Saturday, June 25, 2011

This is our 3rd week in Britian

Third Week

Now we are all packed and ready to leave London. We walked up Belgrave Road to get the car was, which seemed to take forever. Once we were on our way it was easy just followed what the Sat Nav said. We did not take one wrong turn to get the racetrack, which was built in 1903. We were lucky to strike some motor racing on. It was a day of motoring trails for classic cars going back to when cars were first built. The cars have about eight different events to participate in the class for which they were all timed. The oldest car was 1901 three-wheeled Morgan, which had a 50cc engine up to the biggest car, which had a 27-litre Rolls Royce Engine in. between showers we looked at the cars on display. There was 100
s of classic cars on show and competing.

This track closed in the 1930s.

After a short trip, we drove to Farnham about 10 miles away. James wanted to see the grave of Mike Hawthorn who was the 1958 f1 World Champion. He retired because racing was getting to dangerous and was killed 4 months later racing a team owner and hit a tree and was killed.

We then drove on the quickest shortest road to Southampton and the hotel. After checking in, we caught a bus into Southampton for a look around. It was pouring rain when we got off the bus, and guess what?

I bought the umbrellas this time. We went into a shopping centre until the rain stopped, which it did, after about 10 minutes.

We wanted to go to the Old Town so off to find a Visitors Centre. They were just ready to close, we asked for a map. (Of course we left the map back at the hotel) we were given the wrong directions and after about walking for a couple of blocks we turned around and read the map properly.

We walked through the old part of Southampton and down to where the Mayflower left. We also walked along the old part of the wall that surrounded the old city.

After walking for a couple of hours, we found the bus stop and caught it back to the hotel for a nice shower and rest.

19th June

After leaving the hotel, we drove to Beaulieu Car Museum. That took what seemed forever. One thing that I am doing in future is checking on the map as I think that we were taken the wrong way or the long way round. Anyway, finally we got there. There was a car show on in the grounds. All sorts of different English cars were on show. There also were quite a few American cars there more than we expected. This time I think that, we are just on time - not too late and not too early - for these sorts of unplanned things.
We looked through the museum.
We rode on the monorail to get to the other side of the park where there were lovely gardens.
We also walked down the castle and it was lovely not too big and not to small. Just nice and it was nice to be welcomed into the castle by the butler and the maid.
Then we thought that it was getting a little late so we decided to hurry to Gabber Farm in Plymouth. I did not think that it would take so long to drive, but as usual, it did. I think that I will have to put the sat nav onto kilometres instead of miles as I think that the kilometres go faster.go figure.

I thought that we would never get to the turn off for the farm and when we did, I thought that we would never get to the farm. I must be very tired again. I know that James is very tired.

After a little rest, we went for a drive.yes again. The little lanes with the bushes right up to the road, are very intimidating, and more so when another big 4WD is coming towards you. There are little pull offs where the car can just fit. If the person coming towards is closer to one of these pull offs he will flash his lights just to let you know that he wants you go by. When you do go buy he gives a little wave. So English.

20th June Monday.

We left Thomas Downs a tiny little village to go to Plymouth city and then onto Saltash. We got to Plymouth and had a drive around the waterfront. It is fascinating to see the wall ruins. It was pity we did not have time to stop and have a better look around but we had to be on our way. That is what is wrong when you book accommodation ahead of time. Penzance is the last place where we have made prior arrangement for the night’s accommodation.

We were listening to the sat nav and we went 15 miles out of our way. We turned around and went back to the A 38, and it was only a little way to Saltash, whereas the sat nav was taking us 20 miles out of our way. Now I go by the map but looking occasional at the sat nav. After driving through Saltash [it is a lot larger than our Salt Ash] we were on our way again to a church at Camborne

Then it started to rain, and then got very foggy. Of course, when we reached Penzance it was still sort of misty light nuisance, or like a sea mist just heavier. We reached Penzance and drove around to find the B&B, which really was not hard but as we did not know where we were going it was confusing with all the little lane ways. James is fed up with driving here. When we finally got to the B&B, we were talking about this with the woman who owns the B&B, she told us to put a P plate on the car and then drivers will be a bit more considerate. Maybe she is correct, as that is what she does when she drives to London.

