Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 1st: An Eye With a View

We didn't sleep as long as we might have wanted...since we only had one full day in London, we wanted to make the most of our time! We got up around 8am and went downstairs to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast.

A few people at work told me they weren't impressed by the food when they were in London. I think they were just eating in the wrong places...breakfast was really good! I had a bagel with scrambled eggs, salmon, and cream cheese, and Mark had French toast. A few minutes after we sat down a French lady and her daughter came in and sat down at a nearby table. When the waitress came around to take their order the French lady was trying to ask her to describe what French toast was, and what cinnamon was. It was a pretty funny conversation with the language barrier ("it's a spice? Like a stick? umm...Christmas!"), and the lady eventually wound up ordering (and loving) the French toast, which she picked up and ate with her hands like a regular piece of toast.   :)

We finished breakfast and coffee, made a quick stop back in the room, then walked down to the Tube. A transfer and a short ride later, we were at our first stop of the day:

...the London Eye!

When Mark had asked me what I wanted to do in London, this was the only thing that I kept coming back to that I really didn't want to miss (aside from the show, of course). The lines for both the tickets and entry itself looked long but moved fast, and in less time than we expected we were in one of the pods.

They were bigger than I expected! We probably had about twenty people in here.

We lucked out and had an absolutely gorgeous day...the view was great!

You could see the Shard out in the distance; it's the tall glass building on the right.

We had a great view of Big Ben and the House of Commons, too.

The Eye doesn't rotate very fast; I think I read somewhere that it takes about half an hour to make a full trip around. We had plenty of time to enjoy the view, which was great.

Since we were so close to Big Ben, we decided to make that our next stop after our pod got back to the bottom of the Eye.

We got sidetracked by a waffle, though. Oops. It was delicious and scenic, at least!

After inhaling our waffle, we crossed the Thames...

...and walked right up to Big Ben.

What you can't see are the dozens of other people also standing here, taking the same exact picture. We did at least get to hear it chime.   :)

I took a few more pictures while Mark grabbed a latte from a stand off to the side, then we rounded the corner, walked a bit past the House of Commons, and found ourselves at...

...Westminster Abbey. We were knocking out landmarks left and right! You could buy tickets to take a tour inside, but since we didn't feel like spending the time or the money (and you couldn't take pictures, either), we passed and decided to just enjoy the view from the outside.

We eventually made our way around to the Westminster Column, where I briefly lost Mark when I stopped to take a picture, then we kept walking north. We had a lot more stuff to see!

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