Monday, 30 June 2014
Our last two days in London
No post yesterday because we didnt actually do so much...and the wifi at the hotel was having a r-e-a-l-l-y bad day. I kid you not. It was so slow it was like dial-up.
We learned two things yesterday though, weather forecasters here get things wrong too, and when it rains; it RAINS.
Storms and rain were forecast for lunchtime and the afternoon, so we set off (minus umbrellas or coats) to use our HOHO ticket and travel the alternate route since it was valid for 24 hours. We intended to go to the market at Portobello Rd and wander through Kensington on our way back, and to beat the rain.
The bus though took forever getting anywhere and while we were on it it rained. We decided to get off earlier than planned and walked through Kensington Gardens up to the Palace. No-one opened the gates for us though.
We wandered up further and had a drink and scone with clotted cream at the cafe, all the while eyeing up the ominous black clouds. While we were in the shop looking at royal souvenirs there was another heavy shower. Anyway once it was stopped we set off on our walk again in the sun. On our way I spotted a wee squirrel. So cute.
And also this gorgeous colourful carousel.
Then we walked up toward Notting Hill Gate to get to our destination. Almost there and down came the rain. In torrents. Like a rainstorm in Sydney. We were soaked. We decided the market wouldnt be so much fun so jumped on a bus to get us back to near where we needed catch the DLR back to the hotel to dry out and blob for the rest of the day.
So today we decided we'd just use a combination of transportation to get around and see some things before we leave London tomorrow.
DLR from hotel to Tower Gateway; tube from Tower Hill to Blackfriars, then a walk along the embankment toward Westminster. A lovely elderly gentlemen saw Lauren taking photos of the London City School and stopped to give us a history lesson. We walked with him to Temple station where he was off to Lords for a picnic. He was great, told us all sorts about all sorts of places. He was lovely.
We stopped and had a cuppa at a tea shop in the Victoria Embankment Gardens, then carried on our way. So many people though once we got to Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. From there we walked up to Buckingham Palace and then alongside St James' Palace to Green Park tube station.
how funny is this - on a little laneway behind St James' Palace
From there we caught a train to King's Cross to check out Platform 9 3/4 which was a bit of a let down having become a gimmicky commercial enterprise. We managed between us to get a photo of the sign and of the luggage trolley disappearing into the wall sans the queued up posers wearing the "house scarf" held by the photographers accomplice.
From there we caught another tube to Bank and then changed to the DLR to go and check out the shops at Canary Wharf. Omigosh ! So much to look at, but nowhere to fit anymore into our luggage right now.
So we had a bite to eat at "Leon". We cant get over how many healthy option places there are here and vegetarian as well. Why had no-one told me about "Pret a Manger" "Vital" or "Leon" (plus more that seem to be dotted all over the place).
Finally the train from Canary Wharf back to the hotel. Quite a productive day I think.
And then down came the rain in torrents again. But at least we were inside this time.