Posted by: Janet | March 23, 2009

Springtime in London

It’s been a long time since I made an entry in this blog – I won’t bring you up to date on all my travels during the past few months but I’ll make an entry for my latest trip – a trip to London to meet up with the Connecticut members of the family.  They were in London for a few days of sight seeing.

waiting-for-a-taxi-outside-the-park-plaza1  the Connecticut McKee’s outside the Park Plaza, our hotel in London


view-from-our-balcony    This is the view from our balcony on the fifth floor of the Park Plaza.   A sunset time view with the lights of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament just coming on – spectacular!  And at any time of day or night.

The family had arrived in London earlier in the week and had already taken the Big Bus tour of London and had visited the Natural History Museum, HMS Belfast, and Hamleys.  Two days of sight seeing were left.  We chose Madame Tussaud’s and the Tower of London.  I had never been to Madame Tussaud’s and was rather curious to see it.  Well, it was a lot of fun, particularly in the company of Lorna (my daughter-in-law) and the 2 grandchildren, Kyle age 8 and Ella age 5.  (My son David had to work that day so we were a group of 4 instead of 5).   Although it was mid-March and I thought it was off-season, there were still crowds of people there.   We had been told that the queues to get in could stretch around the block and further.   But happily we were taken to a family entrance as opposed to the entrance for groups and we got in with no bother, walking merrily past the sign that said the queue would take 1 hour from that point and then another sign saying we only had another 1/2 hour to wait.  But when we got inside we did find it crowded but not too bad. 


The first area was the celebrity area.  Well, despite the fact that the figures were so lifelike I hadn’t a clue as to who was who.  But happily Lorna could put names to faces and then I did know a few of them.  I took pictures, whether I knew the person or not.  With so many people milling about, it sometimes took a while before you could get a picture without some other tourists in it as well.

madame-toussauds-0081              madame-toussauds-015       madame-toussauds-010 

Maybe someone could help me again to fill in the names for the above.  We moved on and then I could put more names to figures.

madame-toussauds-018  Kyle and Ella liked this one

madame-toussauds-021  Kyle and Spiderman (on the left is the Incredible Hulk’s foot)

madame-toussauds-025  Audrey Hepburn

madame-toussauds-029  Lorna, Ella and Kyle have joined the royal family

madame-toussauds-035  this was Kyle’s favourite

The above pictures are just a sampling of what was there.  I would certainly recommend Madame Tussaud’s – but I wouldn’t want to go there during the busier months.  But that could also be said for many of the other very popular attractions in London.

On to the Tower of London the next day, and that too was fairly crowded but not impossible.  And we were very lucky with the weather.  It was mild and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. 

madame-toussauds-055  Here I am with one of the Yeomen – he was from County Clare

madame-toussauds-070  Sir Walter Raleigh’s quarters – I had previously visited the Tower maybe 30 years ago but I could only remember one of the cells, and it certainly wasn’t as luxurious as this one.  And maybe my memory was playing tricks on me as on this visit I couldn’t even find that cell. 

We exited the Tower and took the river ferry back up to Westminster Bridge.  Here is the ferry pulling away from Westminster Pier.  Note the London Eye on the right.


Back to Heathrow in the morning and an easy flight for me home to Dublin, and a longer flight home for the others to Boston and on to Connecticut.

A very memorable visit to London!

Just before we left our hotel that morning I had a flashback of another memorable visit to London.  I was glancing through a big coffee table type book with pictures of London.  I opened the book to a picture of the Chesire Cheese Pub in the old part of the City.  Well my mind flashed back to my second trip to London in 1961 when I flew from Boston to London and then met my college friend Rachel and her cousin Dorothy who had been travelling from Germany in Rachel’s red Volkswagon Beetle.   Our agreed meeting point was to be none  other than the Cheshire Cheese, not as famous then as it is now.  I can clearly recall Rachel being very concerned about having left her car in an illegal spot so we had to get moving quickly to move the car.  We did get back though and had a delicious lunch at the Cheshire Cheese.  On that visit I can remember going to 2 plays – Oliver and Ross.  Oliver is still going after all these years.  But Ross (Laurence of Arabia) closed at some point, I’m not sure when.  It was less lively than Oliver and I had a hard time staying awake – I was still on Boston time.

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