After a minor delay, a 10 hour flight and then a holding pattern we finally landed in London just after 1pm Thursday afternoon. London isn’t a bad place to check luggage as by the time you navigate the airport and clear customs it’s a mere couple minutes for bags to arrive. Soon we were picking Linda up a new Oyster card for the underground and zipping along the Picadilly line into the city.
We changed lines to the District which dropped us off at Westminster station at the base of the Big Ben tower (i know there’s an official name for it somewhere). Joining the waves of tourists we dodged our way across Westminster Bridge to the Marriott County Hall hotel majestically situated along the Thames and next to the London Eye. If your curious to timing we arrived at the hotel about 3:20p.
The staff at the Marriott are extremely gracious and within moments we were shown our room and ready for a quick refresh. Quick because there’s activity calling!
Today’s plan is to simply walk but to also try to squeeze in the National Gallery as Linda discovered they have an impressive 18th century plus collection with amazing impressionists. And wow, do they ever! Between this and d’Orsay in Paris it’s the holy grail of Impressionism.
So, we crossed the river and headed up Whithall admiring the war statues, soaking up the feel of government, had a quick pub lunch and spilled into Trafalgar Square.
We caught the last 45 minutes of entry and nearly saw all our goals. Easily could spend a few hours here.
Next we strolled down the Mall and through St James Park toward Buckingham Palace. While it’s a bit chilly today the grounds are beautiful with tulips and other bulbs in bloom.
The most impressive tulip gardens surround the palace.
We returned to our hotel along the other side of St James Park which brings you directly to Parliment Square and Westminster Bridge.
While this is one of my favorite historic areas, it’s often everyone else’s too! We got caught up in several groups of school kids so just decided to move with their imposing mass. I think we may have crossed the street faster!
Soon we were back at the hotel enjoying a little cheese and wine and preparing for an early night. Big, big BIG day tomorrow!