Day 148 - Our Day in Central London

Quite a contrast from yesterday, our Sunday is bright and sunny. Teresa and I, after consultation with Andrew, will be heading into Central London for a day of sightseeing. This is Teresa's first trip to London, so Andrew plots us a route which maximizes our exposure of the city.

I'm in it just for the ride. My only "must do" while visiting is to make sure I get to Fortnum and Mason. Because I'm all about the tea and biscuits. Forget about all the monuments, the history, the architecture, I'm here to eat!

Speaking about eating, did I mention Andrew is a major foodie and gourmet cook? Check out this morning's brunch - Boudain Rouge with Apples and Pine Nuts.
And yeah, "Boudain Rouge" is a fancy term for blood sausage. But it was delicious!

We took the tube from Hammersmith to the Tower Hill station, which brings you out to the Tower of London.
Old and New

We walked around the Tower, and then across the famous Tower Bridge to the south side of the Thames

The North Tower

Tower Bridge

This southerly walkway is called the Queen's Walk, and winds through numerous areas, museums and sights. These colorful baby elephant sculptures dotted the landscape wherever we turned. They are part of the Elephant Parade throughout London.
Elephants Everywhere

Since we've arrived in London, Teresa has been on the lookout for traditional fish and chips. We found some at the Anchor, an English Pub along the river:
The Anchor
In true UK fashion, the fish and chips are purchased at a counter inside the pub and then taken away to eat. We watched our fish come right out of the fryer and onto the plate. Served with malt vinegar. Yum.
Obligatory Fish and Chips

Next on our walking tour - the Millennium Bridge. You know, the famous footbridge featured in the opening scenes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Teresa recognized it as soon as we got close.

The bridge spans from the Tate Modern on the South Thames to St Paul's Cathedral on the North Thames. We walked across and back.

Once past the Tate Modern, we start to see street performers and vendors. I found this blue man quite interesting:
Blue Man Group?
And the most unusual skate park. Underneath the Royal Festival Hall, this skate park is covered with graffiti. Very unusual.
Commissioned Art

We passed the London Eye and started to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and Parliament.
Big Ben and Parliment

We cross the Westminster Bridge and catch a great view of the London Eye and the London Aquarium:
Being a Tourist

One of my favorite shots of the day - The Westminster Tube Station with Westminster Abbey in the background:

We walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Piccadilly Circus, a little underwhelmed by the "original Times Square". It pretty much looks the same as it did 20 years ago, during my first visit to London.

It's almost 5pm now, and we have some serious business to attend to - shopping at my favorite London spot, the Fortnum and Mason! We know that the store is open until 6pm, so we have ample time to peruse the vast selection of coffee, tea, jellies and jams. I even ventured upstairs this time and had to tear myself away from the cute tea sets and china.

Classic Colors

The last leg of our day entailed taking the Route 9 bus back to Hammersmith. We were instructed to be on the lookout for the "Special Route 9 Bus", aka the "Routemaster Bus". You alight these buses from the back of the vehicle. They run an abbreviated route - from Royal Albert Hall to Trafalgar Square. I spotted one of these buses as we departed Fortnum and Mason, and due to heavy traffic and us running down Piccadilly, we were able to board around Green Park.


Since this bus doesn't run all the way back to Hammersmith, we boarded another Route 9 bus (a modern double decker) and we arrived back at Michele's right on time, a little before 7pm.

Jeanne  – (June 6, 2010 at 7:12 AM)  

Wow Shirley! What amazing images and memories you've captured. Thanks so much for sharing them. I expect I won't be a stranger here or on my blog. Just need a little break. Will probably keep up with the every other week challenge just to keep my finger in it for now.

burrows  – (June 6, 2010 at 1:52 PM)  

Hi Shirley - Zachary (and I) enjoyed reading your blog and thinks the pictures are awesome. Of course, he immediately noticed a minor error in your reference to Harry Potter and the Millenium Bridge: it was the Half Blood Prince movie where the bridge was featured, not Order of the Phoenix. That kid has an incredible memory!!

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