Have you missed London posts? We sure have! So lets get back to it! I really could have spent all my time in the hotel and across the street wandering around Hyde Park. Since it was our first trip there though, I knew we had to get out and explore at least a few of the main sights and tour the expansive streets. Sometimes you just have to be a tourist.
After eating the best eggs benedict of our life at The Wolseley and taking a spin on the London Eye, we decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and wander over for a proper look at Big Ben. I had been dreaming all my life to see that particular district of London. I have wanted to see Big Ben since I watched the Great Mouse Detective when I was seven years old. Watching Basil of Bakers Street fight the evil Ratigan throughout the clock tower was thrilling for me. Granted it was just a cartoon, but my interest was peaked! I got a book from the library and looked at all the photos of Big Ben and all the different sights of London. I began to fall for this fairy tale place, though I may not have completely known it yet.
Walking along the Southeast bank of Thames river after our ride on the wheel was grounding. Literally. Peering up at the monstrous County Hall made me feel like I had stepped right into one of the books I had read as child. The massive columns and centuries old architecture were incredible. After our short trip down the boardwalk to Westminster Bridge, it seemed apparent that we absolutely had to stop at a local Piccadilly Whip cart. Piccadilly Whip, you see, is no ordinary soft serve. It came in a double sided cone that was perfect to share between us. I must admit though, it did get the best of me.
We crossed the bridge and there it stood, as large as life… Big Ben. I’ve later found out that Big Ben is the name of the bell inside of the clock tower and not the clock tower itself, but for the sake of my childhood fantasies, I’m still going to refer to the construct altogether as Big Ben. I always assumed it would have been smaller, but no. It is HUGE. It may sound silly, but being able to see it was a little dream come true. Check that off the bucket list.
After walking up the Northwest bank of the Thames away from the abbey we wandered past several war memorials and a plethora of absolutely brilliant sights. We used our walk as a means of getting to know the city along the banks as the residents are able to. I couldn’t help but step into the first proper English telephone booth that I saw and pretend to be a spy making a very important secret call. Yet another dream come true.
We turned down one of the streets away from the river into the heart of the city which lead us to the Trafalgar Square. This is one of those places in London that is filled with so much life that it was kind of intimidating to walk into. Not to mention that the center of the square at Nelson’s Column is protected by giant Bronze Lions, which look as though they could come to life at any moment. We wandered about the square and took in as much of the sculptural beauty as we possibly could until we let our ice cream buzz wear off and allowed the hunger for dinner to set in. We ended up only spending maybe a half an hour our so in the square and I know the next time we are in London, we’ll have to spend more time roaming around the neighborhood and finding more of its treasures.