Following a fairly rough and ever-lasting transit flight on the longest birthday ever (8/8) I was back in England with a whole one day to spend in the nations capital before heading back to my parents house. Of course I would be back in London later in the trip for a few more days but I was keen to do as many of the sights as possible as our return would include meeting up with a few people meaning less time on the tourist circuit.
Waterloo station is always a good place to start any jaunt around London as it takes in many of the sights in quick succession. Starting with the London Eye, you then see the view across the River Thames to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (above left) not to mention perennial tourist pleasers like double decker buses and black cabs. It was an ideal place to throw my girlfriend right into the heart of London and the temperature, as we walked across Westminster Bridge, was certainly different to the hot and humid conditions we’re accustomed to in Tokyo!
We continued down Whitehall going past Horse Guards Parade (above) before encountering Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square (below left) where we slipped inside the National Gallery (below right) for a very short time which was certainly not for a love of art but for something that will appear in a future Tokyo Fox blog entry!
The most recent addition to Trafalgar Square is a giant French cock! Ah so many potential jokes in that but its actually a big blue cockerel (above left & right) which had only recently been unveiled by London Mayor Boris Johnson on the square’s Fourth Plinth. We strolled on from there to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square where we had lunch and I realised why British food maybe gets such a bad rap. Home cooking is very good BUT most tourists don’t encounter this and instead settle for paying over-the-top prices for simple food (burgers, pizza’s, pasta etc) outside the city’s attractions.
After lunch we walked fairly aimlessly before ending up in Covent Garden and then on Oxford Street and by the time we had walked the length of that we were fairly tired and had to head back to my sisters house to have a birthday dinner at the ‘Bishop Out Of Residence’ pub in Kingston which sits on the banks of the Thames and has a good view of Kingston Bridge. No sooner had our London trip begun and it had been taken away from us as we had to return to my hometown the following morning but we would be back!