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the lights of london

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 10 May 2008 | Views [378]

and so our europe visit began with a 12 hour flight, which thankfully was not as horrid as we imagined it would be.

We arrived at 6am in the morning to 6´C. We had said we wanted to stop sweating, but this was a little extreme!

We met our host Max, a primary school friend of Lize´s and good friend to Kim´s brother Steve, and he took us back to his place where we chilled and had a lovely sleep! We just vegged out at Max´s place the entire day and had some dinner and then hit the hay again - lize recovering from the flu and kim just knackered so was nice to sleep in a bed without sand and enjoy a steaming hot shower!

We jumped on the red double decker bus the next morning in a bid to see all the sights. Within five minutes we had jumped off in order to see changing of the guards which happens just once every 48 hours, good timing. We stopped at their barracks and watched as they were inspected, and then a royal band came out and marched them down the street along with mounted police, with Kim and I running along behind them! As we rounded the corner and caught sight of Buckingham Palace we saw just how many tourists were in London, literally thoudsands upon thousands of people were waiting to see the guards march up and we were thankful we had enjoyed seeing some of the action prior to all the tourists and insanity.

We decided against fighting our way through the crowds and ran back to the bus where we drove off and them saw the old guards on horseback making their way through the war memorial and back to their barracks, which was fairly impressive, especially as it was anzac day. Kim was sad he didn´t get a picture ´´rooting the leg´´ of one of the guards. 

next was big ben and little ben and westminster abbey and the houses of parliament and it was amazing to see firsthand the places you are taught about at school and see in the movies.

we jumped off for our london eye experience and after the worst mcdonalds either of us had ever eaten, we were off on the eye. We noticed the heat when we were locked in straight away, but the view and the class of 11 year olds we were sharing our compartment did somewhat distract us. then it stopped moving - first thermal layer off. 20 minutes later we still weren´t moving and all possible layers had been removed, Kim was sweating, the 11 year olds were complaining and the london eye was quickly becoming our most hated trip experience thus far. after about an hour it started to move and we then had to complete the 20 minute ride, and it was hell. At the end they take a photo of the people in the compartment to record your eye experience, in which Kim and I both gave the finger. As we disembarked, sweaty and feeling ill, the lady commented that our air con must have broken down. really? Seeing our picture, fingers stuck high and proud at our éye experience´was the highlight.

after this we decided to head towards home, and take in a few more of the sights from the red bus on the way, including harrods, the financial district, mayfair and park lane etc.

We got home and met Max and with travellers (beers) in hand, headed out to met some old friends from tassie for a beer or two. Turns out half of Tasmania was on london that night, as we crowded into a pub and talked home. Was nice to see so many friendly faces and catch up with people neither Kim or Lize had seen for some time - needless to say it turned into a big night.

Saturday we moved to stay with friends Tim Nichols and Claire Williams and was great to catch up with them both, and a sunny afternoon was passed catching up before the boys headed out again for a big night on the tiles.

Sunday our mission was simple and long standing - to find and enjoy a sunday roast. It wasn´t as simple as it sounds, as some pubs had sold out of roasts, others were full and some didn´t even sell them! but find and enjoy we did and it was the best roast we could have hoped for.

It was a quick visit, and spent mostly catching up with friends, but London certainly turned on the weather for us as it def warmed up for that inital 6´C and we even saw the sun!

Next stop, Amsterdam.


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