Hot, Hot, Hot....Sun, Sun, Sun....Not, Not, Not. Today was the coolest day since we arrived to London and we did have some rain. Before it rained we did take another long walk but as it began to rain we adjusted our course.
We did walk over to Piccadilly and then we made it over to the Royal Academy Of Arts Museum. After we visited the museum, we continued walking on Piccadilly. We eventually veered onto Regent Street where several high-end stores are located. As the rain came down we made our way over to Green Park. We had walked a portion of Green Park the first day we arrived to London.
We then stopped off at one of the Military War Memorials. The memorial was officially dedicated in the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee on June 28, 2012. The memorial is dedicated to the 55,573 airmen from the United Kingdom Commonwealth & Allied Nations who served in Raf Bomber Commmand & Love their lives over the course of World War II.
With the weather getting cooler, we stopped off at a department store to warm up before we made our way over to Harrods. Anne Marie did get a little Harrods tote bag. We walked some of the department including the Toy Department and the Gourmet area. We must have counted close to forty sales people just in the toy department which for us must be a dream come true for the children. The gourmet area was quite busy with many people purchasing items including candy. Eventually we made it to a restaurant where we each enjoyed salad entrees. After lunch we did some packing back at the hotel just to get much of this behind us.
We went out again in the afternoon. Although it was chilly, we braved the cold. As the afternoon continued at one point even the sun came back out. We walked by the Museum Of Natural History and the V&A Museums and then made our way to Hyde Park and over to Kensington Gardens. We then visited and toured Kensington Palace. On our way back we stopped by the Royal Albert Hall and then we toured the Science Museum. Since it was Saturday many people were touring these venues.
Following our afternoon of touring we went back to an Italian Restaurant where we had dinner the other evening. We enjoyed a nice salad and a salmon entree.
All in all it was a great day despite the morning rain and the colder weather. We love London. Next time we are here it will be warmer and we will plan to go to several other areas.
We enjoyed a nice dinner last evening and then a quiet and relaxing night back at the hotel. We reflected on the Motown Musical and how much we learned about the history of Motown. Many of the songs that were performed brought back memories from our time in grade school and in college.
We are thoroughly enjoying our stay at the hotel. It is relatively small and each person knows us by name. It does feel like staying at a house and we like that. We love its intimacy. They still use room keys and whenever we leave the hotel, we turn in our room key to the front desk so that they hold it for us.
We began our day with breakfast at the Hotel. We enjoyed coffee, fruit and cereal. As we have mentioned, our room rate does include a fully cooked breakfast but we find a simple and healthy breakfast is a good way for us to begin the day.
We then freshened up and went on a very long walk to The British Museum. On the way we passed by several sites including the Marble Arch.
We visited several areas of the museum and also saw The Rosetta Stone.
On our way back to the Hotel we walked one of the main shopping areas and we also took in all of the scenery all around us.
After having lunch, we went back out and walked for several hours. We first walked over to Piccadilly. We stopped by the Burlington Arcade which had many interesting stores, particularly ones specializing in Jewelry. One featured vintage Rolex Watches. We didn't go in the store but it said you could find one from your birth year. Not sure if they made them back them. LOL. We walked by the Ritz and then made our way to the Fortnum & Mason Store. Just like Harrods it is an iconic London store and very unique. It was quite busy with tourists and locals shopping for Mother's Day which in England is this coming Sunday. We also stopped by the St. James Church.
We then continued up Piccadilly and then decided to head towards Buckingham Palace and stopped by other areas on the way over there. We could see Big Ben. It was very busy with tourists and we took in all of the beautiful sites. We walked around the area for about an hour and then began to walk back to the Hotel. All in all a wonderful day.
We were fortunate to have had some periods of sun thought the day and while at times it was windy and cooler, we were dressed for the cooler weather. We walked over six hours between our morning and afternoon walks and covered a lot of ground. We had dinner at a nearby restaurant.
We began our second full day in London as we did yesterday with breakfast at the hotel. As we mentioned, our room does include not only a continental breakfast, but also a made for order breakfast including a full English Breakfast. We usually eat a simple and relatively light breakfast which is precisely what we did, enjoying coffee, cereal, and fruit. The service was terrific and the breakfast room is a wonderful place to enjoy breakfast and a quiet conversation.
After freshening up, we began our day with a nice long walk. The good news is that there was no rain and at times we could see the sun. We walked over to Grosvenor Park, passing some embassies along the way until we arrived to the USA Embassy. We viewed statues of former President's Ronald Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. All of this a reminder of the special relationship that our two countries have enjoyed during the 20th and 21st centuries. We walked for a couple of hours before having lunch.
In the afternoon we took a very long walk from the hotel over to the Shaftesbury Theatre where we saw Motown The Musical. Part of our walk included Piccadilly Circus.
The musical recently opened in London and featured 50 songs from the Motown Era and we were familiar with all of the songs.
It is a very upbeat show which we enjoyed very much. The show included the history of Motown. It is amazing how many artists began their careers with Motown. We returned via the Underground. We were able to walk utilize a station so that we could take only the Piccadilly line and avoid transferring trains.