After checking in, we went for a walk up to the High Street where all the shops are. We also walked down to the waterfront but could not see anything except fog. We walked back to the B&B through all the little alleyways and there are a lot of them.

We have asked a couple of people over the time we have been here for directions but we have always asked visitors.

We walked just around the corner to the pub for dinner. Don’t you love it when you walk in and everyone stops and looks at you? Even walking down the street everyone looks, sometimes they even stop and look. I wonder if it is the way we are dressed. NO Coat.

21st June

We had a very enjoyable breakfast at Penzance and a chat to the lady who owned and worked the B&B with her husband. There were many photos on the walls throughout the house of entertainers. She told us that her husband worked with most of them. He worked for one of the TV studios. She said that some of them were nice and some where not. He also worked at NO 10. After the children had grown, they moved for a simpler life and they love it.

The sun was shining so we had a little drive around the waterfront of Penzance and the drove to Port Isaac. Port Isaac is where Doc Martin was made. The travel time was a little over an hour. Port Isaac is a tiny little working inlet. The roads are so narrow that the public are not allowed to drive into town at all. We all had to park up the top of an extremely steep hill and walk into town. I did not think that I would make into town or for that matter backup the hill again. I think it was harder going into town than coming back. We saw the school, the restaurant where Doc proposed, the house he lived in, and the house where he had his surgery. In fact, we saw everything. We had lunch, pasties, which were still not as good as, what I make. We sat down on the waterfront wall to eat, as there was nowhere to set anywhere else to sit. I have never seen a town so full of tourist on a weekday. They even have coach trips to Port Isaac, the town is so popular. We had a good walk around and then decided if we did not leave soon we would never get to Bath or even get a B&B for the night. Very soon, we were at Bath and it was crowded with cars and the narrow streets. We saw lots of B&B’s but they were all full. We just kept driving and driving not knowing where we were going. Finally we reached a town and went to a couple of B&B’s they had no vacancies. Finally, we went to the pub and asked if he had a room for the night but he was full. No room at the Inn…lol

However, he rang a friend and found a room for us. It is Tog Hill House Farm and just lovely, nice surroundings, going to cost us an arm and leg I am sure.

We went back into the village for dinner, which was only a couple of miles, and on the way back we bought some coke for rum and coke and sleep.

22nd Wednesday

The B&B we had last night was just wonderful and that was because it did not cost us an arm and leg at all. We were in the Stable rooms. This house has always been a hotel from about the 18 century and had attached stables. There was the nicest breakfast I have even seen. Something out of the movies I would say. We even had Royal Dalton dinnerware, which made you feel important, special. As usual it was raining when we left the farm but by the time we got to Bath it had stopped and was quiet warmish. We found a park very quick and it was very cheap. The metres were broken. What a bonus. Offcourse we walked the wrong way into the centre of town, probably twice as far as we should have walked. It was a nice walk and we saw some things we would not have seen otherwise. We finally found the baths and had a tour of them, which was extremely interesting. The baths date back to 76 AD which is a long time ago. We also visited the Bath Abby. We were asked where we came from and when he found out we were Australian he told us to go to bath --------------- where Admiral Philip was buried. He wanted to know if we knew if he was buried in Bath we did not know at all. (For those that do not know, He is was know as Captain Arthur Phillip, the Commander of the first fleet in 1788.

The First Fleet transported the convicts out to colonise Australia. For doing this Captain Arthur Phillip was made the first Governor of New South Wales. There was no Australia at that time. The country was known as New South Wales. )

After finding our car, which took a bit of doing as we didn’t’ have clue where we left it and we did not have a good map. We drove out to Bath , which was easier to find than finding our car back at Bath. In the church on the wall we found Admiral Arthur Phillip’s commemorative plaque saying he was buried below. There was an Australian flag above him.

We then drove to Stratford-upon-Avon, which was only 70 miles away, but as usual we saw different parts of the countryside to what we should have.

There are so many round-a-bouts here even on the major highways. It seems every couple of miles. Get the speed up and then slow down, we even go through little towns, sorry villages that we have to slow right down for. Now wonder it takes so long to get around from one place to another.

