London! Part 3

Sunday:

We met Stephen and Athena at Trafalgar Square around 10 to get our two days of our walking tour started (I’m not sure how they did it; they had flown in from Ireland that morning and had been up since like 4 am).  So we grabbed some breakfast (including big cups of coffee) and then started the tour which included:

–         Trafalgar Square (including Nelson’s Column)

–         National Gallery – to fit everything into one day, we had to pick between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery and I think we made a great choice. The brochure they give you highlights the most famous/important pieces so we used that as a guide to see paintings by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and (my favorites) – Turner, Monet, Degas. We picked up two prints from the gift shop (The Fighting Temeraire by Turner (Morgan’s favorite) and The Skiff by Renoir (for me)) and even ended up framing the bag they came in (one side was A Wheatfield, with Cypresses by Van Gogh) and it turned out pretty great! We are so excited to have three new pieces of art for only £10!

–         Next we headed down Whitehall to Parliament Square. On the way we passed the road where the cabinet war rooms are and Downing Street (where the Prime Minister lives). We were lucky that when we made it to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben we got to see some blue sky.

–         Next we walked around the outside of Wesminster Abbey a little, but sadly we couldn’t go in because it is closed to visitors/tours on Sundays. We hoped to fit it in on Monday but ended up running out of time.. we’ll just add it to the list of things to do next time!

–         From there we headed through St. James’s Park up to Buckingham Palace. I guess the Queen was still hanging out at Windsor because they were flying the British flag over the Palace rather than her standard.

–         We walked up Constitution Hill towards the Wellington Arch (where we were almost run over by a heard of roller-bladers) and then towards Knightsbridge and over to Brompton road where we go to look around in Harrods. We did get to walk through the accessories section, but then we went to the food halls and picked up some chocolates and coffee.

–         After eating our yummy chocolates we walked up towards the Natural History/ V&A/ and the Science Museums. We only had time for one, so we looked around the Natural History Museum.  We mainly checked out the dinosaurs and mammal exhibits before heading out to try to make it to our last stop of the day.

–         We left the Natural History Museum around 4:45 and practically ran to Kensington Palace because they cut off allowing people in at 5pm. We were literally the last people in the door! Here again, we sadly didn’t run into Prince William or Kate (they are moving in to part of the Palace later this summer). But we did get to check out the King and Queens apartments, including some clothes that Kings and Queens have worn over the years.

–         Once we finished up at Kensington we made our way back to Stephen and Athena’s hotel so they could drop off their bags and then we went to dinner at All Bar One (which turned out to be a chain because we passed 5 the next day while walking around town). It had a really good atmosphere and had really good food.. plus the manager let Morgan take home the Meantime beer glass he was drinking out of (this is probably the best souvenir Morgan could get)!