England: Part 1- London

How to see England if you only have two weeks? Well, you can’t so we decided to divide our time between London, Bath and the Cotswolds, and Cornwall. Even then, we could have spent lots more time in each place but feel we got a good sampling and were left with the desire to go back for more. So here is Part 1; London.

Nice to live so close to an airport with a direct flight to London Heathrow.

A nine hour flight from SEA to LHR on a 747.

First stop

Our home for five nights was the Hotel Baglioni. Great staff and right across from Hyde Park.

After checking into our hotel, we headed over to the London Eye for the Champagne Experience. The nice thing about booking this activity ahead is: (1) a private guide, (2) with Champagne, who (3) takes you to the front of the queue.

The wheel is 443 feet tall and has a diameter of 394 feet.

And that must be Big Ben.

Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.

It’s all downhill from here.

Meanwhile, back at the Baglioni we run into one of the world’s best bartenders.

Tiziano

Tiziano’s signature cocktail: a Siberian Sky.

There were a lot of fine places to eat within walking distance of our hotel. Here is one.

The Abingdon

English Garden Risotto and Smoked Monkfish Loin.

 

Next day, our first morning in London. I had to try it at least once.

A Full English Breakfast

Out to master the Underground and explore London.

Learned to ‘mind’ a lot of things, but especially ‘the gap’.

Attempted to maximize the number of British icons in this photo.

The British Museum

View of the very popular Rosetta Stone.

 

 

 

 

One day, we took the train over to Canterbury.

We wondered why there weren’t more people waiting for the train until we realized that we were waiting on the wrong track.

Canterbury Cathedral, founded 597 A.D., is the headquarters of the Church of England.

The Christ Church Gateway is the visitor entrance to the Cathedral.

List of Archbishops going back to 597 AD

Spot where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170.

During the Reformation, vandals attempted to destroy what remained of Catholic influence.

Missing a head.

17th century graffiti.

There is also an interesting museum in Canterbury with artifacts from the Roman era.

Hyde Park provides a relaxing spot away from the crowds at all of the tourist sites.

Former private hunting grounds of Henry VIII.

The Albert Memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861.

One night we had theater tickets but I wasn’t feeling well so we decided to give them to the concierge, Tadas, who gave them to one of the hotel staff. I’m not sure that that had anything to do with it but the morning we were checking out, we asked Tadas to call a taxi to the train station. When we went outside for our ride, this is what was waiting…

A Maserati with our personal driver.

Next stop: Bath and the Cotswolds.

 

 

 

 


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