Before we did anything we got ourselves some accommodation. Then decided to drive into town, which we did. Then we drove back to the hotel as we were only half a mile away from the city centre. That’s what happens when you don’t’ have a map or a clue where you are going. Anyway we drove back, parked the car, and walk the little way into Stratford.

We walked along the River Avon looking at the birds and canal boats. We walked to Shakespeare’s Church and grave site and the whole family was buried together in the Church. We then walked a mile of so back into Stratford along the river to where he was born and lived for a short time. We took a tour of his house, which is in the main street.

The building here have walls of about 2 foot thick and with the double glazing you don’t’ hear a sound outside. Just wonderful for sleeping.

We had some dinner and walked back to the B&B totally wore out. Again.

23rd June Thursday

Another day, started sunny and then rainy and then cloudy and then we reached our destination. Well with little stops along the way.

Our first stop was Ann Hathaway’s house. Nice, lovely garden. Very easy to find and for us to find our way back onto the highway again.

Our second stop for the day was up the highway without any trouble to the Jaguar Museum for a look. There was one Jag there that was made from polished aluminium. The car was covered in fingerprints,. I think that it would be a problem keeping it clean all the time. James’ favourite car was there a British racing green D Type Jag. It was lovely. We found the museum very easily and back to the highway to go to Castle Donington, where we are going to spend the night. First we had a drive around and we took a couple of wrong turns. Again. The countryside if beautiful, green, and orderly. We also drove through a few tiny villages. They were quaint.

We decided to spend some time at Donington museum and it took us 2 hours to go through it. There was the biggest display of racing cars I have ever seen, and the outside did not look that big. This is a biggest display of F1 racing cars in the world, all owned by one man and they are raced and loaned out for displays. We were there that long I thought that the men that were walking past us every now and again where making sure we weren’t doing anything wrong, but they were looking for a car and finally found it right at the end of the display.

We also had to ring to find out how to get to the hotel. I think it was secret and they wanted to keep it that way. Little did I know it was on the highway.

After booking in and resting for a little while we went to get something to eat. We asked at the desk if there was anything near to have something to eat. We were given directions and off we set. Me, thinking we will never get back again ever. Somehow we did. Don’t ask how I have no idea.

We had dinner at the Clock Warehouse Pub which was quaint and right beside the canal. We saw some canal boats going through the lock at the back of the pub. On the was out of the town we saw a ‘parking station’ for all canal boats. There were hundreds of them all moored and we didn’t have the camera with us to take a photo.

24th June

Again on the road straight up the M6 to Cumbria it was an extremely quick trip, which was great.

Booked into the hotel which is castle. Abby House Castle. Very impressive. I must say we are getting a bit better finding the hotels we are booked at. We had a cuppa and started to have a look around. We decided to go to Coniston about 20 mile away. I had the instructions on how to get there which we followed to the letter. Coniston is a tiny little village ( well I know that nearly all the villages are little or tiny) which is on the Coniston Lake. Coniston is famous for Donald Campbell breaking the world water speed record. This race killed him on the Lake. Also John Ruskin lived and died in the area. He was a very interesting man. There was in the Ruskin Museum for both Donald Campbell and John Ruskin. In the museum I saw some Ruskin Lace. I don’t think that my eyesight would be able to stand doing something like that. The museum held some memorabilia on Donald Campbell John Ruskin. There were videos and artwork, photographs and of course the Ruskin lace which was just so lovely.

I didn’t take an photos of it as I had to pay to the privilege of taking them. We found Donald Campbell gravesite and memorial in the park . After doing all that walking around Coniston Village we took a boat ride on the Lake. The lake is lovely and the slow boat ride was just what we needed to relax a bit after being and to go for so long. There have been a few movies made around this area because it is so picturesque.

The Campbell family have donated the boat to the museum and are in the process of raising money to restore it back to the original condition. The museum have permission to run it on the lake up to 100 mph when it is finished. In the museum there is a piece of the Bluebird body and jet engine.

We took the scenic route home ( yes we took the wrong turn and had a little adventure). The road to Coniston was typically British, narrow and very winding.

