So I normally avoid London like the plague... overpriced and full of tourists (!), however with hubbies niece in tow it was only fair to have a quick sojourn to the capital.. and I mean quick. Because the miserable train drivers had decided to strike I would have to drive down and back, with us spending just one night there... and the journey down was nightmarish... accidents, hold ups and passengers desperate for a pee.. we were glad to eventually arrive at out London hotel..
A quick note on the hotel. I made out like a bandit on the room rate. We stayed at the Hilton Tower Bridge - a rather nice if business'y hotel.. should have been $300 + / night.. I got for $140 inc $50 breakfast buffet... score!!!! It ranks no. 9 of 1000+ London hotels on trip advisor and the location is the business - you can walk to the Tower of London!
Brittany loved it.. saying it was the best hotel she ever stayed in and took multiple pics... here she just looks like she's doing some mad dance in front of her floor to ceiling mirror!
|not bad for $140 in London!|
Anyway by the time we got ourselves out of the hotel it was approaching dusk and as the sun went down we took a few pics of Tower Bridge and the River Thames.
It was the coldest I've ever been and as much as we had wrapped up it was time to get inside for an early tea and a
hot ALCOHOLIC drink.
Order of the day was fish & chips and we quickly found a pub on the river to disappear into...
|The Horniman at Hays wharf... I childishly got a giggle from the name!|
|Britt & I.. unwrapping in the warmth|
fish & chips!
The Horniman (great name!!) is located directly on the bank of the Thames next to the HMS Belfast and in between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the London Gherkin are in eyesight (during the day!!) and it was warm and inviting.. the food was delicious and I fell in love with some Swedish pear cider called Rekorderlig (which we can't buy here ..!) it's like nectar!
We then decided to brave the elements and go for a walk in the dark along the bank of the Thames.. and within 15 mins we'd come across Southwark Cathedral. It has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,000 years, but a cathedral only since 1905. The present building is mainly Gothic, from 1220 to 1420. Mind blowing really!
In 1611 it looked like this (engraving)
In the day it looks like this
And in the freezing night air it looks like this....
Interestingly there is a monument to a Mohegan chief who visited London in 1735 to petition Queen Anne for their lands back. Unfortunately he dies of small pox whilst he was here and was buried at the Cathedral. At the unveiling ceremony in November 2006, present with the Queen was the tribal chairman Bruce Two Dogs Bozsum and other members of the tribe. An audience with the monarch that failed in 1735 was finally achieved..
|The Queen unveiled this memorial to Mahomet Weyonomon |
By this time I could no longer feel my fingers and in lieu of anything else to do (it was Boxing Day and everything was closed) we made our way back to the hotel to warm our extremities and watch a film..I fell asleep within about 5 mins which was either me being tired or the Guinness, cider and Jack & Coke catching up with me... I'll let you decide...
Tomorrow we were going to have a big day of sightseeing so I needed my beauty sleep anyway!