Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lindsey and Eugene's Euro Trip 2013 - London

Eugene and I planned a 4 week trip to see major sights on Western Europe in July 2013. We are spending one week on our own in London and Brugge and then taking Rick Steves' 21 day Europe trip. At the start of our trip I am 17 weeks pregnant!

July 2, 2013

Eugene and I flew United from SFO to London on July 1st, arriving in London on July 2nd at 7am.

One funny - as we were waiting in line for SFO security Eugene was joking about how funny it would be to make a Facebook page for our baby - same banter as we usually have. A crabby 30 something woman immediately turned around to us with an extremely disgusted face and said "you have got to be kidding me, I'm back in the States for an hour and already hearing this rediculous s#&$" hahaha, so funny. The jury is still out on ethics concerning social media for babies....

The Heathrow train took us to Paddington Underground station and we took the Underground from Paddington to the nearest station to our hotel, Victoria.

The hotel, Luna Simone was recommended by Rick Steves. Overall great experience - clean, well appointed and friendly owners and staff. Complimentary breakfast in the morning with everything from eggs to yogurt and great coffee and tea. Reasonably priced at 110 GBP per night with the Rick Steves discount.

We arrived at the hotel by 10am and dropped off our luggage. Headed to Tower Hill Station to see the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Lines to get into the Tower of London were REALLY long, probably took an hour to get tickets at 22 GBP per ticket. Not cheap either. I guess the Queen likes her tourism revenue - more on that later. Once in the Tower of London we first stood in line for 30 minutes to see the Crown Jewels, all worth the wait and very neat to see. There are some pretty incredible pieces in there. We then walked around the grounds and toured the White Tour, which was really a museum in itself with an impressive collection of era museum pieces - swords, cannons, etc.

Eugene VERY tired outside the Tower =)

The Moat

Guard doing his routine walk

Artwork made from military gear - White Tower

Cannons and swords used to protect the Tower.

We took the London Cruise boat from Tower Pier back to Westminster Pier. Had the opportunity to see all of the sights along the Thames River, including Big Ben, London Eye and The Houses of Parliament. 

We were super tired from traveling, so we grabbed dinner at a great recommendation by none other than Rick Steves - Grumbles in Pimlico at Belgrave and Churton. We both had excellent fish dishes with plenty of olives, salad and bread with butter. Num Num.

Trains - Are SOOO crowded in London and so busy. You literally get sucked into the crowd and pushed along. Eugene was particularly disgusted with all of the coughing and sneezing on the trains - we thought he was a city boy!?

July 3, 2013

Today we took a bus tour to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle through International Friends tours. 

Stonehenge was an incredible experience, truly awe inspiring and provided some closure to all of the Discovery Channel shows Dad and I have watched with everything from history of the area to alien conspiracy theories.

Happy Sheeps

Bath is a town made primarily of Limestone, where the oldest Roman Baths remain intact in Western Europe.

Windsor Castle

July 4, 2013 - Touring the heart of London on the Independence day of our country.

Views from the Thames & Westminster Bridge

From the "Winston Churchill Square"

Westminster Abbey

Horse Guards

Trafalgar Square

To Buckingham Palace & Changing of the Horse Guards

Piccadilly Circus Infiniti Dealership

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