25th June Saturday

We had a trip into town and a drive around the waterfront and the river. As nothing was doing there we decided to go to Lake Windermere. It was quite a nice drive along side the lake, the only thing wrong was it was sort of raining. An extremely light drizzle just enough to make it miserable, but we soldiered on. The mist was covering the mountains which looked great but not good for taking photos. On arriving at Lake Windermere we had a walk around and a cup of coffee and then started for the hotel again. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were there and how many were lined up for the cruises on the Lake.

The hotel we are staying at I called Abby House Hotel, and is very luxurious. Now off the have some dinner in the Abby Restaurant.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2nd Week In London

2nd Week,

13th June - James Birthday.

To day is going to be a ‘slow day’ if there is such a thing.

Today we decided to go to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Transport Museum and Covent Garden. We looked at the map just to see how we could get there. It is very easy with the Underground, it is even easier when you look at the map correctly and read the map correctly. The problem we seem to have when getting out of the Underground is we come out of the wrong door or when we come out the correct door we really don’t have a clue where to go after that. We stand there looking at the dam map trying to work out where we are before leaving that spot. Now I know it should be easier by now but it isn’t. so today we just walked around the block and down the road and back again. Now wonder we are walking 50 odd miles a week.

Anyway we saw up a side street The Transport Museum, a collection of transport since transport began in London. How they built the Underground and why and how they have added to it over the years. Most interesting. We spent about 1 hour there with about 150 school children. We walked outside and worked out that we were at Convent Gardens Square an interesting collection of shops and eateries. There was a nice atmosphere there as we walked around and had a good look at everything. We ended up near St Paul’s Church, mistake we wanted St Paul’s Cathedral, that is what happens when you read to map wrong. So off we set to St Paul’s Cathedral the proper one. Before we entered we had something to eat and drink which was most welcoming. We paid our money and entered St Paul’s Cathedral it was just so beautiful I couldn’t believe it. I thought that Westminster Abby was great but this one was better, just in my opinion. We spend about 2 hours there just looking at the domes and alters down into the crypt and everything really. I couldn’t walk up to the next floor as there was 350 steps and my knees just wouldn’t take the steps up or the steps back down. Worse luck as it was something that I would have loved to do.

In the afternoon we went for afternoon tea at the Grosvenor Hotel just up the road from where we are staying. A little disappointing or maybe I just expected more. We had Champagne Afternoon Tea for James’ birthday.

All in all a great day. Again.

14th June

To day we hired a car. Driving out of London was not good. We got lost or as James says “we disputed the position we were in.“ me I still say lost. Anyway eventually we found the correct road and were on our way to Shenley to see the grave site of Graham Hill, he is buried in a 600 year old church graveyard. The graveyard is not used anymore as it was sold. The headstones are still there. Graham Hill for those that do not know is a famous car racing driver who was killed in a plane crash coming home from a race. He was killed at Luton Airport 5 minutes away from where he live and is now buried. Graham Hill is the only racing car driver that has won the big three. The F1 World Championship, Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hour Sports Car Race. James wanted a photo of this grave for his Webshots of the Gravesites of the Rich and Famous. 
I just went along for the ride.

60 miles away was Blenheim Palace so off we set. I thought that we were going to wrong way so pulled off and checked out sat nav. I still don’t know if we were but we arrived just the same a couple of hours later.

Blenheim Palace was the home of Winston Churchill where he was born. The palace is now in the hands of his nephew the 11th Duke of Marlborough. We did the tour through the palace and learnt a lot about the Spencer Churchill families.

We also went to see the gravesite of the Churchill’s in Bladon. The whole family is buried together. There is also memorial stone seat for Winston Churchill from the Danish Military.

We were only 60 miles away from London which took 2 hours to drive back. The closer we got to London the more traffic we struck and James said it is bedlam. We really don’t know the difference between, turn right and keep right. We found it very confusing, so confusing in fact we had a ‘little adventure’ and ended up near the Thames River. We then drove passed where we were suppose to drop the car back but as the traffic was so bad we missed the turn off, got honked at from a bus and a car as we really needed to turn right, which we did and going around the block again we found where we had to drop off the car which was quite a relief. Then we had to find our way out of the car park which was not an easy task. We had some dinner and back to the hotel for some rest ready to stay another day.

th June,

Today we decided to catch the Green Bus to Windsor Castle. The trip took for what seemed forever and it was only one half hours to get there. As this bus had a local route we went into different towns which was nice for us as we wouldn‘t have seen these town if we had gone by train. You can see the castle as you entered the town of Windsor standing high on the hill looking over the whole countryside. We were let off the bus just outside the entrance to the castle which was handy for us. There were a lot of people there, more than at any of the other attractions we have been at. Once we had our tickets we entered the ground to see the changing of the guard which takes place at 11am every day, except when it is raining.

