London, London, London... Let's say it's not what I was expecting, or I just didnt know much about the city.
Our location was ideal, we were located on the top end of Hyde park in a little studio apartment, close to a supermarket, pubs and small boutiques. Our favorite part of our location was spending so much time walking through the park, because its winter, the trees are empty and almost eerie. In these parklands we found Kengslington palace, and while we didnt pay to go inside we did run around the palace pretending to be Royals. The park is full of statues, memorials, lakes, squirrals, and very leafless trees, it was such a beautiful place.
We headed to Westminister Abby on foot, it was impressive, huge, old and detailed. We chose once again not to go in, to us, alot of these buildings are the same. From Wetsminister, we strolled through the streets finding our way to The Big Ben, another one of those places that has always been a must see. Once again impressive but once again, another old, detailed building. We stayed on the bridge near Big Ben until it struck 12 midday, afterall the chimes are the most exciting thing about the clock.
From Big Ben we made our way to Buckingham Palace, we were expecting to be huge and very busy with people but we found ourselves plesently surprised. There was a charity event just wrapping up at the Palace when we arrived, so there were alot of VIPs leaving the Palace, we stayed to watch incase we got a glimps of any members of the Royal family, needless to say we gave up after 20 mins watching with no luck. It was such a shame as we had just missed Prince William leaving 5 mins before we got there. There was no changing of the guards due to the event and security was tight, we are a little sad that the Queen didnt pop her head out and say Hi, afterall we flew all the way from Australia to visit her. After walking the city for such long hours it was time for us to take our favourite track through the park back to our apartment.
Market day! The day I have been most excited for. We had been told great things about the Camden markets. They go on forever, I mean they are huge! Some interesting characters in this part of London and as much as we enjoyed the stalls and goodies available, people watching was far more interesting. We enjoyed walking around them for a few hours, alot of the stalls are the same, and some have unique hand crafted items that were just beautiful. Picking up a few little trinkets, we were on a mission to find some food stalls and feed our hungry bellies. With a busy day of walking done, we heading home, enjoyed a pub dinner, some drinks and an early bed.
Tom finally won and dragged me out to visit some museums. I don't keep it a secret that I am not a fan of museums or art galleries. I try my hardest to take an interest but it just doesn't thrill me but for Tom he thrives on it, he loves reading about the history and learning new facts. It was no surprise Tom had the time of his life visiting the science and the natural history museums, he walked slowly and read every last detail in all the displays, and tried all the activites. Right at the end of the path, we did head through a gem section, filled with diamonds and all things sparkly, I wont lie, i did walk through this section a touch slower. We made it out eventually and im sure Tom has had his fill of education.
We have reached our last day, and although its been interesting visiting Londons sites, we dont exactly gell with the city, We wont be sad to be leaving. Deciding to spend our last day going see st Pauls cathedral, London Bridge and Tower bridge. Jumping on a big, bright red, double decker bus, we took a route through Oxford street which was so busy with a million christmas shoppers, choosing not to get off here was probably a good idea. Continuing on, we spotted some Christmas markets and decided to jump off the bus and check them out. Walking across a bridge we found the see of red marquees and quickly set about checking out the hand made goodies. Shopping worked up an apetite and Tom found a goulash stand that was just calling his name. I on the other hand had found a mulled wine and jager stand, of course I wanted to try this famous mulled wine. We tried, we spat it out and never will we try it again. That was a bad choice.
It was time to keep walking and find the famous London Bridge. Thinking we were heading towards it, we were so very wrong. Finding ourselves at Tower bridge, you know the bridge that is actually in all the photos from London, the big dramatic looking bridge, the bridge that isnt London bridge at all. Turns out we passed London bridge and it looks like any other bridge crossing the river. Seeing as we made it to Tower bridge we walked across, we were in awe. It was huge and incredibly detailed. No idea why they sing a song about the other bridge. We jumped on a subway and found our way to St Pauls Cathedral. It was quiet, picturesque and was relaxing sitting on the steps and taking a breather. After yet another day mostly on foot, we took our time and strolled back to our appartment to back up and prepare for the train in the morning.
So all of the above adventures happened.. on foot. Tom has this fitbit device that counts his steps and ks that he walks in a day, proud to say that since arriving in Europe we hit 8-10ks a day, After London, im keen to sit down for just a day, lucky we had a long train ride ahead of us.
We left london, and headed to Antwerp, and didnt make it. Belgium had an all day strike that stopped all rail services, So we stayed in a beautiful little town in called Lille, in France for the night. Waiting to see if we will make it to Antwerp tomorrow.