Day 1: We’re in London!

We made it!! Our trip began with a three hour layover. That turned an already three hour layover in Dallas into a six hour layover. Luckily, we were able to relax in the American Express lounge for the day! 

When we arrived to the airport, things went smoothly. Our journey to the hotel went well also. We weren’t able to check in when we arrived as it was too early, but we did get to store our luggage. 

Starving, we left the hotel and journeyed to the British Museum, planning to eat along the way. (We didn’t.) I did really well not getting hangry. We ended up staying at the museum for about two hours before we decided to head to the London Eye. 

The line for the Eye was long so we decided to buy a fast pass. We also bought tickets to a river cruise as a cheaper add-on. We journeyed 40 minutes along the Thames hearing about the bridges and the silly buildings. When we went up the Eye after the cruise, we were able to identify the buildings easily. Also, the ice cream next to the Eye is still amazing. 

Mom says London reminds her a bit of New York, but New York doesn’t have buildings like this! 

Westminster Abbey! We planned to go in today, but the river cruise took its place. I’ve seen it before but mom hasn’t. 

From the Eye, we walked. And walked. And walked. We walked to Buckingham Palace. The Queen is in town! We walked through Green Park and Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Today was a 20k step day and we didn’t take any of them prior to noon. Also, I didn’t sleep on the flight so I was tired. It was pretty though. You couldn’t tell you were in a city sometimes. It rained on and off as we were walking to the hotel. Half of my just wanted to go to the room and sleep. The other half wanted food. We ended up at a pub eating fish and chips!

And now a few pictures of us in the London Eye… to Bath tomorrow! Rain or shine!

Day 2: A Bath Adventure

Today we spent our day in Bath, an hour and a half away from London. It was raining all day but it wasn’t a miserable rain. There was no wind and it wasn’t huge drops. Mom enjoyed her first train ride, even though our views weren’t spectacular. We thought it would take longer to get to Paddington so we ended up waiting at the station for an hour and a half. 

Bath Abbey – an Anglican Church from prior to the 12th century. It was built for the first time in the 7th century but this version is from the 12th. 

The Roman Baths were beautiful. Originally, this bath was covered by a massive vaulted ceiling. The stone arch at the back was a piece of that. The water starts in a pool where it is heated to 49 Celsius by a hot spring. The water then flows to various other pools and changes temperature as it goes. You can’t touch it today as there is a lot of bacteria in the water than can make you ill. 

This is the roof of the Abbey. We got to go above the furthest diamond and see the topside of it! The highest points of plaster is only about 5 inches thick. Pressure holds it all up. 

In Bath Abbey, we were able to take a tour of the bell tower. We had to climb a couple hundred narrow spiral stairs with no railing in the rain with slick shoes and stone outcroppings all over. Wouldn’t have been allowed back home! This room is the backside of the clock face on the tower. Prior to the 1940s, a man would sit in here for 10 hours a day keeping the lantern than backlit the clock lit. We got to cram inside and hear about it. A photo of the clock face is below. We were behind that as well as on the very top!

We also got to go into the room where the bell ringers practice and play. The average age is 70 and they go up the spiral staircase three times a week. The oldest is 87! We saw the various ways they can ring and chime the bells. A ring is heard over two miles away. A chime is only heard in the nearby area. Fascinating! 

We then climbed more stairs to the tip top of the Abbey, the highest point in Bath! No umbrellas were allowed because of the potential lightening. 

We walked in the rain to Royal Crescent also. It’s a crescent shapes row of 30 homes. Apparently they are the best example of Georgian architecture in Great Britain. We got to go inside the furthest right home, No 1 Royal Crescent. It was furnished to show what a Georgian home might have looked like.