We walked around to St George’s Chapel which was finished in 1484 and then added to in 1528 by Henry V11. All the Kings and Queens are buried in this Chapel. They are not put into coffins but wrapped in shroud and put into the ground, in tomb or covered with a marble slab which has their names engraved on. We saw King George V1, his wife the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret all buried together in one tomb. We were told when the Queen dies this is where she will be laid to rest.
Up the hill we walked to the famous dolls house was built for Queen Mary in 1924 and was never intended to be a play thing. The house has running water and electricity and is filled with thousands of miniature objects. Nearly all the objects are on a 1/12 .in the next room to the dolls house is an exhibition of two dolls that were given to King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth for their daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. The dolls are French and called France and Marianne, they are shown with some of their wardrobe.
Next was the Drawings Gallery finished in 1804. This part is now used as an exhibition gallery for temporary displays from the Royal Collection. There where paintings from Rembrandt, Leonardo de Vinci.
The China Museum was next. There was wonderful displays of priceless china which the Queens still users. I would hate to break any piece of it.
Grand Staircase was next and we walked where the famous knights and politicians, Kings and Queens and Princes and Princess. There was a wonderful feeling to that staircase.
Grand Vestibule, this was just an other wonder. I don’t know who they made these ceilings. You would have to see it to belive it.
Waterloo Chamber, now this room was the best of any I have seen for a long time. The Queen, every June holds The Garter Luncheon for the Knight and Ladies of the Garter. The China Worcester Porcelain service comes from the China Museum-throne Room .
Then into the Ante a small Audience Chamber. On the walls hang tapestries and famous painting of family members.
King’s Drawing Room, where he received important visitors. A lovely room.
Kings Bedchamber, also a room full of 1700’s furniture and painting. Silks hung around the bed. Just beautiful
Kings Dressing Room, which also has wonderful paintings hanging on the walls.
Kings Closet. A very small room somewhere he could go away from court life, just to relax.
Queen’s Drawing Room. To day this room has hanging painting of the Tudor and Stuarts royal portraits.
The Kings Dining Room, this is where the Kings and Queen ate together.
Queen’s Ballroom, this room has marvellous chandeliers hanging from the ornate ceilings. This room has portraits from Anthony Van Dyck exclusively.
Queen’s Audience Chamber, this room is very ornate, the walls have tapestries and paintings.

We had a walk around the town which is very quaint.

We caught the bus back and would be you believe I went to sleep. I slept most of the way. I didn’t realise I was so tired.

After dinner we decided to go for walk up to Buckingham Palace, which we did. It was a lovely walk and walking back I decided to go a different way back. Well, I thought the bus went this way when we were on it, but it didn’t and we got ‘in a place we didn’t want to be’ in other words lost. So I had to ask someone and finally we got back to the hotel. Relieved again to be back, showered and in bed by 8.30pm and probably asleep by 9pm. Holidays are wearing me out.

th June

It was raining, in fact pouring when we left today. We caught the NO 24 bus out to the British Museum. I thought that there was a lot of people at Windsor Castle but there were three times as many at the museum. We spent the whole day there, our feet were aching when we left just before closing time. I think we saw everything, whether we remember what we saw and read is another thing. One will have to visit the museum to realise what a wonderful museum it is. There was object going back to 1500BC. Now that is a long time. Getting back to the hotel was an adventure in itself. We couldn’t find the Bus Stop. Would you believe it? After about 20 minutes we saw a bus with the number 24. So off we raced to the bus stop and waited for the next one. We got back to the hotel tired but not as exhausted as other days.

17th June

To day is special, it is my birthday.

We caught the Underground to Portobello Road Markets. We walked down the street looking at all the things there. We decided not to buy anything, as we would have to get it home and anyway there was nothing there that we needed. - wanted maybe but not needed.

