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Country #14: United Kingdom

May 12, 2011

Last time I was in London was for work in 2008 as part of a great European swing.  It was during that trip that I had one of my most memorable travel moments: getting to have a meeting in 10 Downing Street.  The meeting itself was quite eventful and had some interesting moments but that is a story for another time.  Also, I would put up a picture of my goofy self outside of the front door but I can’t find it right now, sorry.

This time around there was no visit to #10 (no motorcade either, which would have been nice) but Jen and I had a good visit for the short stay.  I say short because we had to push our train from Paris to London back a little while.  Apparently when we booked the ticket something went wrong and we had to re-book, plus both Jen and Jack got food poisoning and so we stayed in France a little longer than expected.

Big Ben, Little Girl

One day in London, as Jen already wrote, we had a great meal at Chipotle and after that set off on foot to explore the city.  We took in some great sights, such as the London Eye (which is ridiculously expensive to ride – hence why we only have pictures of it and not on it).  Others included a stop by Waterloo Station, views of Parliament from the river, Trafalgar Square, and numerous phone booths.  Unfortunately there was no time to explore the National Portrait Gallery and we missed the Tower Bridge, but those will be for another trip one day.

Then, the next day we met up to go on a ride with Fat Tire Bike Tours London.  Much like our excursion in Paris, we had a great time riding around the city and seeing the sights.  Once again, it was so great to have someone that would give you the full history of the city and go into in-depth explanations.  It really enhances the experience and gives you a deeper appreciation for where you are.  We passed the typical places such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, and so on.  Plus, we got to stop in a pub for fish n’ chips and a cold pint – bloody brilliant.

The only bad part about London was the price.  Everything is pretty steep, especially rooms.  We ended up staying in a pretty nice place but that is just because we used some of Jen’s old Marriott points.  Not to mention the conversion rate from Dollars to Pounds is pretty brutal.  It’s probably a good thing we were not there for too long but certainly enjoyed our brief stay.

London Calling,
Steven

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