Monday, March 11, 2024

London, February 23

 Our last day in London, and we packed as much as possible into it. 

After breakfast we headed to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. This only happens several times a week, so Friday was our only opportunity. Sites along the way.

The theatre where Hamilton was playing. 

And I found a treasure trove of one of my favorite things to photograph--doors.

Okay. Back to Buckingham Palace. It was a sunny, cool morning, and we waited for about an hour.

It was a really fascinating ceremony. The King's Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace to the New Guard. The thing that surprised me the most was when the regimental bands started playing--and their music was by ABBA!

Our next destination was St. Paul's Cathedral, another magnificent building.

It turns out that you are able to take steps up to the very top of this dome. There are three levels. I made it to the first level--132 steps--which brought me closer to these beautiful paintings.
Aaron, of course, took the steps all the way to the top of the dome, 528 steps. This gave him an amazing view of the city.

Looking down:

Here you can see the dome he climbed.
We had lunch at Five Guys--our first American fast food of the week. 
What a view as we ate our lunch.
Then we walked across the Millennium Bridge and past the Globe Theatre.

By now the weather was changing. We still needed to get back to our hotel, collect our luggage, and take the underground to the hotel by the airport, so we opted to take the Uber boat.

It took us close to the Eye, and I love this photo--you can see how dark the sky has gotten.
When we got off at the Westminster station, it was hailing!

One of the first photos I took at the beginning of the week was of Big Ben. And I chose that as my parting shot.

We had opted to get a room at the Hilton Garden Inn that was within walking distance of our gate in Terminal 3 of Heathrow. After dinner, we headed up to the 14th floor, where there was a really nice bar with a beautiful view of the airport. I read that flights land and take off at Heathrow every 45 seconds. Aaron loves tracking planes, so while he taught me how to play cribbage, we watched the planes from all over the world. It was a great way to end a trip of a lifetime. I'll have a few more thoughts tomorrow.


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