On the train on our way to London from Glasgow, we had time to play a little chess, do a little coloring, and watch the views.
We took Virgin Trains, which always provide some sort of entertainment. Here’s the sign they had in the bathroom! 🙂
On the tube traveling to our apartment in Fulham (a borough in southwest London).
First day out was quite rainy and blustery, and we were all a bit tired. We decided to just roam around our neighborhood and see what we could find. We saw sights a typical visitor to London might not see. 🙂 Fulham Palace, for example, was a Bishop’s residence for more than 12 centuries — about 700 to 1975! Excavations in the area revealed that it was used by people much earlier than that, back as far as 3,000BC!
It was a warm and friendly place on a chilly day with a beautiful, cozy cafe and a small, but very well-done and informative museum area and gift shop.
Below: The Tudor courtyard of the palace, and L making a wish on a 2-pence coin he threw into the fountain. A mosaic in the chapel.
Just outside the gardens of the palace was the River Thames!
We walked along the pathway and came to a church — All Saints Episcopal Church.
While the original parish dates back to the 13th century, the current church building was built in 1880. That said, the church grounds are still covered with grave markers and tombstones from those very early years, including the one below from 1686!
Here’s a picture Mike snapped of the rain/snow mix. Looks like quintessential London. 🙂
These guys were up on top of trees as high as our building with chainsaws trimming branches! They were connected to the trees with ropes and their chainsaws were connected to them by ropes! YIKES!
Quaint little house on a street near our apartment.
Took the tube to Westminister, got up to street level, looked up and there it was — Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower. (L prefers to use both names!)
And right down the street was Westminster Abbey (which we enjoyed from the outside)…
and as we crossed the street along side of Parliament Square, was a statue of Winston Churchhill looking over at us! We hopped back on the tube at Westminster Station…
and hopped off at the North Greenwich Station, where we headed for the Emirates Air Line, which is a cable car link across the River Thames. Before we got there, I had to get a picture in front of this perfectly pink sign spelling out CRAFT! It’s actually a cafe/restaurant/bar, but it just spoke to me! 🙂
The Emirates Air Line cable car opened in 2012, so we thought we’d give it a go. From the cable car, you get to see some London sights from a totally different perspective and since our time in the city was limited, we thought it would be a unique way to see a few things from a different view.
As we walked up to the ticket booth, one of the helpful crew members told us that due to the windy conditions, the ride was suspended for 10 minutes and then they’d let us know. (My first thought…how is the wind going to stop in 10 minutes? It was really windy!) We walked down to the River Thames to have a look at the river and up at the cable car above us. And 10 minutes later we found ourselves soaring over the river! (Just so we’re clear, it was still windy!)
Cool views, although I was focused more on the cable cars heading back on this round-trip adventure that seemed to be swaying more than I wanted to see. You can see L’s happy face and my “why are we up here face?” below.
Those dark blue ridges in the water below are actually waves the wind was making on the river. Did I mention it was windy? Those tiny little white blobs and the bigger square thing in the middle are for wake boarding lessons — on the River Thames! Who knew?
We had booked a “round trip” cable car ride, so we were supposed to ride over and ride back in one lovely, relaxing ride. Instead, when we got there, they had us get off because of the wind. Again there was the magical 10-minute wait, and we were on our way. It was still windy. Windier! And on the way back, the cable car rocked sideways and back and forth. I was not a fan.
Below, the round, space-ship looking building with the yellow cranes coming out of it is called the O2, and it’s actually quite a cool building. (You can walk across the top of that, too, if you’re so inclined. I wasn’t.) And the other picture is of G and L in the cable car, safely on the ground. Mike took the picture as I was still shaking. Really. :/
As part of the cable car experience, there was another area — the Emirates Aviation Experience, where the kids could sit in a pretend cockpit and learn a little about air travel using interactive displays.
We headed back to the tube to get back to our apartment.
And there you have our slightly unusual tour of London!