We hit the ground running this morning, with an early start - so much to pack in to the day! MyTour Leader Sue has the route planned to provide maximum coverage of things on my list, and although my body still isn't sure whether it's day or night and consequently whether I should be awake or asleep, I'm ready to show it that I'm in London now, so enough lagging, let's get touristing!
First up was a flight across the Thames by cable car! (The Millenium Dome visible in the top photo).
We walked down the Embankment,
Highlights of a day walking round London:
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
and Westminster Abbey, which stands right beside it.
Met this interesting plaque -
Then walked past the entrance to Downing St, where security guards with big mirrors on poles were checking the underside of cars,
and along to the Horse Guards.
We were on our way to New Zealand House
for me to vote in the General Election. For which, I was surprised to discover, my passport wasn't required!
Piccadilly Circus, all a bit overwhelming - the traffic, interesting architecture,
Through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, which was open to the public, so Sue left me there to collect the children from school, and I took the tour. What a magnificent place! Strangely - despite the gilt accents on ceilings, chandeliers and silk wall coverings in places - it was beautifully tasteful. I'm not big on displays of wealth or opulence but this was just gorgeous. The state rooms, familiar as backgrounds to the royal family photos over the generations are actually awe-inspiring. I was enchanted!
In the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
Needed the refreshments marquee afterwards!
Back through Green Park to one of the highlights - I caught the RIGHT tube, which took me to the RIGHT place to catch the RIGHT bus (a double decker - I was even brave enough to go on top! Which put me much further away from the door when it was time to disembark, hence the bravery..) to meet up with Sue and the kids at their tennis lesson at East Ham Central Park. Anyone who knows how geographically challenged I am - well, feel free to marvel! I DID ask a policeman for help at one point, and I DID struggle to find my way out of the Canning Town tube station, but a most successful first exercise in getting around by London public transport!