Our first trip to London, maybe 8 years ago, we really didn’t see much. Just a few days in town, saw the dungeon, did a cool walking tour of Buckingham Palace with the changing of the guard etc. Pretty much took it easy, too easy, and were blown away by how expensive everything was.
"Paul", a phenomenal bakery chain
I’m still blown away by how expensive everything is, but this time we’re seeing the stuff we didn’t before, with yesterday being an example of getting lots in with little downtime. The day started off with breakfast at Paul, which I mentioned in yesterday’s entry. From there it was down into the “Underground” to Lieciester Square to buy same-day discounted theater tickets for “Love Never Dies”. We arrived a bit early; the box office doesn’t open until 10am, so we had some time to get acquainted with what “cold” feels like. It feels bad. Bad enough that I quickly found a place with inexpensive warm gloves.
Next, head to Waterloo Station for a train trip to Salisbury, from which the Stonehenge Tour Bus departs. This is where I blew it; I had no idea that Salisbury would be a place I’d like to spend some real time in, a lovely town with an active central square/shopping district and the most-incredible cathedral you can imagine! Unfortunately, after finding a place to eat & warm up, we had very little time before having to catch the final tour bus out to Stonehenge; if you plan to visit the cathedral, plan to spend a good hour there, maybe even more. Oh, and did I mention they have the best-surviving copy of the Magna Carte?
Spinal Tap aficionados will recognize this...
Oh, did I mention it was cold? Stonehenge is a cold place by nature; there’s not much “warmth” to a display of large rocks. It is an amazing thing to see though, including the gift shop’s display of props from the movie “Spinal Tap.”
If you would like to see a bunch of Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral photos, I’ve put some up on our Picasa website.
After returning from Salisbury we went straight to the theater district (Strand) and ate at Leon’s, a sort of high-quality Mediterranean fast-food place that’s pretty spectacular. As for the play itself, “Love Never Dies” is no Phantom, and I thought the ending was a bit too predictable, but it did have the added adventure of being stopped about 10 minutes into the production by some sort of technical difficulty, resolved about 30 minutes later. If you go to see it, consider that the ending for “A Little Night Music” might have worked better.
So yes, yesterday was a pretty full day! We’re getting off to a bit later start this morning, and will be staying “local.” Our flight out leaves at 3:30pm tomorrow, giving us just enough time to fit in the London Eye before heading back. That’s the plan anyway. –Mike–