Please Mind the Gap

The title of this post serves two purposes. One, this post is about our trip to London, England and "Please mind the gap" is something you will here quite frequently if you travel the city via Tube. Two, we went to London over Thanksgiving...

London was a spectacular trip. We booked our trip through a travel agency that works with the USO (United Service Organization). Had we done a little research before booking the trip we would have gone to London on our own. The bus trip took over 15 hours. To make matters even better, there was a baby aboard and the only way to make her be quiet was if the parents played one of her musical toys. I still can't get "Wheels on the Bus" out of my head.

We drove through the night and boarded a ferry to get over the English Channel. This was my first ride on a ferry (Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD doesn't count). The trip was really smooth and within about an hour and a half we could see the cliffs of Dover. Dover is a really beautiful little English town.

Finally, after a couple more hours on the road we arrived in London! We met up with our local tour guide Reginald. He was exactly what I have always pictured an older local Brit would look, talk and act like. He gave us a brief history and explanation of various London landmarks such as the Tower of London, Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and (my personal favorite) Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married.

Me & Boomer
When we were walking through the park to Buckingham Palace, I saw someone walking around in a mascot costume. When I looked closer I realized it was Boomer Sooner! In case you don't know, I am a BIG Oklahoma Sooner fan. I had to go all the way to London to finally get a picture with Boomer!
We visited London when the Turkish Prime Minister was visiting the Queen, so the street leading up to Buckingham Palace were lined with huge Union Flags and Turkish Flags. The Queen was home, we knew this because her personal flag was flying above Buckingham palace. We didn't see her though, and I made Chris go back to the palace twice with me, hoping I might be in the right place at the right time!

We ended up ditching the tour group and did our own thing. Our hotel was pretty far from London proper, but the Tube (London Underground, the train system) was great. for about £7 you can get an all day pass and ride the Tube as much as you want. I believe it also worked on the buses, but we didn't go on any buses.

For those of you who don't know, I am a pretty big nerd. I kept it in the closet so to speak for quite a while, then I met Chris and it all came out. With that said, Chris and I did the coolest thing in London... we went to the Doctor Who Experience!!! It was SO fun! I am a huge Doctor Who fan. We went on an "adventure" with the 11th Doctor, took a "ride" in the TARDIS, almost get exterminated by a Dalek, and almost attacked by Weeping Angels. At the end of the adventure we walked through a museum of props, costumes, and bits of various sets from the show. It was great!

After the Doctor Who Experience, we walked to Knightsbridge and checked out all the shops. We took a walk through Harrods, which was madness with people Christmas shopping. Downstairs there is a Diana and Dodi memorial that Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed had commissioned.

Something that I thought was really neat was most museums in London are free. They do have a sign suggesting a freewill donation of around £5. We walked through the National Gallery and the British Museum during our visit to London.

We also went to Platform 9¾ at Knights Cross Station. I didn't believe Chris that it actually existed, silly me! We had a hard time finding it at first, so Chris went up to a station worker to ask. I thought to myself "oh this is a little embarrassing" but the station worker didn't even blink an eye and directed us right to it! I guess I forgot how popular Harry Potter was!

Since we can't get Jammie Dodgers in Germany (or back home in the States for that matter) Chris bought 10 or 12 packages of Jammie Dodgers at a shop. You may think that's overkill, but we've had to ration them out since we got back to Germany!

 Chris and I agreed we have to go back, there was just too much to see in such a little amount of time!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you had an amazing time!! Thanks for sharing :) I love the Dr. Who adventure....good thing you found a fellow nerd to spend your life with!! MISS YOU! Keep sharing your adventures, I have found myself going back to read some of the older ones even when I check out new ones!