Western Europe April 2018 travel blog

St. Paul's Cathedral from the south shore of the Thames

The Globe Theater

We awoke to another sunny day. We discovered that our 2 day Big Bus gticket had miraculously had become a single day ticket. Slick. At the Mews a pretty young lady asked Gord about his pass and a frw minutes later said he had dropped his ticket. She gave him hers. His pocket must have been picked while he talked to her. It IS a big city afterall. But the Big Bus let us ride to St. Paul's today for free. But we should have cruised yesterday.

We explored St. Paul's marvelling at the artwork, the age and the statues. There are so many people in the crypt, some wr had heard of and lots we hadn't. We had a quick lunch in the csfe and went on.

We found an information bureau and asked about a Bank of England. It was the oldest bank in a building with no windows and security outside. After walking the two blocks we found it easily. I had pounds I had bought in Northern Ireland...British pounds but from an Irish bank....Dansk. 3 months ago I could have spent them here but England changed there money...coins (20 pounds in coins went into the Queen's fountain yesterday...it was not spendable). We were told that the Bank of England would change it for new pounds. However the officious gentleman who met us at the door smiled as he looked at it and said ponly the old 10 pound note could be changed. Try a money changer. So I was ushered into another room and exchanged a 10 pound note for a crisp new 10 pound note. Much later we stopped and were charged 10% fee to change the rest to the new British pound. Whew. Not all was lost.

In the meantime we walked down to the Thames, crossed the river via the Millennium bridge and easily found the white plaster Globe Theater replicated even to the thatched roof fom Shakespeare's time. We took a tour, broused the museum, noted that the thatched roof was open in the middle. As in Shakespeare's time, when it rains people get wet. While we were there Hamlet was being rehearsed. We had tea at the Swan next door when the tour finished.

From here we walked along the Thames to Blackfriars and beyond. We passed a sidewalk performer who could sing, a man blowing huge bubbles in the wind and eventually crossed back across the Thames on the bridge 2 upstream from the Millennium. We found the Blackfriar tube station, caught the Circle train to Paddington and looked for tomorrow's route to the airport.

After a short rest we explored the area around Paddington Station. There is a big Hilton hotel along with several smaller hotels. Restaurants of different nationalities are prolific along with taverns and a couple of convenience stores. We chose The Sawyer Tavern which turned out to be a local restaurant. It had typical English foods. Our meal was excellent. After we did a little more exploring and now Gord is snoring.

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