Good Day my dears :) We are tired today, our hotel room is next to a busy street and the walls are thin so it's hard to get good sleep and if you know me, you know how much I love my sleep.
Even with the small amount of sleep, we got up early enough to get ready and take the tube to the Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. I didn't realize how extensive of a ceremony it is! They have about 50-75 people in uniform, a brass band and soldiers all in perfect formation. It was a site to see.
Afterwards, we walked on over to the part of London everyone pictures when you say London. Big Ben, the London Eye, The London Bridge, The Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey...alllll here. And all incredible. We took pictures, walked around and took in all the sights and worked up quite an appetite. We found a cozy little café to take a pit stop and rest our feet. Right down this cute hipster alley in Waterloo, we found ScooterCaffe. Coffee, toasties and a full bar welcomed up with tiny tables, ours was made of an old sewing machine.
With full bellies, we made our way back to where the action was and checked out Westminster Abbey, which was unfortunately closed for tourism (being Sunday, and reserved for worship) so we rounded the corner and visited the Churchill War Rooms. This was a memorable and emotional journey. It's an old bunker where Sir Winston Churchill and his Cabinet would convene, discuss war efforts and ultimately had shelter from bombings while working against Nazi Germany. Gas masks, secret codes, alarms and no natural light in sight were humble reminders of a sad time in London. The last room, The Map Room, has barely been touched since the day Churchill and his comrades left when Europe claimed victory in 1945. It truly was a step back in time and 100% worth a visit.
We quickly made our way back to Buckingham Palace where we had a 4PM tour. I feel so lucky to have experienced this because it is only open for visitors when the Royal Family is away on holiday, so this felt like a rare opportunity. Our fabulous tour guide showed us around the Grand Hall, The Throne Room, the Ballroom and many other breathtaking rooms throughout the 775 rooms of the entire estate. There is a strict no photography rule in place but I will always remember the enormous chandeliers, gold gilded trimmings, secret doors and detailed ceilings.
Following Churchills footsteps, we made our way to the Red Lion -a frequent watering hole of his and Charles Dickens! - for a traditional Sunday Roast and a pint. Thoroughly wiped out, we took the tube back to the hotel and called it a night. This has been my favorite day in London so far. It seems every neighborhood has its own personality and its been so much fun stepping off the tube and finding ourselves in a new place with a new vibe.
Until tomorrow my darlings! Happy Travels :)