Sunday, November 13, 2011

London, Folkestone, and Dover

We had a great time in England!  We arrived before 6 a.m. in London so we had a bit of time to see the sights.  We had only two places that were musts. Two years ago we had seen most of what we had wanted to see on a lay over in London.  What we didn't see was the Tower nor did we ride a double decker bus.  We made sure this time to do both.  We knew we didn't want to be stuck on what has been called by some, the world's largest parking lot, the M25, so we knew we should be back to the Avis before 3 p.m.  We ate a quick bite at the airport and then hopped on the Tube.  I love the Tube!  It is so easy to navigate, if you don't let the map overwhelm you.

We got off at Piccadilly and walked around a bit. We went to Trafalgar Square since that was another place we missed the last time.  I forgot to put these pictures in the slide show so I'll just add them here.

We hopped back on the Tube and made our way to Westminster station.  Here is where you will see Big Ben, Parliament, and of course Westminster Abbey (which we have managed to miss both times in London, I guess we'll have to go back sometime).  Here we decided that we should ride the London Eye.  The giant Ferris wheel takes 30 minutes to complete a revolution, and you get great views of the city!  We thought we might have to stand in line for a while, but we got there right as it opened and were actually on the second pod to load.  I'm so glad we decided to add that to the day. 

From there we hopped on a bus.  When we were in London last time Elijah was crushed that we didn't have time to do this.  I think he was a little let down that it was an open air bus, but that was to come later.  We got off this bus after a few stops because we weren't quite sure where it was going.  Not a good thing to do in a large town.  We did know that it wasn't far from our destination.  We were also getting pretty hungry by this time.  We stopped in a little cafe and had a nice English breakfast; t brown toast, eggs, and smoked salmon.  Definitely not your southern breakfast from back home, but tasty just the same.  Then on to the Tower.  We came to London Bridge and walked along the Thames to Tower Bridge and crossed over.  We were starting to run out of time, so it was a good thing I had prebooked our tickets.  We walked around a bit and headed towards what I really wanted to see, the Crown Jewels.  WOW!!  I just wish that we could take pictures.  Here we had a bit of a surprise, in a city of over 7.5 million people and who knows how many tourists, we saw people we knew!  Dave and Shadise!  That was probably way too much Okie for the Tower to handle in one day, but I don't think it suffered too much.  We didn't get to stay as long as I would have liked (another reason to return sometime) but we wanted to be sure to get out of London before rush hour.  Back to the Tube,

Now here is where it got interesting.  We got our car, steering on the right of course.  Manual transmission to boot.  Now Jeff had driven this way in Tobago many times so that wasn't an issue.  What was an issue were signs telling you where to go right at where you were to turn.  No signs a block or two ahead of the turn, just at the turn.  Of course we were in the wrong lane every time.  It took over an hour to get out of Heathrow!

Wow, this is long and I haven't even gotten to Folkestone.  Okay short and sweet.  At Folkestone we had a bungalow that looked out over the channel.  We could see France from our living room.  Jeff and Elijah even dove into the Channel for a swim, a very short swim.  We spent a lot of time with friends.  We also made it to Dover castle a couple of times.  I highly recommend it and the wartime tunnels are a must.  I couldn't find all my pictures from Folkestone, so I will post them later. 

Next post: Scotland!

No comments:

Post a Comment