I know I'm a couple months behind, but I thought I'd share some pictures from our European adventure!
We arrived on Christmas Eve and quickly jumped on the tube and headed into town. We heard that the Harrod's department store was amazing so we went there first. And it was amazing! The outline of the store is so much different than any of our stores. It was exciting to see all the Christmas decorations as well. Across the street in Hyde Park, was a Christmas Carnival. It was set up like the OC Fair during the summer (except you don't need to pay to get in). The carnival had tons of rides, food, and games. It was just interesting to see how other countries host fairs.
We had one full day in London and we made the most of it. Walking over 20 miles we saw all the sights that we wanted to see. We walked through Hyde Park which is massive. Very peaceful with the occasional fountain or memorial popping up. We did find the Princess Diana Memorial Path. We visited the Albert Memorial which is quite ridiculous. Very beautiful, but seemed unnecessary. Buckingham Palace was beautiful in it's own way. Very plain, but you can tell there's something special about it. I kept imaging The Mall filled with thousands of people for the Royal Wedding that took place last spring. The view of the palace from The Mall was amazing.
Even though it was Christmas Day, we were able to get into Westminster Abbey and sneak a picture. There was a tomb that was dated from the early 1500s. It's so interesting to think how young America really is.
Big Ben was impressive as was the London Eye. Since it was Christmas Day, most places were closed so we could not visit either one. Big Ben is part of the House of Commons and the entire facility is spectacular. You look at these buildings and you know they are old. We did read that the London Eye was a one hour long ride. This massive ferris wheel was pretty cool to look at, but we did not have an hour to spend in one location.
We crossed the Thames and started our long walk to the Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge was great, but again it would have been cool to go inside. Sadly, we missed out on seeing the Crown Jewels which means we'll just have to go back!!
We ended our day in London with a visit to Trafalgar Square and Picadilly Circus. Trafalgar Square included the National Gallery and Nelson's Column which is guarded by 4 bronze lions. These lions were massive and just amazing. While looking for Picadilly Circus, we walked by 10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minister lives. Apparently, pedestrians use to be able to walk right past the front door. Not anymore. Guarded with machine guns. No thanks.
We found Picadilly Circus which reminds me of Times Square. Bright lights and people everywhere!! This was the only time during the day that we saw a lot of people. Being Christmas Day it felt like we had the city to ourselves for the majority of the day.
And that is London in a day. Our next stop was Amsterdam!