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Wandering London

Wed, Oct 2, 2019

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So even though we've been to London (counting on my fingers) 7 times previous, there are still some things we've missed, so we planned on doing one of those today - the Churchill War Rooms! We'd been going to go in 2018, but the line up was too long (including the time needed to go thru) and we had another reservation. This year I'd booked a time slot...but first...

We walked down to the tube station and popped into the Tesco and grabbed some pastries and OJ (and cough drops!) and ate while sitting in the mall. Hubby grabbed some coffee from Costa (and I most likely had a hot chocolate) and some donuts from Krispy Kreme. The weather was clear skies but cool. We decided to head over to the Parliament Buildings (where there was some protesting going on about a travel company that went under and the employees were fighting for help - Thomas Cook travel). We've been to Westminster Abbey before, but not to St Margaret's Church, which is also on the same property. It was interesting to read all the memorials on the wall. I think the oldest was 1610. And you could see the seating reserved for the politicians. Hardly a soul inside. Recommend if you're visiting the Abbey just to go have a look - it's free.

Next we just happened to be walking by the Supreme Court building and noticed a sign out front offering free visits that day, so we popped in. After going thru the metal detector (something on me kept setting it off and they couldn't find it - hindsight - probably my hair clip!) and checking my little pair of folding scissors we were able to go in to some of the rooms and there was a museum of sorts with the time line of the Supreme Court (which they haven't had that long - since 2009) and a room displaying gifts given from other countries to the Prime Minister (I think). One room had some gorgeous wood carving on the seats - lions and dogs and birds of prey - really neat. It was nice to be able to just pop in.

We headed over towards the war rooms, but we still had a little over an hour. I think we were booked for around 2:30 or so. Getting hungry and as we wandered into St James's Park we noticed a café/restaurant and checked out the menu. Bingo! Fish and chips! While there wasn't anything that really appealed to my husband he did help eat my fries and the fish was nice. What you did was ordered the food then they'd give you a number which you displayed on the table and if memory serves - they'd bring it to your table. The park itself was quite nice - lots of flowers still in bloom and we had fun watching the big grey squirrels running on the fence and terrorizing a few people.

Time for the War Rooms. Hubby and I managed to stay together for the first little section, but I was moving faster than he was. There is one section that is all about Churchill himself. I spent maybe 20 min looking around, then went to find my husband. I circled the big, mazelike room a few times and couldn't spot him, so I thought maybe he'd already gone ahead. (Spoiler alert - he hadn't). So off I went to see the rest of the rooms. I sat down a few times and waited 5 min, hoping he'd catch up. There was a small café with some snacks where I grabbed a bottle of water since my cough was becoming worse and worse. Still no sign of hubby. Continued on. Got to the gift shop. Where the heck was he?! So I backtracked and he was at least 45 min BEHIND me! He'd spent a good 45+ min in the Churchill section. I was not super happy. So I decided my coughing self should head outside and just wait for him there. Luckily I had my ipad, but with only a few podcasts downloaded and no wifi, I got bored pretty fast. My nice spot in the sun turned into a shady cool spot. I didn't want to go off because I wanted to be able to spot him when he came out. I was probably an hour waiting. If I'd known, I would have gone for a walk at the park. But the War Rooms were interesting, I just wish he'd gone thru faster.

So I was a little cold after sitting in the shade, so we went back over to the café and he got a coffee and I got a hot chocolate and slice of lemon loaf. I'm not sure how we've never been in St James's before, but we walked thru, admiring the flowers and water birds and squirrels! At the other end you come out on the side of Buckingham Palace, so we wandered across to Green Park to see the Canada Memorial fountain. We walked thru Green Park over towards Piccadilly and found a l'Occitane shop I had marked on my map - hubby wanted some shaving cream that we can't get at home. Then to Fortnum and Mason where I picked up three flavours of tea (Countess Grey is divine!), a Christmas ornament shaped like a robin (oh my, the blown glass ornaments were so adorable but I didn't get any - worried about breakage and also expensive). I got a tin of cookies and the tin looked like a carousel and played a Christmas tune when you twisted the bottom. A small fruitcake for my mom for Xmas (which she said was delicious) and a cute shopping bag with tea pots/cups on it. That was a little bit of a shopping trip!

The evening before we had spotted a place called Angus Steaks while wandering Piccadilly. I'd never heard of it but I guess it's a chain. Anyways, we decided to treat ourselves. And treat we did - with the exchange rate it ended up being about $95 cdn! Our most expensive meal. (Second place was when we had a meal at Cheesecake Factory in Boston). We both had a delicious steak. I think hubby had potato chunks and I had a really amazing soft baked potato. The couple seated beside us ordered a big meal - the ribs they brought out for the guy - I think it scared it how big they were. Not sure if he managed to finish that meal or not. I could barely finish my 8oz steak.

We headed back to the room - stopped at Tesco again to grab a few snack items and some apple juice and some chocolate and some more hard candies to help my cough.

Next day - Oxford!

Posted by u2traveller 05:50 Archived in United Kingdom

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