Today was an exciting day as I was to meet a cousin for the very first time. I have never met a cousin in my life, I have oodles of them, but not one in Australia. On our way there, Kylie sent an SMS about the Queen opening Parliament and as it happens we had to get off the train at Westminster. Outside we got a front row view just up from the entrance and managed to see her arrive in the Royal Coach!
As the roads we all blocked off, I got some good photos of Big Ben as we could stand on the road with no bus's or cars! We arranged to meet Tony and Sally by the ‘invisible’ elephant next to the London Eye. I recognised Tony instantly, thanks to the internet & Facebook, so there was no ‘wearing red carnations in the lapel’ lark as to recognise each other! Well, it was a great day. Tony and his wife Sally walked us down the South Bank explaining and naming the relevant sites .. of course there were building works, pavement laying, scaffolding everywhere (as I have noticed London being full of it). We went to a riverside pub for lunch, which was quite mediocre. We walked through the Southwark area which has the oldest goal in London etc. Here Craig and Emily left us as they both were suffering very sore feet from all the walking around Paris yesterday, but I soldiered on.
We decided to hit the other side of town, so we caught a taxi. Here we walked around Covent Garden, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, the West End areas. There was a crowd of girls building up out front of one of the West End theatres, they were all waiting for Johnny Depp, we decided not to stay are it was quite cold and rain was looming. Down the street there were all these guys in red boxer shorts and shirts lined up along the outside of a building, they were models for underwear, but stayed in their boxers whilst we were there !!!
We strolled down a very expensive shopping mall, where most items didn’t have a price. We had a lovely ice cream at some market area, somewhere! What a choice of ice creams there were, vodka ones, toblerone, caramel popcorn, sorbets etc. I had one scoop of dark chocolate and one scoop of caramel, yum yum yum. When it started to rain heavily we were across from the Ritz, but as we were dressed not quite ‘proper’ we had a coffee in the shop across the road.
We made our was to the big department store called Selfridges .. absolutely enormous, we were looking for this museum I wanted to go to that has a display of suits of armour. The information desk in Selfridges helped us out with a map and directions, but as the time was getting late, we didn’t go to the museum. So we decided to head off to the nearest Underground station and make our way home. I left Tony and Sally t the Westminster station, changed trains back to Gloucester station near our hotel! What a great day and Tony and Sally are very friendly, wonderful people! J