I am sitting in the American Airlines business class lounge in Heathrow Airport writing this blog about our last port of call. I feel like I am sitting in the lounge on the Viking Sun as I am surrounded by fellow cruise passengers. When we boarded in Miami, our captain said that he was in charge of getting us to the right ports, but we were in charge of the weather. If I have to say so myself, we did an outstanding job throughout the trip; and that good work continued in London. After days of rain and cold in London, we brought brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s.Londoners love to give nicknames to buildings. The top building is The Shard and the bottom building tends to have changing names. Until recently when the name no longer made sense, it was named after Princess Kate.We didn’t have time to ride it, but it would have been a perfect day for the London Eye. You don’t dare call it a Ferris wheel in front of a Londoner; and unlike most Ferris wheels, its only support is on one side.Unlike the museums which are free, it costs almost 30 dollars and a long queue to go into Westminster Abbey. It was suggested that the smart people attend a Sunday morning service which is free and uncrowded.Parliament Square has many statues of people who have made the world better. Abraham Lincoln is one of the statues. This tour group from India is having their picture taken in front of the Gandhi statue.This is the view of Big Ben and Parliament House from near Parliament Square. The classic view is, of course, from the other side taken from across the Themes. In case you can’t recognize Big Ben, it is totally enclosed in scaffolding for renovation. They are also installing scaffolding for a renovation of the Parliament Building which is expected to take over forty years! I guess there is no hope I will ever see it without the scaffolding. The left side of the building is the House of Commons (or Kindergarten as our guide calls it) and the right side is the House of Lords (or adult day care).A mounted member of the palace guards.In the afternoon, we visited the Tower of London, the home of the Crown Jewels.Ravens are a fixture in the Tower. Legend says that if the ravens ever leave the Tower, it will collapse and the monarchy will fall. The ravens have their wings clipped so they are unable to fly away. They have a guard assigned to feed them, let them out of their cages in the morning, and put them back in the evening.Over a hundred people live in the Tower. To get back in after official closing hours, they have to know a password which changes every day. I think I might have to spend some nights in town.The Scotch Guard outside the building with the Crown Jewels.The Tower Bridge. The city is full of traffic and buses. We spent much of our tours sitting in traffic. Our transfer from the ship to Heathrow took over an hour and a quarter with no traffic on a Saturday morning, and only the last few minutes were on a road that would pass as an expressway.
I will do a wrap up post after we get home.