Europe 2014 - London

3 March 2015

  21 - 24th October
We flew into London's famous Heathrow Airport...met our transfer and zoomed off to our home away from home for the next 4 days...'The Shaftesbury Hyde Park International Hotel'. 
It was a lovely Motel..very cosy.. clean and close to the park... shops...restaurants and a tube station.
It also conveniently had a red post box out the front ..perfect for postcard posting.

We found ourselves a British pub and shared a traditional fish and chips for lunch.
Took a walk through Hyde Park for a bit of squirrel spotting.

Our first night was a HUGE highlight... one of those truly unforgettable nights. 

Ron and Donna had some friends in London who we met at 'Jamie Olivers Italian' restaurant in Threadneedle street. 
We knew we were in for a great night from the minute we arrived. 
Tony and Dennis were so welcoming and entertaining and it was only minutes before we were seated and deep in the most interesting conversation. 
The french wine that Tony so generously selected was divine...
I regret now not taking more notice of the label.
 Our meal was ahhhhmazing.... we began with a share plank which was placed on the table balanced on soup tins... and then making a choice from the menu was almost mouth was watering... totally loved it. (I finally settled on the pork belly)
The atmosphere... the building..the menu...and most of all the company of Tony and Dennis made it the most memorable night.

The next morning we were up early and set for exploring...we bought a two day pass for the Big Bus...this gave us a hop on and off tour with commentary and we were happy to just take in the sights. 

The London Eye - I always looked at photos of London and thought..."oh yeah...the Ferris wheel looking thing" ...little did I realise it was ENORMOUS! 
Each capsule can hold up to 25 people!...bit bigger than a show ride Ferris wheel.

Lets just say the view was spectacular... we could see London in every direction.

Buckingham Palace - This was a 'must see' ... the one thing that Bella and Brooke were most excited about was Nan and Pops visit to 'the queens house' . 

We watched the guards march....took lots of photos...and bought a few souvenirs to take home for the girls and buddy Bray.

Tower of London -  We had no idea when we arrived at the "Tower of London" that we were lucky enough to be seeing the 'London Poppies' display.  it's impossible to describe the impact of seeing 888,246 ceramic poppies filling the Tower's famous moat with each poppy representing a British military fatality during the war.

Harrods - Of course we had to pop into Harrods.. just for the sheer fun of being able to say "we shopped at Harrods of London" ..and we did shop...we bought ourselves baguettes for lunch from the food court. Donna picked up a handbag and promptly put it down when she noticed its £2000 price tag...and Ian gulped when he noticed the Wagyu steak for £33 per 100g - approx $660 a kg.

Madame Tussauds - This was pretty darn cool...even better than I expected. The wax figures were very lifelike and its was quite OK to get up close and personal with them for photos. Just to be able to see the size of them was interesting...some were so much taller than I expected and others were petite. Loved every minute of the 'Spirit of London ride'.

Pinched ourselves as we drove over the famous 'Tower Bridge'  

passed 'Big Ben' (Big Ben is the name of the giant bell inside the clock tower which weights 13760kgs. The clock face on the bell tower is 7 metres wide.

stood out the front and admired 'Westminster Abbey

Walked through Kensington gardens past Kensington Palace in the evening...
Ian even saw the royal helicopter land.

 There were reminders that we were actually in London everywhere...

 to be continued.......

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