We will post more tomorrow.
FIRST FULL DAY - LONDON
So far we are thoroughly enjoying our time in London. After we posted, we went on a two hour walk and revisited some areas that we enjoy going to. The good news is the rain stopped although it was slightly cooler than earlier in the day. The fresh air made us feel terrific. We felt very little jet lag.
We made our way from the Hotel past some iconic locations including Harrod's Department Store. We walked by several other familiar sites including Buckingham Palace. We walked over to the Royal Park. The last time we were at the park in July of 2015 the leaves were on the trees. This time we got a different view. The branches and the trunks of the trees stood out without any leaves, and at times they looked like characters from a cartoon. These are some photos from our walk.
We began our first full day in London with breakfast at the hotel. Our Room Rate included both continental breakfast plus a cooked to order breakfast from a menu. We opted to the continental and enjoyed coffee, cereal and fresh fruit.
We then freshened up and then began to explore. We experienced period of rain throughout much of the day and it was a bit chilly. We dressed appropriately. We spend several hours at the V&A Museum and the Museum Of Natural History. The Museum of Natural History was very busy with many school aged children visiting the museum as part of school related field trips.
We picked up salad entrees and brought them back to our room for lunch.
Given the weather, we decided to walk around the area near the hotel and that included visiting Harrods. They have an amazing area where they sell a wide range of gourmet food items, candy and wine. We also enjoyed walking around their toy department and we realized we don't even have to go to Africa to see the Big Five.
As many times as we have visited Harrods we find it to be an absolutely amazing department store. The variety of merchandise it carries is extraordinary. We can't even imagine how many people working the floor they employ. Unlike many department stores in the United States Of America where it can take you minutes to find an employee to assist you, just look in any direction and there are lots of employees in front of your eyes and they are all very helpful.
Later we had dinner at a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed a wonderfully prepared salad followed by a salon entree.
We love to travel and we look forward to and get so much out of each and every trip we take. Normally this time of year we would be sailing on Crystal Serenity as part of a World Cruise, which we have done eight times starting in 2007. This year we are spending more time at home to be with our ever growing family of three grand children
We were picked up at our home in the afternoon for the one hour drive to our regional airport for the flight to London Heathrow.
Once at the airport we checked in for our British Airways Flight. British Airways has one flight each day that is a direct flight to and from London Heathrow. This service began a couple of years ago. We have taken the flight several times since service began.
British Airways only operates this one flight so many of the personnel are involved with both the check in desk and the gate. The check in desk closes on our before the scheduled flight departure to allow the personnel to assist at the gate.
The man that we see at the gate has been at the check in desk and the gate on each and every flight we have taken since this service commenced. We asked him whether or not he takes time off during the week.
Recently, British Airways added First Class service in addition to Business and Coach Classes. We were fortunate to be able to use airline miles from our preferred USA airline to get first class and the miles were quite reasonable. The flight was actually half full and there were not to many people in first class.
Service was terrific. The flight actually took off one hour late but arrived only fifteen minutes after the schedule arrival time at London Heathrow.
After our flight arrived we made our way to passport control and there was no line so in a matter of a couple of minutes we then made our way over to collect our one piece of checked luggage which was already on the luggage carrousel. We then exited the area and met our driver for our drive over to the Hotel.
We are staying at The Egerton House Hotel. It is part of the Carnation Hotel Group. Our last couple of times in London we have stayed at a sister property called Hotel 41. We chose this property based on reviews we read, and its location which is near the V&A Museum.
Upon arrival to the Hotel we were greeted by two of the personnel who work at the Hotel. We were told that our room would be ready in ten minutes and we enjoyed a cup of coffee in a beautiful room where on can sit to read or have quiet conversation or at night to have a drink. It is well known for its potent Martini's. We enjoyed some coffee and when we went to the reception desk the person who checked us in showed us around the hotel and also escorted us to our room and spent fifteen minutes with us and was very helpful to us. This is a small hotel with rooms of various sizes. Our room is their one of a kind suite with two lovely rooms and even a small area to sit outside. With rain in the forecast we are not sure how much we will utilize the patio but time will tell. After freshening up we made our way outside for a short walk to pick up salads to bring back to the room along with a few items. There are lots of eating establishments near the hotel and we went to one that we are quite familiar with to get our salads.
We spent a couple of hours after lunch unpacking and then went out on a walk in the afternoon. We love London. Tomorrow we will begin touring around. We will post more tomorrow.
Welcome to our London Blog.
We booked this trip last August only a couple of days after we were in London and had visited Liverpool. Originally, we thought we would spend a couple of days in London and return to Liverpool but given the time of year where it could be cold and rainy in Liverpool we decided we would focus on London only. We love London and have spent many days touring this wonderful city on several different trips.
We will be flying to London on February 29 with arrival on March 1.
We will stay in downtown London for five nights from March 1 until we depart on March 6. We will then stay over at a hotel at the London Heathrow Airport.
We look forward to visiting several familiar sites and also taking in one performance at the Theatre.