Monday, May 11, 2009

Vacation 2009 - day 8

April 28, 2009 - London

Slept in a little, crappy breakfast at the hotel, off to see Westminster Abbey. Weather was nice, so we decided to stroll through Kensington Gardens a little first. Got to Westminster Abbey, turned out to be closed this morning for some reason. Saw Big Ben and the the Houses of Parliament as we walked by.

Walked up to Trafalgar Square, past the Horse Guards and 10 Downing Street. Trafalgar Square and its Nelson statue were cool. We went into the National Gallery and made our way through everything except the pre-16th century works. We saw works by Rembrandt, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Monet, Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Turner, Raphael and others. Very impressive collection. We had lunch in the cafeteria underneath St. Martin's in the Fields. Decent food and good prices.

Then it was off to the Tower of London. Outside, they had set up a small catapult demo. Inside, we followed a guided tour by one of the Yeomen Warders - very informative and funny. He talked through the details of the Bloody Tower, White Tower, Traitor's Gate, etc. including a chance to go inside the chapel where those killed after being prisoners at the tower are buried, including Anne Boleyn. After the tour, we went in to see the crown jewels (very impressive and fancy) and then the White Tower, which currently houses a great Henry VIII exhibit, including a number of suits of armour actually worn by Henry.

Then we walked down the Thames a little, ate dinner (sandwiches from a Tesco), saw Christopher Wren's Monument to the Great Fire. Afterwards, we spent a few hours at an internet cafe near Trafalgar Square, walked down Charing Cross road (with tons of book stores) and then back to the hotel.

(pictures of London)

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