Hello everyone and welcome to part 2 of this adventure! We left off just outside St Paul’s cathedral, where i was taking photos of awkwardly placed coffee cups i didn’t notice until it was too late. Darn coffee cups.
After poking my head into St Paul’s Cathedral (i could see bits and pieces from inside the door, and i wasn’t paying £15 to complete a tour) i made my way to the tube and hopped on to make my way back to the Embankment. The District and Circle lines were not working, so a game of sardines was more likely. I wove my way up to the very front of he train where few can be bothered to walk, and managed to save myself from being pressed into someones armpit. I did however, nearly get blown to pieces by the through wind of the open carriage central door.
The embankment is the north side of the river, where all the tour boats generally depart from. They usually have some really good deals on these types of tours; at the moment there is 50% off or £1 tickets if you buy a ticket to certain London attractions, so keep an eye out for those if cruising up the river sounds like a good way to see the sights. I however, was making my way to Westminster.
The houses of Parliament and Big Ben area staple ingredient of the tourist diet. Crowds are never-ending in this area, and it is a good pace to hone your dodging and weaving skills. Come to this area in the early morning or late afternoon for some beautiful photo opportunities, then wander around the statues of Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and other notables in Parliament Square, just opposite Westminster Abbey (which you can go inside, if you dare brave the spectacular queues spewing out of its doors and down the road). I stopped in Parliament Square to observe a married couple resplendent in their white dress and suit respectively, having their marriage photos taken with Big Ben as the backdrop. While they are certain to be stunning photos to show the grandchildren, i couldn’t help but admire their bravery in the face of so many gawkers and flashing tourist bulbs in their faces. The white dress was also in danger of mud, which is another form of bravery i suppose.
From here i headed North to St James’s Park, no not the Newcastle football ground, instead a beautiful little green nirvana that will drop you off at Buckingham Palace’s front doors. The hustle and bustle of inner London is almost silenced as you venture further in, and the ducks, geese and swans flock to your presence, little beady eyes enquiring as to where your bread is hiding. I had no bread to give, so left behind a few grumpy geese and headed to the bridge across the partially frozen water, from where i could observe Buckingham Palace for the first time.
If you have never seen Buckingham Palace before, it is a good bet that you have heard most things you need to know already; a huge palace, guards who cannot move an inch and the great big gates that keep everyone out except those who are dressed as batman. If you are extremely lucky, you can witness some movement behind the gate, such as visitors or ambassadors, or the changing of the guard which is well worth a look. Try not to torture the guards too much poor things, not being able to smile, move or talk for long periods of time would make me solemn too.
From here, i headed to costa, as i was just about frozen through. Nothing like a good hot chocolate to warm you up when your extremities are turning blue. And with warmth in hand, here this part ends! Part 3 of this adventure involves a visit to the one and only 221b Baker Street (if you do not know the significance of this address, contact me immediately and i shall set you on a golden path of entertainment) an awkward visit to Harrods and Oxford Street, and an encounter with a real life dinosaur.
See you tomorrow!