I got up (fairly) early Friday and spent all day doing the tourist thing. I caught the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace and then wandered up the Thames seeing all the must-sees in London: Westminster, Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey. I even bought a ticket to see a performance at the Globe Theatre…a replica of the one where Shakespeare’s works were performed. Here is a smattering of photos from my day:
The changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace was quite the ceremony. It lasted upwards of 45 minutes. The band played a bunch of patriotic music, as well as classics such as….Everything’s Coming Up Roses…? The soldiers got yelled at by their superiors if they were not lined up correctly and there was a lot of ceremonial shuffling of feet in the gravel to get lined up again. All and all, an impressive show, but I don’t think there will ever be anything quite as eloquent and emotional as the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in DC.
Some of the gardens near the palace:Big Ben:
The Scientology center of London. I thought about hanging out to see if I could catch Tom Cruise, but instead I might go back to see an informational video on Monday. It’s the only free thing that Scientology offers.
Dan and I also went out for tapas and then met some of his friends for drinks. Most of the pubs in London have a midnight last call, so drinking starts pretty early! Places start filling up with people around 8 o’clock and the place we went to for tapas was packed with people starting their weekend right after work! As I travel the world, I become more and more convinced that no one knows how to booze like the British. Their stamina and tolerance is staggering.
I’m still working on my post for Saturday’s events, I’ll probably post it tonight!