Monday, 13 November 2017

London (Chelsea), England (90 Beaufort Street)

We were up (sort of) early and managed to leave the flat by 10:30. We were greeted by sun coming in the kitchen and living room windows. It was just barely above freezing.

After we pulled ourselves together, we walked via Kings Road to Sloan Station to catch a train to Green Park, then a walk up The Mall to Buckingham Palace. I could tell from the crowds, blocked streets, and he band music as we approached the palace that we would see part of the Changing of the Guards.

The English really know how to put on a show. And the precision of those marching was perfection. I’d like to take credit for timing our visit to coincide with the Changing of the Guard, but it just happened. This was the third time I’ve seen a portion of this ceremony and perhaps next time I’m in London I should plan to see it from beginning to end.

View from Buckingham Palace across St. James’s Park Lake to Whitehall buildings (in the direction of 10 Downing Street – Home of the Prime Minister):

Flowers (crocus?) we saw on our way to Buckingham Palace:

Changing of the Guard:

Time for a Buckingham Palace selfie:

From Buckingham Palace we walked for a bit down Birdcage Walk before crossing a pond to The Mall and walked towards the Admiralty Arch, then down Whitehall to Parliament Square. Along the way Csabi took pictures of the geese and squirrels while I did my best to provide a bit of English history.

At Parliament Square we took pictures of Big Ben, the Parliament Buildings and Westminster Abbey. We also walked partway across the bridge where so many people were injured and killed last March by a truck that left the roadway. Nice that new barricades have been installed to better protect pedestrians.

Veterans Memorial across from Whitehall:

Big Ben Restoration:

London Eye:

Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square:

St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square:

Csabi reminded me that we had planned to see Tower Bridge. We also were getting a little hungry so we stopped near Trafalgar Square and had a coffee and some fruit that Csabi packed before leaving. After Trafalgar Square we took the underground to Tower HIll. The weather was still holding up very well. We took pictures of the Tower of London before heading towards nearby Tower Bridge.

I hadn’t noticed before that so many new, modern buildings have been built so close to some of the ancient remnants of old London. We could see some of the old Roman walls and parts of the Tower of London that dates from 1066.

River Thames:

Tower Bridge:

It was going to be dark fairly soon so we decided to head back to the flat. I knew we had walked a lot, and wasn’t surprised when I saw that my walking application showed that we had walked over 20,000 steps today.

We both napped after returning to the flat and decided that eating at home would be perfect. Fortunately I had brought the ingredients to make a tomato sauce and also had some pre-made ravioli. Also added some leftover ground beef to the sauce. It was quick and easy.

Before eating I needed to visit an ATM to start withdrawing cash to pay the Airbnb host for staying in their properties when I return to Edinburgh. Rather than go through Airbnb, we agreed that I would pay them directly with cash and thereby eliminating service fees. Since I can only withdraw so much per day, I needed to withdraw a little each day so I’ll have enough. So I put on my shoes and coat and went out to find an ATM. All was well at the ATM until I realized that I needed to transfer money into one of my accounts. Great that I can do remotely, but I was tired and wasn’t interested in messing around with logging into several accounts to make this happen. But did it anyway. Eventually got the cash and was on my way back to the flat to finish making dinner.

Found a hotel for Csabi in Manchester. He will travel to Manchester from London by train, stay overnight, then fly to Budapest the following day. Guess we should have looked sooner because many of the hotels had raised their prices. Finally found one that would be okay to stay at for a least one night at a good price.

After dinner I got caught up on Star Trek Discovery and Csabi finished washing the dishes.

Tomorrow we’re visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum and then having tea with Prean and Viktor, before setting off to the train station. Csabi to Manchester and a flight to Budapest and me back to Edinburgh. We have planned to leave the flat by 8:30.


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