Travels through Western Europe travel blog

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Shakespeare's birth place

Stratford on Avon


The London Eye

In the eye of London

From the eye

Big Ben and Parliment

The Meat Market

Outside the pub

The Golden Hine

HMS Belfast

Tower Bridge

The Tower of London

London Bridge

Up early again and on the road by 7:30. Drive some distance with one stop for a bit then to Stratford on Avon. We stopped at Anne Hathaway’s cottage for a quick picture and then a group shop with the cottage in the background. Photo turned out pretty blurry it turned out.

Then down the road a piece to Shakespeare’s birthplace where we rushed into the reception hall and had a salad, a drink, and sandwiches. Not great and seemed rather pointless. In any event we broke into small groups and wandered around the grounds watching some people do scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, then headed out into the street.

It was a nice pedestrian walkway with lots of nice shops and attractive buildings, but, as has been true everywhere we’ve been large crowds. After a quick bathroom break we headed back on the road to make a run to London.

We travelled non-stop for two and a half hours to our hotel and said goodbye to our guide and driver, then up to our rooms. Alice was eager to get on the London Eye so we dropped off some stuff and headed out immediately.

The Eye was only about 300 yards away from the hotel so we got through the crowds pretty quick. Then tickets and a long line for about 30 minutes. Then we got on the eye as it continued to move (no stopping for boarding) with about 20 other people and started up.

The enclosed capsule was nice and not too crowded, so we got some good aerial shots of London. The whole revolution took about 30 minutes and the only incident was the capsule in front of us – someone left a bag. It was thrown back into the capsule and alarms went off – then a kid ran it to get it and guards (two Muslim women) went over the capsule with mirrors before it started up again.

We got off and had an ice cream then back to the hotel for a bit. Then we joined up with our tour “A Taste of London.” Got back on a Globus bus and headed through London to The Butcher’s Block and Cleaver – a big pub next to the ancient meat market (still in operation). We sat with a couple of folks from our tour but didn’t know their names. In any event a nice dinner (fish and chips) then back on the bus.

We headed off to the Thames and a river boat where we sailed up river to Parliament (which was in session) and Big Ben, then back down to Tower Bridge. Some nice photos and good commentary. Got a peak at HMS Belfast as well as all of the new sky scrapers in the financial district. Only problem was that it was quite cool – in the 60s and a breeze.

Finally back to the bus and the hotel. Tomorrow we start the independent tour with a taxi to a new hotel and an afternoon tour. We’ll be on our own for the rest of the trip!

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