England – Part 3: Kicked out of the Ritz

(Saturday, January 17th)

Last night, Lindsay and I made a small list of landmarks we wanted to see: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Trafalgar Square. We didn’t realize how close together they all were and saw them all before noon today! We went to Green Park, walked passed the Canada War Memorial and the Canada Gate and arrived at Buckingham Palace (which is smaller than I expected).

After that, we walked passed St. James’ Park to Big Ben and Westminster (also smaller than expected). Then crossed the bridge towards the London Eye and got a real English Breakfast along the River Thames.

To finish our walking tour, we walked in a random direction, and found ourselves in Trafalgar Square. It was also right next door to Canada House!

There after looking at a strange blue rooster, we decided to check out the National Gallery. It was especially cool to see this with Lindsay, who is amazing at art, so she was able to point out some of the techniques used in the art and what made some of the pieces unique.

We spent most of the afternoon doing touristy shopping, though we didn’t actually buy that much. We also wanted to have real English Tea, so we decided to check out the Ritz. Long story short: we got kicked out. So we went across the street to a placed called Café de Pierre and had tea there and stared at the place that thought we weren’t good enough for them.

We finished the day with Lindsay’s godmother, Marie. We had dinner at a nice English restaurant called Pies and Ale. Marie was very nice and she had so many interesting stories about her travels around Europe.

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On our way back to the hostel at the end of the night, we stopped once more at Platform 9 ¾ to check out the Harry Potter shop itself. I bought a ticket to the Hogwarts Express and a pen shaped like Hermione’s wand. We’ll have some more Harry Potter fun tomorrow on an official walking tour of the city.

Not the pen, but still Hermione's wand!
Not the pen, but still Hermione’s wand!
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