On Wednesday we decided to go up to London for the day. We haven't actually been there to look around for over two years now, so we thought it was high time we visited! It actually turned out to be a bit of a long day, as I find is always the way with London, you just keep thinking of more places you want to see. I worked out on the train home, we had actually been on our feet for near on 12 hours, as we had been walking everywhere instead of catching the tube! Well probably a little less than that because a couple were spent in the theatre, lol - we managed to grab some half price tickets for the evening performance of Les Miserables from a place on Leicester Square. Excellent! (if a little sarcastic when I asked for cheap tickets, grr).
So anyway, this is the route that we took. We arrived at Victoria, walked through Westminster, past Big Ben and Westminster Cathedral, went past Downing Street and all the hoardes of tourists, and in to Green Park.
I think you can see Buckingham Palace through there across the water if you really squint! The place was absolutely packed with armed guards: both the proper soldier types with cool swords that people try to
make laugh; and the scary ones with big machine guns, who have a 50 metre radius of non-tourist filled space around them.. hmm, no-one fancied posing with those ones for some reason. There were also military helicopters flying above the city the whole time we were there.
Next we headed over to Trafalgar Square, and lunch in the crypt of St Martin in the Fields; a very unexpected place for a restaurant! The food was really excellent there actually, I would definitely recommend eating there if you pass by; I had a nice veggie tart thingy with an amazing salad -figs and slices of orange and all sorts in there, it was delicious and not too pricey either. That is what we like!
Then on to Leicester Square to grab our tickets, Regent Street, Oxford Street, Hamleys and Portobello Road. We took a bit of a detour trying to find Oxford Circus, ended up at the Ritz, and then had to turn back on ourselves, but we did stumble across this random thing that blogger won't let me upload a photo of, sorry!
Then, back to Leicester Square, China town, got lost and ended up in Soho, lol. Back to Leicester Square, then Covent Garden -watched the street performers --there was the guy on stilts that always seems to be there -- and looked around the market as it was closing up for the day! I can't believe the Doc Martin's shop has gone though.
Anyway, on our way back to Leicester Square for dinner we found this camping shop that downstairs has an ice climbing wall! I really think that is the coolest thing I have seen in a shop! I would definitely like to try that one day. The other thing we found was the Australia shop which sells all kinds of stuff ranging from touristy Oz/Nz stuff like cuddly koalas and boomerangs, to special Australasian food as can be bought from Cybercandy. I think we did quite well to come away with only a miniature Aborigine boomerang and a mint Freddo. I love that shop.
We grabbed a slice of pizza and a Planet Hollywood smoothie for dinner before going to see Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. That is such an excellent musical, I've been putting off going to see it because the title does not inspire confidence in a good time, but we really enjoyed it, despite the morbidity! We were also surprised to see Jon from the band S Club 7 playing one of the leads, and then slightly embarassed that we recognised him, hrm.
This is the view of Big Ben we saw on the way back to Victoria. James reckons the speckles are dust particles in the air that the flash is bouncing off. It wouldn't surprise me! We managed to get back to the station just in time to catch the last train home!