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London, Day One

Our train ticket advised us to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure. Having not had any qualms getting onboard our train from Rotterdam to Paris, we figured 30 minutes was sufficient. We arrived, French security let us through, and the UK Border Security had only 2 officials on. The line was not moving at all. So we waited. I watched boarding for our train open. The rail staff starting bumping us up the line. We waiting more. We were skipped from line to line until we finally spoke to the British Border Official. He asked the standard questions, then rolled his eyes when we said we were theology students. Sorry we aren’t lawyers, doctors or customs officers. Our belongings were scanned and we hoped we were going to hop on to the waiting train, but alas, boarding had closed. Thankfully they put us on the next train. We were split up though. I got to sit with a family of three who were sleeping and Ben met the French versions of his 9 and 12 year old self and got to play cards and discuss politics. Again, the train journey was a lot of fun and I definitely see the appeal of train travel over air travel for short trips around Europe.

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Having now arrived in London an hour later than expected, the race was on to see all the sites we possible could in just a couple of hours.

The first stop was to get our London Breakfast from T2 in Shoreditch, a walk from our hotel.

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After that, we headed to the water’s edge and took in the Tower of London:

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And the Tower Bridge:

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We headed on to Westminster and by now the sun had set. Passing by the London Eye:

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We saw Big Ben:

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And the buildings at Westminster:

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A good walk up the road, we came to Buckingham Palace, where the flying flag indicated the Queen was in:

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And if you look closely, you’ll see a guard:

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We then walked The Mall to Trafalgar Square, where the dim light made it difficult to see things, but I could make out Nelson, the lions and silhouette of he rooster on Nelson’s fourth column:

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We then hopped on the tube as quick as we could and headed for the Dominion Theatre in time for church:

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We finished the evening by treating ourselves to dinner in an English pub:

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So, if you would ever like the 2 hour, whirlwind tour of the London sites, I have a couple of tips!

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in travel

 

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