I found the little cup cake shop that Hannah told me about Hummingbird. The cakes were delicious; we bought two and had them when we got back to the Hotel. Then it started to rain. Funny everyone just puts up an umbrella and keeps walking. They are used to the rain, I think. Therefore, we did the same. I have never used and umbrella so much as now, even James had his own. Funny when someone comes towards you with an umbrella up, one person raises their umbrella so the umbrellas do not collide. I found this very amusing, just like a ballet of sorts.

After visiting Portobello Road, we walked down Kensington Palace Road. We thought that the Palace was in this road, but no, it was not. There were a lot of Embassy’s in this road and we were not allowed to take photos. There wasn’t anything to take photos of anyway.

We finally come to a path that leads to the Palace. It was not as I would have thought. Queen Victoria thought that all the people should be able to visit The Royal State Apartments so she made them open to the public in 1754.

There were seven Princess who lived here in the Palace Apartments. They were. Princes Mary, Ann, Charlotte, Victoria, Margaret and Diana. There was another Princess but I can not find or think of who it was. In these apartment. There was a sort of exhibition there about the princess.

I was not impressed with this palace at all. When

William and Kate come to London tney stay here in one of the apartments. It is thought that when they move back to London they may take up residence at Kensington Palace.

Walk then walk to the Royal Albert Hall and the memorial over the road. We could see the memorial from a distance and thought it to be a church that is how big it was. After taking photos and it started to rain we then walked through the park to Princess water memorial which was not going as it was being cleaned. Just our luck again.

We then decided to go back to the hotel and eat our cakes which we did.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Friday 3rd June 2011

Both of us were up early and off to the train for a 3 hours train trip to the International Airport and what a trip it was. The train had 3 carriages on and where just about full by the time we boarded at Broadmeadow.

By the time we got to Central it was standing room only and that was from Wyong. The fact was the trip was not as peaceful as I would have like or anyone else on the train would have liked. There was a little girl with her mother and the little girl about 2 screamed all the way. Someone down the back of the train yelled out ‘shut the kid up’ I think that they were are the end of the tether too. James ended up with a headache and my head was just starting off as a little headache. The lady who owned the little girl pushed her way in front of everyone to get off as she was catching another train. We got off last with a couple of other people travelling to the airport. We got to track 23 without any trouble and who was there the lady with the little girl and she was still screaming. I felt sorry for both of the and the people for the return trip.

She was going to the airport to meet someone and she stood beside us, so James said he was moving down the platform further and guess what the lady and the little girl followed. But she turned and walked up further just as James was getting ready to move. One can only hope that the trip will get better and quieter.

While getting something to eat we saw Harry Kewell at McDonalds and he turned heads as they do, a someone wanted their photo taken with him and he obliged happily.

On board the plane I had a spare seat next to me and it was great for the 6 hours to Singapore which at that point we had a couple from Victor Harbour next to us. We had row 74 and there was still lots behind us. It was a huge plane and had the best smooth flight I have ever had. There was more leg and bum room than a 747.

They were older than us and very nice and she has visited England often and told gave us some more information on travelling around once we left London.

We both had some sleep on the plane both from Sydney to Singapore and from Singapore to London.

Getting thought customs was quick and then a really long walk to the train.

We were to change trains at Green Park which we tried to do but that train was not working. So with lots of other people we had to get another train and don’t ask me how we got to Victoria station I have no idea but we did.

Walked about 10 minutes to the hotel. Put the bags in as we were not allowed into the room until 12pm, which was better than the 2pm we thought that it would be.

We then we walked down by the Thames River. It was low tide and it looked very brown. We had a cup of coffee on the way which was very welcoming, it gave me a boost to keep walking which we did. We walked past the Lambeth Bridge and onto the Westminster Bridge. James took plenty of photos on the way, now all we have to do is remember what they are. There was lots of people around, doing the same as us, just walking, talking and taking photos.

We had a look in St, Margaret Church and Westminster Abbey from the outside as there were 2000 people lined up ready to get into the church.

It was extremely hot so we just kept walking.

We then came back to the hotel and checked in, had a little rest, and then started off again.

