James Geoffrey, the youngest of our five offspring flew into London on Sunday 22 July to spend some time in London with us before we all fly to Stockholm Sweden to meet up with the rest of Geoffrey’s family.
We had tickets to tour The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace on Monday the 23rd as it is only open to the public for about ten weeks every year. We walked the 3.5 miles from our flat through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace for our 11:00 tour, forgetting that the daily changing of the guard at the Palace was also at 11:00. We had to push our way through all of the crowds going ¾ of the way around the palace to the visitor’s entrance.
The tour was self guided with an audio-visual device which we actually listened to for a change. It was quite informative and interesting. We would definitely recommend this tour if you ever get a chance to do it.
We had coffee at the Palace Cafe before walking north through Mayfair and Marylebone to Camden Town and the Camden Market. Parts of Camden Town are reminiscent of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco as it is very Bohemian with a lot of tattoo and piercing parlors.
Our last full day in London was Tuesday 24 July, Sandy spent a good part of the day packing the detritus of three months into two carry-ons, one medium sized suitcase and a backpack while Jim & Geoffrey walked about five miles along the Thames to Kew Gardens. Geoffrey is more into nature than history and he entertained Jim by naming the trees with both their common and Latin genus and species names. Most of his identifications were confirmed by plaques on the plants and trees. They had lunch at Tap on the Line where Jim & Sandy met Yanal, Thomas and Tim back in May on their first visit to Kew Gardens.
After the long walk, lunch with beer and walking through the gardens both Geoff and Jim fell asleep on the grass in the shade at Kew Gardens.
We have absolutely loved London and will definitely be back, maybe as soon as next Spring/Summer. No question that it is our all time favorite city so far.