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Big day of London sights (and a rooftop bar)

It was our second to last day in London and the weather gods were still in a good mood. This meant one thing: we had to get out and see stuff, as much stuff as possible. Mum and I had swapped notes about things we were each keen to see and with it being dad’s first time in London, a hop-on / hop-off bus tour made sense.

We made our way to Trafalgar Square where, somewhere, I was to pick up the pre-booked tickets.

Olympic clock in Trafalgar Square

Big kitties at the bottom of Nelson’s Column

Easier said than done (let alone where in this large area the bus stop actually was) and with a dented sense of patience we eventually connected with a bus.

A snap from the bus

And another

It was fairly slow going but we were on the open deck and had plenty of time to study our surrounds and take many uninteresting photos.

We got off at the Tower of London as much of what we wanted to see was in that area. This didn’t include going into the ToL as mum and I had been there done that previously (and dad wasn’t all that bothered).

We went to the Tower but not into the Tower

The first sight I was interested in was the nearby remains of the original Roman wall. This stuff fascinates me and later on I hunted down another section of it in the financial district.

A small section of the original London Wall near the Tower of London

And another section in Noble Street

With dad’s dodgy knee we had to watch the amount of walking we did but for now it was ok. We wandered across the iconic Tower Bridge which we had cruised under the night before.

Tower of London with financial district backdrop

I did a double take at the tractor on Tower Bridge

Busy! The Queen’s Walk from which we would access the HMS Belfast

I wanted to look through the Belfast, a museum ship since the early 1970s, and figured dad would probably be keen to as well. It had only been reopened a couple of weeks after being closed for six months following a partial collapse of the gangway.

View through a porthole

On the top deck

Activity overhead

With all my camera faffing around dad finished long before me and I eventually collected he and mum from the embankment to continue our improvised walking tour. Plans had been made to catch up with a cousin of mine after he finished work and it made sense to head to the financial district and stay there until it was time to meet Steve.

View from London Bridge

We stopped by the monument to the Great Fire of London

Mum and I left dad to rest his knee at the statue of Wellington near the Bank Station crossroads and we went off to find churches and stuff.

Walking round the side of St Paul’s Cathedral

We popped into St Paul’s before retreating at the sight of the entry fee. Still I would’ve felt short-changed to have paid all that money and not have been able to take photos. Anyway, the exterior is stunning enough.

The front left tower of St Paul’s

We then split up so that I could find the Temple Church and more of the London Wall. I was half successful. Conveniently, the Temple Church had just closed before I got there so I had to again be happy with a nosey around the outside. The wall I found after a bit of a walk and was worth the effort.

A statue at the Temple Church

I found mum and dad back at Wellington around the time that normal people were finishing work. Steve and Sheree arrived and whisked us to nearby bar Coq d’Argent – the perfect choice for tourists as it turned out. A rooftop venue with a lawn area and fantastic views. Very cool.

Mum and dad waiting for drinks to arrive on the lawn of Coq d’Argent

Superb views, though my squeamishness with heights didn’t see me peering over the edge for long!

Drinks now acquired: me with my cousin Steve and his girlfriend Sheree

The locals took us somewhere else for dinner – and with the promise of a restaurant that served only steak and chips, I suspected dad would feel the long day had been worthwhile! I don’t often blah on about restaurants or food-related travel experiences because it’s typically not something I’m interested in reading about myself, and I’m not a foodie (except when it comes to consumption). However, Relais de Venise l’Entrecôte deserves a mention because it was fantastic.

At dinner (which was utterly YUM)

No menu, just a salad starter and steak plus frites for the main, served in two batches. There’s no way in heck I eat meat that’s anything less than well and truly dead and mine came out beautifully well done. The sauce was so delicious it would probably be liquid death if you came here too often. Not quite done after that, we all embraced the occasion with dessert. I chose profiteroles. Wow.

Full of enough calories to last the next week, we shared a cab back home. It had been a big day, but there would be no slacking off tomorrow!

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great pics Hayley – loved the one of you and your parents – you all look so happy

    23 October 2012
    • Thank you, probably not as jaded looking as I think we felt! I found your comment in the spam bucket – first time that has happened with an actual comment (and I am the lucky recipient of 2000+ gen-u-ine spam messages to date).

      23 October 2012
  2. Wonderful shots!!! I wish I had known about that bar before i went to London, that looks amazing

    23 October 2012
    • Thank you… And I guess you know about the bar for next time 🙂 – are you likely to get another trip over there for work?

      24 October 2012
      • I hope so, but not too sure at this stage. I’m trying to line up a work trip to Hong Kong too but just have to wait and see if they fall for it! 🙂

        24 October 2012

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