Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 3 -- May 14, 2012 -- A Rainy day in London...

It seems as though we slept pretty darn fantastic almost every single night of the trip except a few...  because we were always soooo tired from the day's adventures...  Our third day we just ran from place to place it seemed in London trying to see everything we could knowing full well we would be catching the train to Scotland that evening.

We woke up to our first day of rain...  (I must say that the weather for the most part cooperated extremely well for us) but we tried not to let that put a damper on our day.  We started out in hopes of seeing inside St. Paul's Cathedral.  On a normal day they allow you inside and you are able to climb the stairs of the big dome.  Unknown to us though they were having some sort of performance or something inside so we were not able to get inside the building.  It was pretty cool just from the outside though.  =)

There she be...

Racheal & I in front of the Cathedral

A cute little alley near the Cathedral...  You just don't see things like this in Logan, UT!

More of the Cathedral...

After being a bit bummed that we would not be able to get inside... we decided to go check out the London Bridge Experience....  It is this "haunted" experience where they take you down under the London Bridge...  It was interesting.  There was kind of an educational part which was cool and then there was a scary part that wasn't really all that scary.   They had people with chain saws and things that tried to scare you.  Kinda like a haunted forest or something of the sort.

They would not allow us to take pictures inside so this is all we got...

We then headed over to see the "Tower of London"   That was pretty cool!  We were able to see some of the Crown Jewels Collection.   It's pretty crazy what kind of Jewelry the Queen has available to her and what the Royalty had in the past...  While we were there, there were some actors who put on a little play and I ended up being the woman that one of the men was cheating on his wife with...  Kinda fun to be involved although not so thrilled when I found out my role.  =)  We didn't have loads of time to explore because I had made plans to meet back up with Kadija but we definitely took plenty of pictures!!!

Pretty darn AMAZING!!!

It's crazy how they pack so many HUGE buildings into one city!  =)

The kind guard...  letting people in to the Tower of London

The Crown Jewels were inside...  =)

Love this Picture!!!

I just found out my ROLE!!!

After the tower of London we headed to meet up with Kadija...  we explored a bit of the city with her including a ride on the London Eye.  To be completely honest, I'm not sure I'd spend my money on it again but it was cool to do it the one time!   The views were pretty amazing but it cost a pretty penny!

Eating Lunch @ a Pub with Kadija...  I think she just had dessert!

A cool street that had a great photo op!

The other side of the cool street!

Before going in to see the 4D experience movie they showed before riding the London Eye.

A view from inside the London Eye!
One of my favorites showing "the view"

Kadija & I above the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Yep...  we rode that thing!

Saying goodbye to my sweet Kadija!

Wasting time before heading to the train station to catch the night train to Scotland!!!

I couldn't resist taking a picture on GREEK Street!

I almost bought this for Mandy then I was too cheap!  Actually I wasn't sure if she'd be offended or not!

This was a food shop where we ordered milkshakes!  I loved the sign... they even let me behind the counter to take this photo.  It reads...  As a Courtesy to Others...  Please eat with your mouth closed!

Another fun sign @ the restaurant!

Day 2 -- May 13, 2012 London Continued @ The Windsor Castle

So... after a fantastic night's sleep in an incredibly comfy hotel bed, we were on to day 2 of our journey.  It took us a bit to decide what we were actually going to do with our second day in London...  We were trying to decide between the Zoo and the Windsor Castle.  Although it took a while to figure it out, I'm sure glad we decided on the Windsor Castle.  It was AMAZING!!!  We were hoping to possibly fit both of them in but they were just too far apart and by the time we figured out how to get out to the castle there just wasn't time to do both.   We had an amazing day though exploring the castle and the cute town around the castle!!!

The Windsor castle is actually still in use and the Queen was even staying there when we visited.  Many of the retired military men live there on the castle grounds as well.  It was sooo much fun talking to the workers who shared stories freely and just to see the astounding beauty of the castle.  I'm pretty sure I would not be cut out for the "royal life" but it was fun to imagine what it may have been like to live in such a place.  I think I would get tired of having to be proper all the time but maybe would like to try it out for a day or two!

Now for the best part...  here is a slight preview of pictures we took around the castle!

This is my FIRST ride in a double decker bus!!!

The WHOLE Windsor Castle....  It is GINORMOUS!

This has a funny story to go with it...  I'll include it below!
 This photo makes me laugh when I think of it!!!   We asked this kind woman if she would be willing to take a photo of us together...   Well, had we turned the other way, the massive, majestic castle would have been behind us, and quite frankly that is what we had hoped to have in  our picture but when the kind woman took this photo, we didn't have it in our hearts to tell her it wasn't really what we wanted.  We waited for her to pass by and then asked someone else to take a photo of us with the Castle.  =)

Us with the Castle...

One of the kind workers @ the Castle

Upon seeing this photo at the end of the day... we realized it kinda looks like I'm pooping a sign!!!  ;)  We got some good laughs out of that one... 

It was a pretty amazing building with some awesome Architecture!!!

This is the wing where the Queen was actually staying.

Changing of the Guards...

I'm sure he HATES the tourists who always want a photo!!!

After a fantastic journey through the amazing castle, we decided to just explore the town around the castle before heading back into London...  Some people had told us about a nature walk thing we could check out so we decided to head down that way to see what they were all talking about... On our way we stopped into a little restaurant to say hello to some men who were eying us down.  It turns out they were Albanian and spoke GREEK!!! I was in heaven with a chance to use some Greek.
The Albanian men who spoke GREEK!!!  They were waving from the window so we went in to say hello...

This sign just made me laugh...  There is a pub on the other side of the street where many people were drinking.  I'm not sure why you are not allowed to drink on this side of the street!

This is the nature walk.  Apparently the path goes on for miles and miles...  We decided to take some photos and call it good!

Just some fun doors to take a picture by!

The typical Red Phone Booth associated with London!

I just LOVE the feel of Europe...  Each place has it's own unique feel but all in all, it's amazing!  This photo helps me remember the quaintness.  =)

This is where I almost fell in the River trying to get a cool photo.

An adorable boy with a beautiful accent that we spoke with on our way back from Windsor.  He was on his way back to the University... He'd gone home for the weekend.

The bridge out near the Tower of London...  Not the actual "London Bridge"  I believe we are standing on the actual "London Bridge"

It was freezing by this point!  Can you tell?!?!  We didn't take many clothes for warmth!

This was taken because I was soooo looking forward to getting to see Wicked on our way home...