We made it to London! Due to a good bit of turbulence, the long flight was not restful. At the moment we have been up more than 30 hours, so if this post is a little punchy, you’ll have to forgive us. We arrived at Heathrow about 10 am local time, made arrangements for our luggage through AirPortr (miraculous service – highly recommend it) and took the express train to Paddington station. After sitting for so long, we thought a long walk and fresh air would do us good. Paddington is roughly 3 miles from the hotel if you take a direct walking route, which, of course, we didn’t. We have no idea how far we really walked today, but you simply can’t turn around in central London without tripping over something historic, stumbling into an architectural gem or gaping at something you’ve only seen in pictures.
While working our way from Paddington toward Hyde Park and the Winter Wonderland carnival and European Christmas market for some holiday shopping, we stumbled on Radnor Mews, one of the London streets that once upon a time was for keeping animals, usually horses. Now these have been converted to charming flats that face each other on a narrow cobbled street. Once we passed Hyde Park and part of Piccadilly, we trekked through Green Park and the Buckingham Palace garden, traipsing right by the palace. The flag was up, so we believe the Queen was home. The Beefeaters in their winter finery looked intimidating, so we did not knock to double check.
The jaunt included parts of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Path and the Jubilee Path. From Buckingham Palace and the magnificenct Victoria Memorial, we headed northeast along The Mall toward the Admiralty Arch and busy Trafalger Square. While walking The Mall, the views to the south included St. James Park, which was still lovely in winter. Behind St. James, we could see Big Ben and the towers of Westminster. Once we reached Trafalger Square, we turned south onto Whitehall to our hotel on the Thames.
Since our room was not quite ready and we missed lunch, we treated ourselves to a proper and throughly British High Tea, which was so delicious! Now we are tucked into our room and ready for some rest, but not before checking out the view of the Thames, the London Eye, Jubilee Gardens and the London Aquarium directly across the river in Southwark. We have posted a handful of pics with this blog, but will post a bunch to the gallery as soon as we have an opportunity to label and upload them. Thanks for taking the time to read our post and feel free to comment below. – J and K