palace Gift Shop Display
I left Paula at Clarence House since I needed a walk to clear my head before meeting up with Prean and Viktor. I also used this time to update Facebook and edited some pictures. About this time it was raining when they arrived and went to the nearby Corinthia for drinks and some snacks. We were seated in one of the lounges and had fun talking with the staff there. Of course we got into some deep discussions and after a couple of hours it was time to leave.
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (Queen’s Father and Mother)
Viktor, Me and Prean at Corinthia
It was still raining when we left the Sloan Square Station. Since their place was not too far from the station, Prean loaned me his umbrella. It rained off and on. On the way back to the flat, I saw a familiar shirt in the window of one of the shops and took a picture.
Who Wore It Better?
After taking care of some correspondence I went to bed, but not for long. I heard a dripping sound. At first I thought I was the shower or sink in the bathroom. Then I realized it was coming from the ceiling in the bedroom. I got a couple of pans to catch the water and since it was too late to do anything, I took a blanket and slept on the couch and closed the door to the bedroom so I wouldn’t hear the dripping sound.
Actually slept fairly well, but knew I had to make some calls in the morning.