I was supposed to see the changing of the guards buuuuut I got up extremely late (missed breakfast and all) so by the time I made it to Buckingham Palace, I only caught the last 5 minutes. Through the bars on the left side. Between people's heads.
I walked around, grabbed some sustenance and made it to Victoria. I saw the Westminster Cathedral, which is still under renovation. It was the only place that was free and suggested donations to help the construction effort.
After that I made it to Trafalgar Square to just say that I went there and saw it. I had no intention of hanging around that huge crowd in the blazing sun.
I then made it up by the Strand, where I had dinner at Garfunkels before going off to see The Ladykillers. It was fine I guess. Neither bad nor suited to my palette.
The play was pretty good as well. I was in the Stalls again in a breakneck seat at the front. Again, never the Stalls again. I sat next to a man and his son who works in a theatre. None of us had seen the play before but the man knew the movie. I didn't know the story but I went due to rave reviews and I quite enjoyed it.
I set out on my last day in London to see the parks. Having spent the last week in the HYDE PARK Radnor and not seeing Hyde Park was a bit shameful, so I took the walk down and crossed over to Kensington Gardens. Then because I obviously love to challenge my stamina, I went to the Portabello Market in Notting Hill before relaxing in my room for a while before going out again to South Kensington. That last trip was totally pointless. South Kensington has nothing I can afford, besides the free museums which were closed at the time I arrived. I had no intention of visiting them anyway since I figured I saw the Met, Natural History and the Louvre already so there was no genuine need to walk around a museum for hours in this trip.
Hyde Park was mostly grass. I figure in Spring it would be lovely because you could see where there would be flowers, but there weren't any when I went. I did see some birds and a squirrel, but the really nice part was close to the river that separates the two parks.
Lots of people were walking their dogs, some with and without leads. There was this little happy hyper dog that was running all over the place. He ran into the water towards a swan and barked at it. The swan ruffled its feathers and hissed at the dog, who stepped back and following its owner's call, ran out towards its owner, soaking wet. It then shook itself and rolled around in the dirt. Because it was obviously wasn't dirty enough. So cute.
Another thing I noticed all over London - mobile soft serve ice cream. I tried to resist, but in the heat, I caved and bought a cone with a chocolate stick. It was so good.
Kensington Gardens is beautiful. All over London, wherever there was a pond or a river, there were ducks and other birds and these parks were no exception.
There was a section called the Dell at one end of the river that was like a beautiful oasis of flowers and a small waterfall.
As I was walking along, I saw another squirrel, some ducks and other birds.
The views along the river were gorgeous.
I stayed mostly by the river, saw a statue (people were calling the name of the artist but it was unfamiliar to me) and then walked to the Italian fountains...
...and the Peter Pan statue. Before heading out the nearest station to Notting Hill.
Notting Hill was a nice quiet area, at least at the time I visited. Portabello Market was basically one long main road and side streets of shops. There were different sections: antiques, new items, food, etc. I loved the antiques section if only to look at everything. Things were pretty affordable in this place, so I got Kedar a yoyo at a vintage toy store and I got myself a dress. I loved the teapots and cups. So cute.
The Journey FROM
I will concede that my flight from London was leaps and bounds better than my flight to. This was mainly because I was not next to smelly man, although there was a lady a few rows down who smelled strongly of URINE. What I got was a crazy lady and her baby in the column next to me. Her kid must have been like a year old and when he fussed, she told him to hush. She complained that the flight attendant was rude to her (I don't understand how the woman kept her cool when this one was raving like a lunatic that she had to have all her crap by her feet despite the warnings and that her kid was heavy and why oh why did they separate them from her sister because who will watch the child when she goes to the toilet? OMG), made a mess when she prepared the formula, and used the f-bomb when she got frustrated. Yeah. Madness. It was still better than the stench of manure for 10 hours, let me tell you. I arrived around 4 p.m. local time on Thursday on schedule, grabbed my stuff and came home to rest up. I didn't unpack until like, Saturday or Sunday. And I've been sleeping A LOT.