Saturday, May 24, 2014

London Day 3 and Vienna Hotel

I'm on my flight from London to Vienna writing this.  It departed 45 min late.  Weird setup at Heathrow's airport.  Huge.  And I mean huge.  We couldn't check our bags until 2 hours before the flight and the way our schedule worked out we got to the airport 3 hours early.  So we carted our bags around until we found a pub.  I know, you're shocked.  But we enjoyed what had to be one of the best airport meals ever, and a few pints (of beer and cider). If you ever find yourself in Heathrow look for the Three Bells pub and kitchen.  It's on the first floor, which those of us in the states know as the second floor.  Britons have a different view of floor levels.  They also wouldn't let us into the gate area until just before the flight, which meant we had to sit on the floor until the opened the gate area up.  100+ people sitting on the floor because they only had 10 chairs where we were waiting.  Seriously.  
But enough about the airport.

I've been posting pictures but not a whole lot of commentary.  Why? Because I've been exhausted when I get to the hotel at night.  Because we have been having a great time.  And I haven't been taking the time to write up anything.  Till now.

So to rehash our trip so far:  We arrived and took the tube (underground) from Heathrow to Tower Hill station then walked with our bags about 5 minutes to our hotel, The Tower, right next to the Tower Bridge (as you have seen in photos).  We meet Greg and Yolanda as we got close to the hotel.  Really cool meeting up with people you haven't seen in years on a street in a foreign city (not that London is very 'foreign').  We freshened up and hit the sidewalk to find a pub and get the lay of the land.  

Across the bridge was a sign about a brewhouse so of we went.  Turns out it was a historic building not a working brewhouse.  But luckily just down the road was the Tower Pub.  We settled in for a pint and enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed for dinner.  Best fish and chips and shepherds pie. But we were pretty done in by then and the London Eye was sold out so we opted to go to the hotel for the night.

The next day (yesterday) we hit the sidewalk early and found a GREAT place for breakfast.  Strada.  Pete was our host.  Great guy.  If you ever hear of Uke Daddy (ukulele rapping children's tunes - seriously), we met him.  Anyway, I had an avocado smash (ciabatta, avoid, eggs & pancetta) that was delish.  From there we were off to beat the crowds at the Tower of London to see the crown jewels.  No crowds.  At all.  Weird, but good.  Visited the fusilier museum and the bloody tower.  Then off to the British Museum and all the looted goods the British have.  Saw the Rosetta Stone.  Wow.  Even found temporary horse shoes with extra tread.  And bits that I wouldn't wish on the worst horse.  Found another pub (of course) The Plough.  More beer and cider and food.  Good again.  Oh, and Raj.... You can get good fish and chips everywhere in London! ;)...More Tube riding (we got a great thing for that, the Oystercard... What a cool deal...) And we were at St Paul's cathedral. Again no crowd.  And what an amazing cathedral it is.  Literally breathtaking.  Out last stop was Harrods on a special request.  Mission accomplished ;)  Our feet were barking by then so of to the hotel we went to freshen up and once again go out to a pub.  We went with tried and true and back across the bridge to the Anchor.  The hostess said 'you again?! You liked the food?' She was a hoot.  You already know I couldn't sleep last night and you have seen the photos.  Now you know the story. 

Today we went back to the same place for breakfast and Pete knew our drink order from yesterday and brought them right out.  Cool.  Off to the London Eye for a fabulous view of the city! 


What a guy - keeps taking photos with me.  I love him!

 Ken pointed out the smokestacks from the cover of Pink Floyd's Animal album (and the poster we have in our game room).

Parliament and Big Ben

At the top

Big Ben - we listened to it strike noon.  Chills.

Then our last stop was Westminster Abbey.  No pictures allowed inside.  Can't even begin to describe the history felt there.  The kings, queens, the soldiers, their unknown warrior, and Darwin and Newton buried there.  Whew.  

We didn't have much luggage to schlep around did we?  That is all four of our luggage, by the way.

Yep, that's Greg

The Radisson Blu Styles in Vienna - a 5 minute walk to the Spanish Riding School tomorrow.  

The bathroom has an awesome rain shower.  Ahhh.

Could have spent a whole day at Westminster Abbey, but alas we had a hotel to check out of and this flight to Vienna to catch.

Hope you are not suffering to much reading my ramblings. I'm sure I won't be as talkative in the next few weeks, but having a two hour flight to kill helped for a London recap.

Tomorrow morning we're meeting Mom and Dad!!!!  And seeing the Lipizzaners!!!  Can't wait for both!  Night all!


  1. Im so glad the 2 of you are having a blast!

  2. So glad the 2 of you are having a blast! We're living vicariously through you, so keep it up. Meg