Friday, December 30, 2011

Europe Day 11 & 12 - London (October 2nd & 3rd)

This morning we actually slept in. Our British friends were still at the hotel and they offered to give us a ride to the tube station. That was a lifesaver. I am not sure if we had a plan to get back to the tube station, luckily we didn't need one.

We got back on the tube and the plan was to put our bags in locker storage at the Liverpool Station. We were staying at a hotel near the airport tonight so we didn't really want to have to go all the way out there and then come back to do some more stuff in the city.

I am so glad that a majority of our trip to London wasn't on a weekend. Because of the Olympics they are doing a lot of construction on the tube stations so getting around was a huge pain. We ended up walking outside because it was becoming impossible to get to the Westminster stop. On our way to Westminster Abbey we went by Buckingham Palace and through St. James Park.

Buckingham Palace

St. James Park London

Big Ben & London Phone Booths

Our afternoon plan was to go to the Evensong at Westminster Abbey. It is expensive to actually go into the Abbey as a tourist, so we did the Evensong and I would really recommend it. You don't get to look around as much, but it was pretty neat to hear the all male choir sing.

This is the inside of the smaller church near Westminster Abbey. You weren't supposed to take photos, but I took this before I read that sign.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

After the church service we did another Rick Steve's walk. This was the Westminster Walk and it was much shorter than the City of London one we did. Here was our route.

Westminster Walk Map

First up was the London Eye. We didn't actually go on the eye since it is kind of expensive and we have both done it before.

London Eye

Here is Downing Street. This is the street the Prime Minister lives on. You see the black building behind the fence, that is the Prime Minister residence.

Prime Minister House

London

London

We ate dinner at a place called Long Acre near Trafalgar Square. It was pretty good.

Dinner at Long Acre

After dinner we headed back to Liverpool to go to the airport to take a shuttle to the hotel. Here is the method we used for carrying our backpacks after day one.

Sara and Patrick with backpacks

Getting to the airport was pretty uneventful, but finding the shuttle bus and buying a ticket was another hassle. We finally got our tickets and after three people told us different things, we found where the shuttle bus left from. We arrived at the hotel, showered, packed our bags up for the airline and went to bed.

Our flight left at 7:30am, so we were at the airport early. We spent the rest of our pounds on chocolate in the airport gift store. We got to our gate and unfortunately did not go to the bathroom before we went through the gate security. After we got back from the bathroom both of us had to be patted down.

The 8 hour flight from London to Chicago went much quicker than the one from Chicago to Rome. We had at least five seats in the middle sections all to ourselves. And on this flight we had our own in flight entertainment. We each watched at least three movies and a ton of tv episodes. I guess if you are going to sit on airplane that long, movies are the way to go.

We arrived in Chicago and had a very short window to go through customs, re-check our bags and make it to our gate. We arrived at our gate with only a few minutes before our flight home left. We arrived at MSP and Ty picked us up and brought us to Patrick's office where our car was. We were both very happy to be home after a good, but exhausting trip.

Here are our favorite memories of the trip.

Patrick's Euro Adventure Favorites:
1. When I knew we were done with Italian train rides
2. Getting back to Regent's Park after 8 years
3. Checking out the English countryside

Sara's Euro Adventure Favorites:
1. My spaghetti lunch in Florence.
2. The Evensong at Westminster Abbey.
3. Being a part of Alex & Paula's wedding in London.

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