London wandering 2
This morning I got up for a photo opportunity. I hadn't realised until we came back by boat the previous evening that we were so close to the river ( 5min walk) and that we were pretty close to Westminster.
So I grabbed my camera and headed down to the river. Unfortunately I made the silly mistake of only taking my zoom lens ... and the river was like glass and the reflections perfect, however with the zoom I couldn't get the reflection and the faint bit of blue in the sky, I took a few photos and decided to go back to the room to swap my lens. Lucky for me I decided to snap a photo with my iPhone before I left . . . . The image above is what I got.
By the time I got back just 10 mins or so later the wind had started and the river no longer was smooth. The image above is on the bridge. I love morning photo shoots.
Our first destination today was Buckingham Palace, we had tickets to see the state rooms.
We arrived pretty early (9:30) and there were people already lined up for the changing of the guard which would take place at 11am, at least we are well prepared for when we heard back on Wednesday for the same thing. Gadget being the best travel organiser had purchased early morning ticket for is to see the queens state rooms. I m sure I don't have to tell you that this was a no photo zone. So if your interested in seeing what the look like you can go here ( a newspaper article not great , but all I can find) the decoration for the rooms date back to George IV , but I think they were beautiful, very Elegant. We were fortunate to see a collection of gifts that her majesty has received over the years. They also had a display to commemorate Diana's 20 year anniversary showing her desk and a few personal items, all hand chosen by William and Harry.
Queen Victoria was the first Monarch to live in Buckingham Palace, however in those days it was known as Buckingham house. Prior to its royal ownership it was a large elegant townhouse. In 1761 it was acquired by King George III and gifted to Queen Charlotte. During the 19th Century it underwent expansion, the architect responded was John Nash.
The palace measures 108 metres by 120 metres, is 24 metres high and contains over 77,000 m2 of floorspace.
The household cavalry trooped past as we waited to go in.
After our tour we decided to have a bit of morning tea in the palace gardens. It was not cheap, but hey we need to help feed the Corgi 's.
Looking back at the palace from the gardens as we left.
After leaving the palace we headed to the Royal Mews. Unfortunately for us not only was the queen on holidays but so were the majority of her horses, the staff assured us they were having a lovely time . . . Lol
This is Louis, Louis is a Cleveland Bay. The Cleveland Bay was first selected to pull carriages by Queen Elizabeth I due to their natural strength and endurance. Unfortunately Louis didn't get to go on holiday as he was a bit lame early in the summer and they wanted to keep an eye on him.
One of the many Carriages stored in the Mews. Did you ever wonder why it was called the "Mews"? Well apparently when the site was first acquired The royal hawks were kept here, 'mews' derives from the word 'mew', meaning moulting, as the birds were confined there at moulting time. However that building was destroyed by fire in 1534 and rebuilt as stables, they decided to keep the name Mews
The gold state carriage has been used for every coronation since George IV. This carriage weighs as much as two London black cabs, and requires eight horses to pull it and can only be used at a walking pace. It is so large that they actually have to dismantle a section of the wall to get it out of the room it is currently housed in.
After leaving the Mews we headed into the west end. To
Liberty of London
Liberty of London was founded in 1875. Liberty's famous Tudor style facade was built in the 1920's using the timbers from two ships HMS impregnable and HMS Hindustan. I thought this was a gorgeous department store, I loved the huge open wells which flood the buildings with light and gadget is probably very relieved that we don't live here because our credit card would suffer badly.
We continued on down Regent street until we reached
By now it was starting to rain a bit.
The famous neon signs of Piccadilly Circus were undergoing renovation so instead we had the normal boring advertising signs. We decided to have a late lunch here, so we headed to Jamie Oliver's diner, it was pretty good and it was interesting watching all the people wander up and down.
We continued along until we reached Leicester square, by now it was really raining, so we ducked into M & M world, and had a look around there is some great merchandise here, but unfortunately our luggage is already bursting at the seams so none left with me . . . .
After this we headed home to rest our poor feet
Another great day, seeing the sites of London.