Day 2: London - Spikey, War Rooms, and Free Concerts

Sunday, May 17, 2015

We both woke up fairly early because of the jet lag, but we had a pretty relaxed morning, getting coffee and hopping on the tube to go to Covent Gardens.  We happen to arrive just as a street performer was starting his show.  He was Spikey Will, Man of Danger.  From lying on a bed of nails to his loud Union Jack speedo, he made me cringe multiple time... in a good way.  He was very entertaining and created a great atmosphere for us to start our day in.

After the show we wandered in and out of all of the stalls of Covent Garden.  After some souvenir shopping we headed over to Trafalgar Square.  When we got there we saw that there was a huge stage set up for an outdoor concert.  Apparently the London Symphony Orchestra would be playing that night.  We sat and listened to them practice for a while, but decided that we had to come back for the real performance.

We grabbed sandwiches at a grocery store and walked towards Buckingham Palace.  There was beautiful park there where we sat down to eat and enough the sun.  After that we continued on to the Palace.  There isn't anything too thrilling about the Palace other than the fact that it is Buckingham Palace, but it still cool to see, especially with the giant gold statues outside of it.  Oh, to have money.

We wanted to see the Churchill War Rooms but forgot to look up it's location when we had wifi. We were both excited to see it on one of the maps in the park. It could have been anywhere in the city but it happen to be just a block from where we were when we wanted it!

I can't imagine what it must have been like to spend your days in those dark rooms, just hoping a bomb didn't fall on top of you at any moment.  The War Rooms also had a great museum about Churchill's life.  Both were very interesting to see and I would recommend them to anyone with interest in WWII history.

We then made our way down to the River Thames to see Big Ben and the London Eye.  The area right outside Big Ben was extremely crowded, but we were able to find a fairly quiet spot along the river to take in the sites without getting knocked over by mobs of people.

There was still some time before the concert in Trafalgar Square, but we weren't even sure if we needed tickets or if we'd have to hang outside the walls so we headed back that way.

Turns out we didn't need tickets, but even and hour and a half early the place was packed.  We (along with hundreds (thousands?) of other people just found a spot on the ground to sit down.  Some had brought picnics and blankets which seemed really nice while we were hungry and thirsty, but pretty soon they stopped letting people in so we just had to wait it out.
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The concert was great but, anticipating something similar to Kenmore Station after a Sox game, we left before the last song to get back on the tube.  There wasn't much open for dinner when we got back towards our hotel, so we just ate at a small pub across the street our hotel (small pubs would basically become the theme of our meals on this trip.)

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