London calling part 3

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We crammed a lot into our last day in London, starting with some shopping at Oxford Circus.  Hamleys toystore was a highlight.  It’s a fun place with five levels to explore and lego creations that are beyond belief.

DSC_0364Oxford Circus is a crazy busy place so we wandered around the backstreets of London afterwards and then walked through Green Park (which was looking fairly brown….).  It is amazing to see how many people were sitting out in the sun on such a hot day, including a lot of business people plonked down on the grass trying to fry their skin in their lunch hour.

DSC_0367At the end of Green Park is Buckingham Palace.

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We crossed the road and headed in St James Park for a walk.  It was so nice to get away from the crowds and the traffic.

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And we all wanted to see some of these little guys.  They are quite the entertainers.

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There were plenty of birds eager for some attention too.  At one stage Urs had them all over him.

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Looking through the park towards the Horse Guards Parade.

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Another difficult job.  These guys have to sit there perfectly still for an hour at a time.  In those clothes.  In that heat.  With hecklers trying to get them to move.  Um, no thanks.

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We arrived back in the city after wandering around aimlessly.

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To our surprise there was now a giant blue rooster in Trafalgar Square.

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Piccadilly Circus is also a crazy busy place.  You have no idea how long it took to get this photo!!!

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We stumbled across Jamie Oliver’s pop-up diner and decided to go in for a late lunch.  The food was really good.  Russian sauce on a burger – yum.  I need that recipe.

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This is the view looking outside.  Apparently the diner will only be there for a couple of years.  We were pretty exhausted at this point and looking forward to some quiet time in the Scottish countryside.

 

London calling part 2

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We spent the rest of the day cruising the Thames.  Past the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge….

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The Shard (a skyscraper containing luxury apartments, office spaces, restaurants and viewing decks)…

DSC_0249The London Eye…..

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The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.DSC_0259

A visit to London is not complete without a look at Harrods.  It is incredible – the architecture, the size, the luxury.  The food court is something else.  You can buy Australian meat there but it was the macaroons and the seafood that were catching my eye.  Not to mention in other rooms the jewellery, handbags and watches that were a wee bit out of our souvenir budget 🙂

 

London calling

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We arrived in London the day after the royal baby was born.  The city was crowded and in the middle of a massive heatwave.  And we had the worst accommodation ever…. I can’t even discuss it.  The Johnsons and the Birrers will forever have a train rattling through their heads….

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But the celebrations were in full swing from the Jubilee year to the birth of an heir.  Welcome to the world George.

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We spent a lot of the day on the roof of a double decker bus, as you do, whizzing around London seeing the sights.  Taking a bazillion photos.

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Listening to the audio commentary when we could.  Trying not to get sunburnt….. It was very very hot.

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Claudia couldn’t wait to see Big Ben.  (We love all things Ben in our family).

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There was a frenzy at Buckingham Palace.  The bobbies had a time trying to keep the crowd in line.

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All I could think about was how these guys were not fainting from hyperthermia.  It must be unbearable standing at the gate not moving and sweltering in the mid-summer heat.

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After much pushing and shoving at the palace gates to get a photo, the crowd discovered that eventually the gates open and the guards march out making it easy for everyone to get a photo.  Oh the irony of it!!

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Some of the old buildings in London were really beautiful.  Apparently at one time there was a window tax introduced and this accounts for why some of the buildings have very small windows at the top.  It was eventually abolished and said to be “daylight robbery”.  Not my joke.

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There was the mandatory “pretend you are going into the phone box” photo of course.

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And we finished our morning at Trafalgar Square.