Slowly catching up on my chores/work/blog readings. I will be trolling the net trying to catch up on everyone's updates. In the meantime, I need to finish up my road trip from last week. So many pictures, so little time...
After spending the afternoon with RC and his lovely wife, I was looking forward to spending some time exploring London properly. When I was over there two years ago to meet up with RC, it was a weekend "drive by". I basically had 24 hours in country to see as much as I could see. This trip, I deliberately planned a few extra day to see the sites. Woke up at early and had breakfast at the B&B. Part of the B&B's attraction was free WiFi and a full breakfast service. That boils down to pretty much anything you could think of. The first morning, I went for all the marbles - a full English Breakfast. For those not familiar, this is usually juice, toast, tea/coffee and eggs, bacon, mushrooms, bangers (sausage) and beans. Normally, I do not eat much for breakfast, but, hey, I figured that, while in England, why not try the real thing? Way more than I had expected. I ate so much that I skipped lunch and had an early dinner.
I had planned to hit the town hard, but, took my time getting started (answering e-mails). I debated buying one of those London passes that allows you access to a large number of tourist sites/spots (Tower of London, Tower Bridge, etc.), but you need to start that early in the day (0900) to get the most benefit. Instead, I opted for the tour bus tour of London. I know, cheesy, but I find that, when hitting a new town like London, getting a general tour of the town gives you a foundation to work from. This was one of those open top Double Decker bus tours that will take you all over town extolling the sites and history of London. One thing I liked was that it was a "hop on, hop off' deal which meant you can get on or off at any of a number of spots along the route. Another bus would be along in 15 minutes or so. While it was campy, it was a good tour, despite the rain. And, it DID rain.
Some of the sites I saw along the route:
Tower of London (Warder tour)
St Paul's Cathedral
Optometrist along Fleet Street
From the top of the bus
The Monument (311 steps to the top)
Sherlock Holmes pub
And while I was out wandering all over town, I had to go check out the Death Ray tower to see if it lived up to the hype. Easy to spot - just a few blocks over from the Tower of London.
Because of its concave shape, at certain times of the year, on sunny days, the sunlight will be focused on a spot on the street below the building. Think magnifying glass and ants...
I found the spot on the street where the light was focused and can honestly say it was uber hot! Was like standing directly under a very intense heat lamp. Temp difference was at least 10-15C higher than ambient. I could see why it has become a unofficial tourist attraction.
I rounded out the day with a pint at the Sherlock Holmes pub. Had to head back to my room and pack up for my trip to Wales.