Saturday, September 02, 2006

Day 1: Sunday, August 6 (London)

Getting to London was relatively easy. However, British Airways really sucks. The seats are small and extremely uncomfortable and their in-flight entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. I spent 11 hours with some jerk's knees in my back and a large British woman reclined in my lap.

But we survived, and upon landing at Heathrow made our way via the Tube to the Victoria Station and our Westminster neighborhood (yes, this is a picture of the Westminster Station--it's called artistic license).

Here is our hotel, the Luna & Simone bed and breakfast:

Very reasonably priced (for London) and although small, very clean and quiet with a nice breakfast every morning. The only drawback was that we were on the third floor and there were a LOT of stairs.

Determined to kick jet lag's ass, we quickly unpacked and headed out for the sunshine and Hyde Park. It was a perfect and sunny day.

Ah, Speaker's Corner. Most of the speakers were older men orating about the crisis in the Middle East and/or how much they hate Americans.

The only woman we saw was reading from a script about genital mutilation and didn't draw much of a crowd, so we listened to her for a bit to show our support.

The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in the park is really quite remarkable. It is an oval-ish structure that is low to the ground, with water that flows at different speeds at different parts. It is open to all for picnics and cooling off. Obviously the idea was to represent Diana as the 'People's Princess' and I think it is very effective and touching. We had some ice cream and checked it out.

We decided to try the pub food after leaving Hyde Park, but of course the one time you are actually looking for a pub is the only time you won't find one. We ended up walking an hour or so through a neighborhood that had all the foreign embassies and was quite impressive. I am not sure why I didn't take pictures of them, but I think I was probably trying to figure out where we were. We ended up heading back towards Westminster and our hotel and found a place to have some fish and chips and sweet, delicious beer.

That night we took a 2 hour bus tour called London by Night that motored us around to look at all the top sights all lit up. I wish I had taken pictures, or could even remember what we saw, but after not sleeping for almost 24 hours, I conked out for the majority of it. BVZ enjoyed it though, and would poke me whenever he saw something cool.

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