London, Rome, & Heart of Europe

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April 18th 2019
Published: April 18th 2019
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We really love our hotel!! Today started out with an unbelievable breakfast at our hotel which was included in the price. It was a typical English breakfast.....two eggs, ham, toast, Chocolate croissants, outstanding coffee and hot chocolate. Can't wait to have it again tomorrow! The staff here is so friendly. The young man who checked us in is available at all times and has taken a liking to all of us. His name is Flavio. He is Italian but lives here in London. He has given us great advice on places to visit, places to eat and how to move around the city.

Following breakfast we headed out to be picked up by our BIg Bus Tour Bus which is just a block from our hotel. We drove through Sussex Gardens (right near our hotel) and the guide pointed our the many chimneys on the rooftops. At one time every apartment had its own fireplace, hence the rooftop is full of chimneys. I tried to get a good picture to show you all. He said the problem was the smog from the fires made it difficult to see and breathe.

The next place we drove by was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Madame Tussaud used to tour around with her wax figures but I 1835 she settled on Baker Street and opened he museum. Many of her original works still exist even though some were destroyed by fire in 1925 and others were destroyed in German air raids in the 1940's. Because we were trying to get to the London Eye we didn't get off the bus except to change buses. Our guide was very informative and it was interesting to learn so many things about different areas and streets in London. We drove down Bond Street which is known for the most expensive shopping in all of Europe. We drove by Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. We saw the Her Majesty's Theater which houses The Phantom fo the Opera....the longest running show in London's West End.....playing there since 1987! We drove by the oldest house in London. It survived the great fire of 1666. We drove by the Tiipperary Pub, the oldest Irish Pub in the world except for in Ireland. We learned that Christopher Wren was the architect of London. He rebuilt London after the great fire of 1666 which included many famous structures including St. Paul's Cathedral and Kensington Palace (which we hope to visit tomorrow).

Our goal was the London Eye....the big ferris wheel that gives you great views of London. It is on the River Thames across from Big Ben and Parliament. It actually moves o slow that you board your car while it is still moving. The cars are enclosed and hold about 20 or so people. We were lucky enough to get in a car with a group of students from France on a school trip. I thought it would bother me being so high but you really didn't notice how high you were, just that you had a great view of everything along the river. We really got some great pictures! On the way there we drove across the Tower Bridge and the London Bridge. We drove by several sky scrapers, old building, and beautiful churches. We saw the site where William Penn attended school an where he was baptized (oldest church). We learned that London was the home of the very first traffic lights in the world and they were gas. We also learned that the first electric ones were in Cleveland Ohio!

As we were riding the bus, Shealyn spied a TJ Maxx. It was near Kensington Park just where we were going to get off the bus. It was actually TK Maxx but a very similar store. Of course we had to go shopping! We then went across the street to an pub called the Goat Tavern. We had our dinner there and it was excellent! From there we walked back to our hotel through Kensington Park. It was a beautiful park and we enjoyed the walk.

The highlight of the evening was going to see Mamma Mia. We hailed a cab to take us from our hotel to the theater. It was our first cab ride in London! Mamma Mia was awesome and the theater was beautiful!

We are back at our hotel and getting ready for bed as tomorrow is our last day before we fly to Rome! The internet here is very slow. I have to sit in the bathroom to even have service. It is hard to load pictures so I will only put up a few.

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