Our last morning in Iceland consisted of driving in sleet and waiting for our shuttle bus in sleet – the perfect time to leave and head to London for three nights and also number one of two separate visits that we would make. After successfully navigating Heathrow and the London Underground we arrived at our apartment in Whitechapel, a short 5 minute walk from the tube. The next day we awoke to a very sunny London (definitely not what we were expecting).
Our Airbnb was a 15 minute walk to the Tower of London so we took advantage of the good weather and spent the day there. After coming from temperatures averaging on 0 for the past two weeks, 15 degrees and sunny felt almost hot. At first we weren’t sure if we would pay the 38 pounds to visit the Tower but after walking around the wall and reading plaques such as 1066, Mary got excited and decided that we should definitely take the opportunity whilst we were there. In fact Mary getting excited about things much older than Australia is definitely the theme for the trip so far.
The Tower of London was once surrounded by a moat however this was filled-in in the late 1800s due to sanitary issues. It was amazing to walk through buildings up to 900 years old and learn how the role of the Tower of London has changed throughout the ages.
The chapel in the White Tower was by far our favourite section to walk through. Unfortunately photos were not allowed in this part but it was a small chapel with white stone columns and arches which was stunning even though it was not decorated in any way. That evening we visited a fantastic gin house which had over 300 gins to choose from!
The next day our first stop was the TKTS booth to purchase some tickets to a West End production. The TKTS booth in Leicester Square is the only official vendor of discounted theatre tickets in London. After chatting to some fellow Aussies in the line we (well Mary) decided on An American in Paris which was a soppy romance mixed between a musical and a ballet. Ben gets pick of the show on our next visit. The show was performed in the Dominion Theatre and although not as old as other London theatres it still has an interesting history. You guessed it, fun fact alert. The Dominion Theatre was the location of the former Horse Shoe Brewery, which was the site of the 1814 London Beer Flood, where 323, 000 imperial gallons of beer destroyed homes and killed two teenagers. 😮
After purchasing our £19.50 theatre tickets we spent the rest of the day at the British Museum which was probably the highlight of our first London visit. There are so many amazing artifacts in the museum that you can’t possibly take it in all in one day. We saw all of the major highlights including most of the sculptures from the Parthenon, Cleopatra’s mummy and the Rosetta Stone.
Our final morning in London we made a quick trip to Kensington Palace before boarding the Eurostar to Paris for a week of vin, fromage and croissants.