We had an invite for coffee with a woman from Singapore whom we met on the train, but we were headed to the train station to go to Belgium and were not able to meet. We took the tube to the Eurostar train to Brussels. Then we has to change trains to get to Brugge. Only problem was we did not know where to catch the train to Brugge. We were in a totally new train station and everything is in Flemish. Oh, did I mention we only had 16 minutes. Don’t worry- we were either good or very lucky. We made the train with 3 minutes to spare. Andre, our host met us and took us to his B & B. we are really staying in their home and it is very nice. Then we took a bus to the center of Brugge. What a charming town. It was late and we needed to eat before it got too late and everything closed. We took some pictures, but plan on serious touristing tomorrow. Food was good, but beer was terrific, Belgium does have good beer. We took the late bus back and went to a restaurant around the corner for a beer. I should mention there are bicycles everywhere. It is a main means of transportation. One of the tour brochures Is to funny and says that it is Ok to be a kamakazi cyclist and run over tourists. We are only am hour bike ride from the ocean, but don’t know if we will have time to do that. I have allergies that are killing me, so I took an antihistamine. Again it is 10:30 when I am writing this.
We are still running all over London. Today the weather was beautiful. We first went to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. We picked out our carriages (see pictures). Then to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. Notice the crowds. See picture of Marsha and Barbara. Then we walked to Trafalger Square where there was a gay pride event going on with bands and all kinds of events. We met Marsha’s friend Suzanne at Trafalger Square and we walked to Coventry Garden for coffee. Suzanne is a great London tour guide and we had a nice visit. Marsha and I then hopped a bus to St Paul’s Cathedral. The Cathedral closed early because of a wedding being held there. So we walked to Kensington Palace and did that tour. See picture. After Kensington Palace we walked thru Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park to Harrods. Harrods has a “food court”. In reality it is a giant gourmet Mecca. It is worth going there just to see the all the great food and wine from all over the world. The cheeses (Stilton & Gorgonzola) I thought were very reasonably priced. The chocolates and cakes and breads looked out of this world. Mind you this “food court” is huge. No pictures allowed of the food cases. By this time we were hungry so off to dinner we went. Italian again. See picture of appetizer. Again we were to hungry and started eating before I took a picture. I have to also mention the London Underground (subway) really is very far beneath the surface. Some of the tube stops have lifts to take every one up several levels and at others there are escalators that are 2 to 3 stories tall and you need to take 2 of them. That does not include stairs. We made it home early tonight. I’m writing this at 10:30pm. I love seeing all your comments. Tomorrow we are off to Belgium on the Eurostar again.
We woke up to cold and rainy weather, so we decided to do laundry until it stopped raining. We met all kinds of interesting people in the laundromat. We met a couple from Australia who are traveling around the world with their 3 kids. We also met a woman who was traveling alone and she just came from India and Turkey. I need to add that we have met so many people from Australia that the country must be empty. While we were doing the wash the rain let up a little. We decided to go to Hampton Court (palace). It’s about 30 miles outside of the city, do we headed to the train station and took a train there. See picture. The place was a wonder. We could have spent a week there it was that interesting. We came to London and had a great Italian dinner. Go figure Italian in London. We were so hungry I forgot to take a picture. Then off to the Globe Theater to see the Tempest. We had the cheap standing seats, but enjoyed it so much we stayed for the whole 3 hours. We walked across the Millennium Bridge to catch the tube and I got some nice pictures of London at night. There’s another bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard. I have more pictures on my camera. Yes, I can see you messages, but would like your permission to post them, because they would be in the public domain. Making plans for tomorrow. The days are flying by. I can’t believe I’m writing this at midnight.
We are at again only on London. We took the Eurostar and it is fast. My guess is it does an average speed of 180mph. Only problem is I can’t stay awake on the trains. They are quiet and comfortable and even though I’m not tired, I fall asleep. We got to London and had to get British pounds and get Oyster cards for the subway. Then we went to our hotel and checked in. Then off we went to the Tower of London. See pictures. The Beefeater tour is great! The Crown Jewels are magnificent. Plus there is so much gold it is unbelievable. Then back to the tube. We rode the red line, yellow line, green line, Piccadilly line and the Jubilee line. Not all on one trip but we sure got around town. Wimbledon is being played now and there are huge crowds for that. At one point I thought someone was trying to figure out how many people can fit in a subway car they were all that crowded. Then on one an announcement came that a connecting line was stopped because a person was run over by a train. When we left Paris it was cold and raining but when we got to London it was warm and sunny but then it started to drizzle and get cold. We had a delicious meal at an Indian restaurant and then off to the London Eye. I saw Big Ben and Parliament with Westminster Abby in the background. The view from the eye is amazing and I took a lot of pictures with my camera. We are deciding what we will do tomorrow.