Day 2 of Sightseeing

London Travel Blog

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Day two consisted of LOTS of walking.  We started walking from our hotel on Cromwell Rd. to Harrods.  After exploring the expansive food halls (which are spectacular), and of course catching a glimpse of some amazing jewels and diamond-encrusted mobile phones, we continued our walk through St. James Park and over to Buckingham Palace.  It was a beautiful day, especially for January, as the photos show.  A great day for walking! 

Past Buckingham, as we continued towards the Mall, we were side-tracked by the show of the Horse Guards, which I hadn't seen before.  It was a very elegant - and seemingly quite traditional - show of royal pagentry.  Continuing on, we came to Trafalgar Square, which is always a fun place to see!  Heather and Elia, two of my classmates, attempted to climb on the lions in the square but couldn't quite make it.
Buckingham Palace - Elia and me
  I can't tease them because I didn't try myself and they did look like big lions! 

We did a VERY quick tour of the National Gallery, which is a beautiful art museum that contains some of the most spectacular paintings in Europe.  We had a strict plan that would get us in-and-out in 30 minutes - Botticelli, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Turner, van Gogh, Monet - we checked them all out, and for someone who doesn't care much for spending time in museums, it was worth it!

Then it was on to lunch in a cute pub near Parliament and a tour of Westminster.  I do love to tour the great cathedrals, so I was happy to return to Westminster.  It is beautiful! 

We had a fun night, starting with a nice nighttime stroll through the most vibrant parts of London.  We began in Picadilly Circus and walked through Leicester Square and on to Covent Garden.
Horse Guard Park
  We had a fun tapas dinner at All Bar One (19 Henrietta St, Covent Garden).  This was especially nice, as we managed to successfully satisfy a vegetarian, someone who doesn't eat cheese and someone who doesn't eat seafood.  (Of course, I am the non-picky one of the group who got to enjoy the variety of shared dishes!)

After dinner, we headed to my absolute favorite haunt in London - Gordon's Wine Bar (47 Villiers St, near Charing Cross tube stop, off of the Strand).  It's fun place to grab a few bottles of wine with friends, and has tons of history.  It might be one of the oldest wine bars in London (1890) and the interior is pretty funky.  Half of the underground bar looks like a very old bar - the other half is literally cellar-like, with low stone ceilings, candles, etc.  The pictures look cool, but it is a must-see if you're a wine drinker in London!
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Buckingham Palace - Elia and me
Buckingham Palace - Elia and me
Horse Guard Park
Horse Guard Park
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
National Gallery
National Gallery
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
Gordons Wine Bar
Gordon's Wine Bar
Heather and me at Gordons Wine Bar
Heather and me at Gordon's Wine Bar
London
photo by: ulysses