I wrote this on May 27th while we were in London, but never published it.

So much happened today! We were supposed to start a day tour of London today at 8:15. Well! Because Parliament was opening today and the Queen was speaking there (this is the normal and usual way they do it), traffic was insane! Our tour bus had to take the most circuitous route in the world to the Tower of London. It took us two hours to make about a 20 minute drive! The worst part was that we saw a really bad wreck between two other buses. One of those red double-decker buses slammed into a yellow tour bus. All the passengers seemed ok as they were off the buses, but they were having to work on the driver of the red bus. I don’t think he was doing well.

We finally made it to the Tower of London and it was great! There is so much to see and we didn’t get to see nearly all of it, but it was incredible. Some of it was obviously very sad and gruesome (where they beheaded people, especially King Henry VIII’s wives). The crown jewels, on the other hand, were beautiful and amazing. The Queen’s crown was missing because she was going to be in full regalia this morning. We saw the largest diamond in the world and you know what? It was so big, it didn’t even look real! I thought it was a paste stand-in, but it was the real deal. It just goes to show that bigger is not always better!

   
 
We were then supposed to go on a boat tour of the Thames, but it was postponed due to the 21 gun salute being done off of the front of the Tower of London over the Thames. This is done whenever Parliament opens. It was really amazing to watch and everyone was so excited.

We did eventually take the boat tour of the Thames and then went on the London Eye where we met so many lovely people. We met a couple from Georgia. She was originally from Germany, but had lived in Georgia for over 30 years so had the most fascinating accent. She was afraid of heights so was sitting on the bench in the middle of the car and having a panic attack. I sat down by her, we got acquainted and then she let me take her and her husband’s photo with their camera. She even stood up to have it taken! Her husband was shocked.

   
 
   
 
Oh!  And between the Thames and the London Eye, we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral!  It was one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever been to and so old it made me feel a bit insignificant.  Close by was a church that had been bombed during the Blitz and still bore the shell marks.  

   
 
By the time we got “home” to our flat on the fourth floor of our place in the middle of London, I was worn out. I hate to admit it, but I let Alan go foraging for food. I couldn’t face going down four flights and, more importantly, UP four flights again! He did well! He went back to the little grocery store down the street again and brought back good food. It was called Pret A Manger and has organic coffee and fresh food. Their sandwiches and soups are particularly good. For the rest of the evening, we had the windows open so we could see through the pretty trees and feel the cool evening breeze. I watched BBC television (hilarious stuff) and Alan read the news. We are going to bed early because tomorrow we go to Paris!!

Peace and love,
Elaine

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