This time we ended up at Buckingham Palace with thousands of other people with the same idea. The Queen was not home. Then walked down the Mall past Clarence House not realising it was so big. Past St James Palace and Chapel Royal. Back out onto the Mall we walked where the Royal Guards in full regalia marched past us. They were going to practice for the Trouping of The Colour for the Queens Birthday Celebrations, which is on the 13th June. James’ birthday is on the same day and it is the first time that he has a parade in his honour.

After a little rest in Green Park, we walked back through The Canadian Gates. We finally got back to the Hotel after Dinner. Plopped onto the bed and went to sleep for 11 hours.

Sunday 5th June 2011

After a great nights sleep we finally woke up about 6am had breakfast and then we were off again. This time we went to the Royal Mews. The guide was very informative and gave a wonderful talk on all the carriages.

We saw the all the Queens Coaches.

After we saw the Mews we walked a couple of hundred steps to the The Queens Gallery and saw all the paintings that she owns plus all the memorabilia that she has collected over the last 60 years worth millions.

We had lunch a pasties - a proper Cornish Pastie which said it was a prize winning pasty. In my view I can and still can make better pasties than them.

As it was raining we then decided to visit The Churchill War Rooms which we did . It was a most interesting afternoon. This was a mighty feat for its time as the War Rooms where built under and existing building. they inserted a 6 foot thick concrete and steel ceiling pumping all the concrete in without anyone knowing what they were doing. This was to house Churchill’s War Cabinet, where they all lived for the duration of the war.

I do not know how they lived like that for the 6 years the war was on.

Monday 5th June, 2011.

Today we found our way to the Imperial War Museum. It looked small from the outside but inside it took us 4 hours to look at everything on the four floors.

They had tanks, planes, trucks, cars, submarines, bombs, rockets everything to do with the war.

There was also a part on the Children and Families of the War, which gave an insight to what they had to put up with.

We then caught the train from Lambeth station to London Bridge station where we alighted. We walked down the river walk looking at old buildings. The first church built in England in 606 was Southwark Church. We thought we would go to the Borough Markets but they were not on, so we kept on walking past Old churches in ruins, the Clink Goal, Sir Frances Drake’s boat the Golden Hind which is an exact replica. We then crossed over the Thames River on the Millennium Bridge on the way o St Pauls Cathedral.

Again we came home absolutely worn out. Would you believe in bed and asleep by 7pm.

Tuesday 7th June 2011

Today we caught the Big Bus which took around the city. We got off to look at the changing of the guard. We had a walking tour guide, which was free…..

We walked with about 25 other people to St. James Palace and saw the Queens Guards getting ready to march to Buckingham Palace for The Changing of the Guards.

James and I then caught the ferry to Greenwich Peir where we had a little look around. We decided to come back later and have more time to have a good look around. We caught the ferry back to London bridge and got back on the Red Bus for the rest of the Tour around London which was done in peak hour traffic.

Wednesday 8th June

I think that I will have to put my travels in point form from now on. I really do not have enough time to write everything up.

first we caught the train to Cutty Sark Station at Greenwich.
Walked to the observatory up a long hill.
We walked through the park passed a part where the equestrian is going to be held of the Olympics in 2012.
They are making the course on a platform of about ½ acre in size. Some parts of the platform is about 2 metres above the ground. The course will be pulled down when the Olympics are finished. The park will be upgrade to what is was before the platform was built.
There were very interesting things to see at the observatory, we stood at 0 mean time
Walked back down the hill to the Queens House which is now an Art Gallery.
We also had a look at the Maritime Museum.
We walked back to the Cutty Stark station and caught the train to Cannery Station where we alighted to have a look at the car show.

9th June
We caught the train back to Tower Hill, where the Tower of London is.
We joined in on a guided tour and we got some great information on how and who built the castle.
We also heard about all the people kept here for all sorts of different reasons.
The Queens also has a house here, but I don’t think that she stays here any time.
We walked around the outside and through the Turrets. Also into the Tower itself.
They still had the cobbled streets.
Some of London still has cobbled streets which makes it hard walking. I see people walking around in high heels and I don’t know how they do it. I have trouble walking in flats. I also cannot image how the horse and carriages got on in the 1800s
After we had lunch we walked over to the Tower Bridge which was just around the corner.
We walked across the south tower and back across the north tower and then down into the engine rooms.
The weather is showery and coolish nice for walking around and sightseeing.

