Oh man! Today was probably the best food day of our trip, but let’s start at the beginning:
We started the day at St. Paul’s Cathedral (using our London Pass). As usual, we were there early so we didn’t have to worry about waiting in long lines or dealing with big crowds.
After listening to the audio guide for awhile, I decided I was going to climb the 257 steps to the Whispering Gallery. My mom was sick of stairs, so I went by myself. The stair case starts off wide and easy, but then it turns into a narrow, winding stone staircase. Let’s just say I was breathing hard and happy to finally reach the top.
Then my audio guide mentioned that it was only 119 more steps to the Stone Gallery, which encircles the outside of the dome. Not one to miss a photo op, I headed for the next staircase. This one was even narrower, but I made it and the views were definitely worth it. From the Stone Gallery you can see all the way from the London Eye to Tower Bridge.
It’s 152 more steps to the very top, but at that point I was sick of climbing stairs and didn’t want to wear myself out first thing in the morning…plus I still had to climb down the 376 steps I’d gone up, so I headed down. I found my mom and we finished our tour with a walk through the crypt.
Our next stop was across the river, so we headed for the Millennium Bridge. But before we crossed the bridge, we took some shots of the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Anyway, back to the Millennium Bridge. You might recognize it from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie – the death eaters destroy it and it collapses into the river– a fact my mom didn’t really want to hear that while walking across it. Ha!
On the other side of the bridge is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of the first Globe Theatre where Shakespeare worked. A tour of the theatre was included with our London Pass, so we decided to stop in before lunch.
While we were there, they were doing a dress rehearsal for The Lightening Child (which was opening the following day). We watched for few minutes and it seemed really weird – of course the part we saw was a man dressed like a pimp teaching another man dressed like a woman how to dance…
After our tour of the Globe Theatre, we headed over to the Borough Market for lunch. I’m not going to lie - this was one of the stops I was most excited for! This girl loves food! And of course, right by the entrance is the famous Brindisa chorizo sandwich. Oh, and it’s as good as they say! We only made it a few more steps before we decided to try a duck sandwich and sangria – also delicious. You can’t go wrong with a glass of sangria at noon!
We made a few other stops along our way towards the back of the market for a toasted cheese sandwich from Kappacasein. It was cheesy, gooey, greasy goodness!
Seriously, everything we ate here was amazing!
At this point we had finished everything earlier than planned and still had some time before our Buckingham Palace tour, so we decided to head to Baker Street and see Sherlock Holmes’ home.
We didn’t go in the museum because the line was long and hardly moving, so we just took some pictures of the address plaque.
After that we took the tube towards our last stop for the day -Buckingham Palace. We got off at the Green Park Station, so we had a nice walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace.
In front of Buckingham Palace is a statue of Queen Victoria (the longest reigning British monarch, although Queen Elizabeth is less than 2 years away from catching her).
Buckingham Palace is only open to visitors for couple of months in the summer. Unknowingly we planned our trip during that time period, so we were able to tour the inside of the palace!
At the end of the tour you exit through the back of the palace to the lawn and garden cafe. The massive lawn, lake and trees definitely do a good job masking the fact that you are right in the middle of busy London.
We had to be up early the following day to meet our tour group, so after a full day of food and sightseeing we called it quits and headed off to dinner and our hotel.
Next Week: Leeds Castle, Canterbury, and Dover