On Thursday morning, I woke up early, went into the cozy little kitchen area, and boiled some water for tea, in Rachel's electric kettle. Breakfast for Nuno and I, consisted of tea and leftover Victoria sponge cake!
I went to tidy up, gather our things, and pack up our suitcases because we would be out most of the day with Morwenna and Nathan, touring London on a double decker tour bus! I wanted to leave everything ready to go before we left, so that we could enjoy the day without having to worry about packing when we got back. After all, our train was departing at 6 pm, and we had to squeeze in all of London before then!
Morwenna and Nathan met up with us at Piccadilly Circus at 9:30 am. We had previously purchased tickets with the Original Bus Tour company, thanks to Morwenna's great idea! I'm so glad we did the tour as we could hop on and off as we wished and only saw the things we wanted. The tickets even included a river cruise on Thames River! Won't you come along with us?
We were exceptionally lucky, because the weather was FABULOUS! The sky was blue, and the sun was shining! I truly wasn't expecting this glorious weather in London! But, boy was I happy! It was perfect for sitting at the top of the bus and taking photos.
The first place we hopped off at, was Buckingham Palace. I remember being a young girl, and fantasizing about visiting this place one day. This dream of mine had derived from my love for Princess Diana. When I approached the gates, I thought of Catherine and Prince William, and how only a few months ago, they were right here, celebrating their wedding day!
Anita really wanted to see inside the palace, but when we got to the line up, it was immensely long and there would be at least an hour's wait just to purchase tickets. We decided against it, as it would take at least another hour just to tour the palace. We will save it for another time, when our stay in London is not so short.
Here we are, standing in front of the palace gates
The majestic iron gates surrounding the palace.
The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Our view of Big Ben and the parliament buildings from the top of the bus
Isn't it gorgeous?
This is the Big Ben clock tower. Did you know that "Big Ben" is actually the name for the large, 14 tonne bell, and NOT the tower? Even knowing so, everyone still calls the tower, Big Ben.
Okay, this is the last one, I promise!
Here are Morwenna and I, inside a telephone box! I mean, seriously, I couldn't get enough of these while I was there. Can it get any more "London" than this??
This is the London Eye. It is the world's tallest observation wheel, with views of the entire city of London. We did not attempt it, because most of the Canadians were too chicken!
Here we are again, Houses of Parliament behind us.
I had to sneak this one in, too.
At 11:45, we boarded a ferry for our cruise on the River Thames. Here are sweet Morwenna and Nathan, seated on the boat, with the London Eye behind them.
The London Eye, view from the boat.
The London Bridge
The London Bridge, over the River Thames
I thoroughly enjoyed the River cruise. Our tour guide was very dear and informative. Unfortunately, I can't remember his name. I think I can speak for all of us when I say, we had a blast! The weather was perfect, dare I say, even hot! Next, we decided to stop for some lunch.
We ended up at a gourmet burger joint, close to where we exited the cruise. Here are Annabel and Anita enjoying their milk shakes.
Just look at the size of this baby! I have to say, this burger had gourmet written all over it! I loved the melted Stilton cheese, smokey bacon, and delicious house relish!
The four of us, about to savor our juicy burgers. The fries came shortly, thereafter.
Lunch was incredible! We were all very satisfied. The conversation was great too! We felt so comfortable being here with Morwenna and Nathan. They were so friendly and accommodating. We were truly blessed to have them share the day with us. I am so thankful to them for coming from so far (2 hours away!) to spend the day with us and make us feel welcome. Words cannot express our gratitude!!
We got back on the bus and stopped off here, for a peek at the stunning Westminster Abbey!
It was at this very church, nearly 5 months ago, where Kate and Prince William were married!
And that concludes our tour of the City of London. Due to our time constraints, we weren't able to go inside the buildings, as we tried to see as much as possible, in the limited hours we had. I think we did very well, indeed, don't you? We'll have to return to London again one day, to revisit places like the Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, but we will need several days to see it all!
Morwenna and Nathan took the bus with us, all the way to our stop. Thankfully, they walked with us and helped us find our way to the flat, where we said our goodbyes . I will always treasure that day, our first encounter and our time spent together. It was truly a dream come true!
Nuno, the girls and I, are so grateful to Morwenna, Nathan, Rachel, Paul, and Nuno's aunt, uncle and cousins, for extending their hearts to us while we were in London. How wonderful it was to feel so welcome in a city we have never visited before. We were never left alone, from the minute we arrived, to the minute we departed. Rachel was there to welcome us, and Morwenna and Nathan were there to say goodbye. Thank you, so much, from the bottom of our hearts! You and London have stolen a piece of our hearts! XOXO