Big Ben,Parliament,London Eye,Millenium Bridge,St Pauls,No 10 Downing Street and more....

Published: May 31st 2009
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The sunshine Gods continue to look down on us and although a slightly cooler day than yesterday is forecast(high 21C)it will be another brilliantly fine and sunny day.
We thought we had better be a bit more on the ball and resolved we must be on the subway by 10am.So with the time target in mind we hoofed it off acrossthe rail to the other flat to use the shower.
Barking is not one of your upmarket suburbs of London and one thing that hits your eyes in the morning is the rubbish left on the footpaths from the day and night before.Yesterday I did see a guy along our street pciking up rubbish but perhaps because it is Saturday they don't work today.
People tend to be late risers and there weren't too many around even at 8am.
With another full breakfast of cererals and scambled eggs inside we were off on our scheduled time to the subway.
There were some line closures today but they weren't going to affect anywhere we were going.The only decision we had to make was which of the 8 platforms at Barking station did the District Line leave from
Our plan for the day also took in another visit to PC World to buy the replacement Kodak camera so Gretchen would be back in charge as chief photographer for the trip.
With that done it was back to the subway and onto Westminister for the start of the walk for the day.
On the walk to the subway I spotted a hairdressers,Mr Toppers, that didnt look too busy for a Saturday morning and called in to get my summer haircut,a #2,which should last me for quite a few weeks.A good deal too at GBP7,about what I would pay at home.Gretchen meanwhile started to set her new camera up and come to grips with some new and extra things the new camera has that the old one didnt have.
With today being Cup final day at Wembley there were a lot of people around with either Everton and Chelsea shirts on.We werent sure if they were heading for the game itself or just one of the huge number of pubs that were advertising that the game would be on their big screen at 3pm.Although I love the game we had even more important sightseeing to do today.
We popped up from the underground at Westminster and there was Big Ben!! and the Houses of Parliament !!
We joined the throngs on Westminster Bridge stopping and looking back at the two mar icons of London and taking photos and video.We had arrived just Big Ben had struck the hour but we did get the quarter and half hour bongs while we spent time on the bridge.
We were getting the munchies and I had spied a McD's sign with a 99p chicken mayo on special and only 5 minutes away over Westminster Bridge.So we thought this should be easy to find.How wrong we were and after following a road that took us away from the bridge for more than 5 minutes we gave up and called into Waterloo Station cos we wanted to see it anyway and there was McD's.Not the one that we wanted it turned out(more about that soon)but we were ready for something to eat and drink and opted for a couple of chicken wraps as the chicken mayo wasnt on their menu.One finds that the McD's menus vary often between stores that are near each other.
After taking some video of the massive station concourse and hundreds of people going in all directions we walked back to the embankment for more views of Parliament and Big Ben.Gretchen decided to try out one of the new cameras options.It allows perfect self portrait pictures to be taken so we tried it with us and Big ben in the background.The picture was steady but we were in part light and so we have shadows on us.
We then started to stroll on the embankment towards the London Eye.It was as we turned left that we found the McD's we should have been looking for earlier.And it was 5 minutes away and not the 20 it took us to the station!!
There were so many people and so much going on from a woman doing the hula hoop with 5 hoops all going at once to musicians and people as those painted statues.
We looked at the queue for the London Eye but gave up when you could see we would be hours waiting to get on board.The sun really had brought out the multitudes.
Just before we reached the Globe Theatre and the Millenium Bridge we came across a couple enjoying the bright and warm London sunshine(see the photo!!)The Poms love to get their tops
Does anyone know this couple??Does anyone know this couple??Does anyone know this couple??

The English enjoying the sun!!
off when the temperature goes up.!!
We walked across the bridge to St Pauls Cathedral which dominates the scene at that point on the Thames.
We were both blown away by the inside of the cathedral and it was far more impressive than the churches and cathedrals we had seen so far although Gretchen reckons wait for the Vatican and of course we still have Westminster Abbey to see.
The cathedral is over 300 years old and was built after the Great Fire.There has been a church on the site for hundreds of years.
The interior is so interesting with statues dedicated to many Brits who served the country in wars over the years.The crypt is very spooky with many well known Brits buried there including Florence Nightingale,Lord Nelson and Christopher Wren,the architect of the building.And of course Diana and Charles were married there.
We climbed the 257 steps to the whispering gallery where you supposedly can stand on one side and turn to the wall and whisper and it will be heard on the other side about 60 metres away.All sounded a bit much and I dont think it would work when there were so many people visiting the cathedral and making the hum they did.
We then climbed another 109 steps which took us to the outside of the cathedral and views up and down the Thames.
It was then off down Lugate Hill stopping in at a pub for a beer that turned out to be of the warm English variety.Must remember to avoid those in the future!!!and there are plenty of labels to choose from.Carling Cold is becoming our favourite when its been a hot day.
We continued along Fleet Street and eveually reached Trafalger Square which was packed with people,many cooling off in the fountain.
A short distance away and we were at Downing St.The street is so well guarded that its almost impossible to get a good photo.The street is fully fenced off and there were 3 armed police on patrol.While we watched a couple of cars were let in and we wondered whether they held more MP's resigning after being found out for claiming expenses they hadnt incured.This is the latest revelation that is rocking the Labour Govt although to be fair there have been opposition members also caught up in it too.
Then it was on to Westminster station for the trip home but not before taking in the Tamil protest(SriLankan)that has been going on for the past couple of months.There had been something on TV that said it had so far cost GBP19M just to police the demonstration!!!!
We called into ASDA supermarket on the way home and picked up what turned out to be very tasty pork chops for dinner.
So many highlights today and we were ready for an early night after watching Britain Has Talent final in which the favourite came second which we are sure will create news that will be talked about for the next day or two.


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