A Travellerspoint blog

Day 20 - London

This morning the weather had improved and we had no rain even if the sun didn't really shine. First up was a walking tour to see the Changing of the Guard. This tour states off at Piccadilly Circus and you get a commentary as you move to St James' Palace. The guide takes you to various spots on the route from St James Palace to Buckingham Palace and at each point there is a special sight of guards, horses, bands etc moving about as part of the ceremony. Most the action happens away from Buckingham Palace so it was good to see all the behind the scenes action. We got to see Household Cavalry, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and mounted police. At Buckingham Palace the crowds were horrendous and it was hard to see much at all. There were still barricades in place from the State Opening of Parliament yesterday. This made criss crossing the streets more difficult. The Police were very jumpy and we found out tonight that some bloke had scaled the walls of Buck Palace last night! The Queen and Phil the Greek were in residence and there was a Garden Party in the grounds of the Palace this afternoon. Our invitation obviously got lost in the mail!

We walked through Green Park and had lunch not far from the Ritz. It was a restaurant bar full of business types doing deals. Channe got the seafood mixed grill - an impressive sight!

After lunch we walked to Oxford Street to have a look at the shops - we could have bought anything from a Bentley to diamonds, high end clothes etc. Channe enjoyed some clothes shopping in Marks & Spencer.

We wandered around for most of the afternoon then caught a random red double decker bus. This ended up going to Parliament Hill Gardens which are next to Hampstead Heath in north London. The bus route took us through rich and poorer areas. At one point we saw an interesting person dressed in white - it could have been a woman or a man dressed as a woman - sitting outside a grotty Starbucks café. At the next table were some down and out types who were doing their drug deals from the table on footpath! Yep we saw the drug deals going down!

We changed buses and came back along a similar route to Victoria Station. Here we were able to catch the Circle line tube to Barbican. It was a super crowded trip with long delays due to a signal failure.

St James Palace awaits

St James Palace awaits

Pipers

Pipers

Changing the guard

Changing the guard

All the Kings horses

All the Kings horses

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Seafood grill

Seafood grill

lady in white

lady in white

Posted by JHarman 10:51 Archived in United Kingdom

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