Yesterday I took a day to head in to the city and check out some of the sites that I haven’t had the chance to explore yet and revisit some that I couldn’t enjoy because I was sick when I first arrived.
First on the list of things to see was the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I’ve seen the palace on TV but walking up the Mall towards it is something to see. I had another goosebumps moment. For some interesting facts about the Palace click here.
OMG there we soooooooooo many people. One thing that still gets me every time I head out is the sheer number of people there are in this city, the Tube in peak hour just blows my mind and the city center on a weekend, forget about it. The grounds in front of the Palace were covered in tourists all vying for a spot from where they could see the changing of the guard.
Next time I go or for any of you planning to go, I suggest you get there much earlier. The ceremony is at 11.30am and although we were 45 minutes early there were already no spots left at the front. Pack a breakfast and get there first thing in the morning if you want a good spot. Fortunately there were a lot of short people in front of me and quite a few people left early which allowed me to creep towards the front.
I was struck yet again by all the people with their phones and cameras and especially by the young children with iPads and smart phones. Many of the people there would have travelled across the world to see the Pomp and ceremony and yet experienced the whole thing through a camera screen. Put the cameras down people!
Next up was a walk through St James Park and then over to Westminster and The Houses of Parliament. Big Ben on it’s own is impressive but not as big as I was expecting. It wasn’t until I crossed the river and saw the whole complex from the far side of the Thames that it’s full splendor was revealed.
Then it was up the south bank towards the Tate Britain. The Tate Britain is a collection of British Modern Art and houses some really beautiful work and a few pieces that left me thinking “seriously?” I felt a little ashamed that the thing that intrigued me the most was the spiral staircase just inside the entrance.
So I can cross a few more things off my list this week. Next I am thinking about heading down to Monument and doing the climb to the top and checking out the Poppies at the Tower of London.