Day 4, Friday, 3 July 2009

We had breakfast at 7:00 am at the hotel.  Then we went on a guide-led coach tour of London.

The guided took us to the Westminster Abbey area, giving lots of information along the way.  She had amble time, given the heaby traffic.

Once at Westminster Abbey, we had a short time off the bus for coffee, rest rooms, pictures, etc.  Then it was on to Buckingham Palace, again through heavy traffic.  We passed 10 Downing Street again along the way.

When we arrived at the palace, we lined up along a curb so we could get a good view of the parade.  We got to see the bands, mounted and marching soldiers enter the palace from two different directions with our vantage point.  Once they were all in, we didn’t wait to see the groups leave.  We just left and went on the St. Paul’s Church for a boxed lunch.  The church was open, so we looked in, but it wasn’t worth the admission charge given the short amount of time we had there.  Besides, we had already seen St. George’s chapel and Westminster Abbey, so that was probably enough in the church department for us anyway.

After lunch, we went to the Tower of London.  We arrived around 1:30 pm.  We entered the tower area, but the guide was going on with more information than we thought we needed, so we proceeded directly ot the Crown Jewels building so we could be sure to work those in and have a little time left over.

The line to enter the building moved along nicely, and we were inside after about 10 minutes.  The gowns, scepters and orbs, and crowns were amazing.  Whether spending fortunes to make such things is a wise investment of British resources is a reasonable question, the jewels were nevertheless quite impressive.

After we finished that building, Teagan and I went on to tour the White Tower.  It it were exhibits of the various armaments used over the past thousand years or so.  We go to see how weapons and protective gear developed over that timeframe.

Once we finished that building, it was time to head to the Tower Bridge area for pictures.  Then on to the gift shop.  Teagan struck out again on shot glasses, so we left empty-handed.  We met our bus group at the exit at 3:20.

After leaving the Tower of London around 3:30, the coaches took the group back to the embankment area to divide the whole group into smaller activity groups.  We lobied for a group to visit the British Museum.  Mr. and Mrs. Box were interested in that, so they led a group of almost 30 toward Covent Gardens, where they stopped for food, street entertainment, shopping, etc.  Teagan and I didn’t want to spend as much time there as the group was alotted, so we left early to head to the museum.

While still at the gardens, we saw an entertaining unicyclist who juggled two machetes and an apple while riding.  He also ate some of the apple during the juggling.

On the way to the museum, we stopped at a market to pick up some cheese, grapes, and crackers for lunch on the ferry tomorrow.

Once at the museum, we proceeded to the Egypt area.  The first disply in that area is the Rosetta Stone.  We weaved our way back and forth all the way back to the Parthenon exhibit.

Once in that area, we were able to see the friezes and other details that we didn’t see when we visited the Parthnon in Athens.

After the British Museum, some of the group took cabs back to the motel, others walked.  Teagan and I walked so we could get a last glimpse of London.

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