London, 2012 Europe Trip – Part 4

London Day 3 was a very fulfilling and awfully tiring experience. I had decided to book my mum and I in for a full day tour of the London city. We were bustled into a waiting bus in the early rainy morning, and throughout the whole day, we visited a bunch of places, including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London.

Because of the rainy weather, we weren’t able to see the Changing of the Guards. However, we did see the Changing of the Cavalry (I think that’s what it was called?) and it was nice to see all the pretty horses march out in orderly formations. However, the whole place smelled very strongly of horse manure, and there was this one guard who kept yelling out “Stand back!” whenever a tourist got too close to the horses or the stables.

The tour gave us some free time in the middle for some lunch. My mum and I went to this small, tucked away restaurant in the basement of some pub (we followed some blackboard signs) for some traditional English food; bangers and mash, and fish and chips! Compared to the rest of London, the food was relatively cheap and very filling. Hurrah for small hidden-away eateries!

Next up was the Tower of London. This was probably my favourite part of the day. We were allowed to look at the Crown Jewels, though we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside (which explains the lack of photos). All the diamonds and huge golden bowls…there were even huge ceremonial maces made out of solid gold! I imagine getting hit by one of those would be painful.

There were even a couple of small museums inside the buildings (castles? mini-castles?) inside the whole Tower of London grounds. This delightfully awkward photo of a suit of armour with a ridiculously large metal groin area was in a museum showing the weapons and armours used by the British hundreds of years ago. Suffice to say, there were plenty of people gawking and giggling at this poor tin man.

We finished off our busy day with a cruise on the Thames River. We saw a lot of the landmark-ish sites, including House of Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye. In spite of the rainy weather which had persisted for most of the day, the sky was beginning to clear up into a gorgeous shade of blue. I guess that’s London weather for you. 😛

Signing off,
Marie

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