10th June
Talked to Jessica last night on Skype and wished her a Happy Birthday. Tried to ring her on the phone but couldn’t get through as we didn’t dial the correct number. Talked to Charlotte also.
Caught the Underground to Marble Arch to see where we had to go to pick up the car. We went to the wrong Marriott Hotel. Got directions from the concierge at the wrong Marble Arch Marriott, we missed the George street sign and walked far to far. Asked directions again and got the wrong ones again kept walking. Turn around and walked back towards Marble Arch and found George Street and the correct Marble Arch Hotel.
Got the bookings for the car changed to Victoria, just up the road from us, walking distance in fact which is great as we don’t have to lug luggage on the Underground in peak hour.
Had a look and walk around Marble Arch and caught the underground to the Science museum. There were lots of hands on things for the children there. It was interesting too but some things one does not really want to know.
Across the road was the V&A museum (Victoria & Albert), I would have liked to spend more time there.
There was a great place to eat at the V & A Museum so we had a cooked lunch with vegies. The surrounding were just lovely, took you back to the 1800’s.
We had a chat of about an hour with one of the security men. We talked about lots of different parts of history.
We were going to go to Kensington Castle but it was raining very hard so we decided to come back to the hotel for a rest as we were extremely tired.
At Victoria we had a look for the Avis Car Hire and found it after walking around for a bit.
Came back to the hotel had a coffee and rest.

11th June
Woke up very tired, knowing that we are going to have another rugged day, racing around trying to see everything there is to see.
After breakfast we raced down to the Mall for a good spot to watch the Queens Parade. We got what we thought was a great spot to watch, just outside St James’s Palace and Clarence House entrance. It was freezing standing in the shade of the trees. Before the parade started the police came and stood and said intervals along the Mall. Then after they got that right the Queens Soldiers marched up the Mall and peeled off at intervals and stood in the correct position and ;they also are checked and moved to the correct positions. The parade started with Queens Soldiers marching in full regalia they look fabulous. The Queens Marching bands sounded great. The Queen and the Prince came in an open coach, as she was not aloud to ride as she usually did. Then after them Prince William, Andrew, and Princess Ann came behind riding on horses in full regalia. Prince Charles and Camilla where in a coach with Kate and Prince Harry. We were on the wrong side of the road as the Royal Household was at the entrance of Clarence House and St James’s Palace and the Royal Party as they rode passed turned and waved to them. Not us.
Walked down to the London Eye, there were millions of people there all waiting to get onto the London Eye for their ride. We went back to the ticket office and updated our ticket. we only had to wait 10 minutes for our ride instead of hours. The sky was so clear we could see for miles and miles. Absolutely fabulous, wouldn’t miss it for the world.

12th June
Woke again so tired, this holidaying is wearing me out.
It is raining and freezing cold. I think that this weather has caught all Londoners by surprise as they keep saying that it is June. It seems funny to see it when it rains all the umbrellas come out and everything just seem to go on as before.
We caught the underground to Harrods where we did some shopping. We followed some ladies from Wales and chattered while we found our way around. Inside Harrods is not to be missed the food hall is fabulous. There are all types of food and presented with flare and taste that I have never seen before. Going up the escalators is an experience in itself.
Went to Westminster Abby for Evening Song. It was unbelievable inside, we will have to go back again and have a better look. The service was good too and the choir was something else.
We came back to the hotel and James is watching the car racing.
Tomorrow is another day.

That was our first week in London. What a week it was. Just fabulous, wonderful and exhausting. Till next weeks update.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Now I am Packed and Ready to GO

Yes, that is correct I have finished packing. I am not taking much but it still seems to be a lot. This trip we are taking one bag for both of us.
The fact is packing for both a bit of summer and a bit of winter takes more than a bit or room.
Remember the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane’ well that is what we will be doing on the 3rd June a Friday, and unlike the song we will be back again. Catching the train and then the plane, then another train and walking to the hotel.
I hope that the weather will be better than here; it has rained most of the week. I am looking forward to some nice dry weather.
I will try an update most days, so check by every couple of days just to see what we are seeing and doing and how our travels are progressing.
Over and Out for Now.