London Log: Day 1 - Arrival, Tate Britain, Westminster Walk

London Log Day 1

We had a seamlessly easy trip across the pond from Portland to Seattle to London. Our first glimpse was of the London Eye along the River Thames. I cried. I have dreamed about going here for so many years that it is really a dream come true.

Based on the good information I got from YouTube and from TripAdvisor. We also had a seamless trip through Immigration and right on to the Underground. It was a LONG hike down to the belly of the Heathrow Beast. There was only one Oyster Card station open, and a person was explaining to her friends what it was and asking what kind of thing they should buy. I asked politely, “We know exactly what we want, do you mind if we just get it really quick?” They were great. By the time we had finished there was a long line waiting for the one kiosk. Thank you sweet little Japanese woman in the YouTube video that explained exactly how to get one!
We hoped on the nearly empty Piccadilly Line and got our first glimpse of London when it popped up above ground. We got off at Hammersmith and truly walked only about ten feet to the other side of the platform to catch the District line to Victoria. The whole thing was quick and seamless. Thank you Trip Adviser people.

The only wrinkle was we could have exited at Victoria on either side of the train. We picked the one that did not come out onto Wilton Road, but the opposite side of Victoria Station. So we had to walk the long way around to find our lovely Premier Inn Room. The good news is we saw where we need to pick up our Golden Tour tickets on Thursday.

We had already done checked in to our hotel online from the States. There was a helpful girl who brought us to the kiosk, and we only had to submit our last name, and our key cards were delivered through a machine!

John William Waterhouse - The Lady of Shalott - Google Art ProjectWe quickly changed because the weather was a comfortable 75, and we were dressed for the cold plane. We were out of our room and on the road, walking to the Tate Britain for the hour of its time. We got to see William Blake’s special room! We also got to see many of my favorite artists like Copley, Gainsborough, and Millais. I especially loved Ophelia by Millais and The Lady of Shalott by Waterhous. Also, the people in the museum were SO friendly and helpful.

Here is a silly thing I have I have noticed about Brits: they smell nice! People in the States do not wear scents anymore for fear or causing someone with allergies to have problems. I love the lovely perfumes that wafted by as women walked by me! Funny thing to notice. 

After this, we walked down to Westminster Abbey to see if we could see the last part of the free Sunday Organ concert, but they had closed the door. We were outside with the HORDES of people, but everyone was happy and polite. The sun was hitting Big Ben’s gold in an amazing way. We took pictures.
They we walked out into the middle of the Thames on the Westminster Bridge and listened to Wordsworth’s poem about it. I listened to an audio tour called the “Westminster Walk” while George read it in our book. We walked from the middle of the bridge, past the statue of the Celtic woman who resisted the Romans, Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square, the memorial to World War I and II soldiers, the Banqueting House, 10 Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square. Then we walked down the Mall and through St. James Park. There were throngs of people picnicking, but it was great.

Then we realized we were hungry and that we needed money. So, we Googled for an ATM and ended up going by this great Pub. We got the money and ate at the Pub. We had our first installment of “Pub Grub” at The Albert in Westminster. Wow! So good. We shared a Steak and Ale Pie, and the pastry crust was perfection! We also tried hard ciders from Sweden.

We ran into two people from Texas visiting for work as they walked to Victoria Station, and we walked back to our hotel not far away.

We unpacked and took showers and now George is fast asleep, and I am not far behind.

Such a perfect London Day 1!

Walked 4.8 miles + Walking in airport to Tube station + Tate Britain for 1 hour
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