Originally published 24 June 2013
Tower Bridge, London
We arose in London this morning and immediately humped to the underground and went to Victoria Station. They have a "left luggage" facility there. "Left luggage" is an answer to the problem created when the UK took all the lockers out of train stations. You check your bag and they hold it until you claim it. It's a not cheap 9 pounds (about 13 bucks) per bag....but we didn't want to lug our packs around all day.
Interesting London architecture
I guess social street drinking is okay????
While at the station, we had a breakfast of pasties. These are pies....sort of like a turnover but bigger. They have things in them like mushrooms and cheese, or with mine, potatoes, onions, cheese, and british bacon. It's an easy breakfast on the go. Two pasties and two soft drinks, 14 pounds (about 21 bucks). After coming out of the Czech Republic, the sticker shock of London reminds us what bargains we had in the east. We spent in a day what we would have spent in 2 or more in the Czech Republic.
Portobello Road market
London is a great city....Laurie and I both love it. After dropping our bags we go wandering. We hit the Portobello Road market for a while. It's Monday, and there aren't that many vendors, but it's fun nonetheless. It's a nice part of London (Notting Hill) and enjoyable to visit. We had lunch at a little rooftop cafe on Portobello Road. I had a burger and Laurie had a bowl of soup. With tip, 21 pounds (about 32 bucks). Thus the title, "Watching the pounds fall away". It's easy to do in London....it's such an intriguing city with so much to offer.
The staircase inside the Monument
From here, we decide to take the tube and check out something we missed last time....the Tower Bridge. We got off at Monument, to find out why that tube stop was named "Monument". There is a monument to a fire that occurred in 1666, burning a large part of London. This thing is several hundred feet tall...and you can climb up in it for a fantastic view of the city......which is exactly what we did.
View from the top of the Monument
I have a habit of "taking the high ground". I like to get up where I can have a look around. What a view we had! Tower Bridge, all of the new architecture on display in London....what a fun time! When we exited the tower, one of the staff handed us a card, certifying that we made it to the top of the tower. We thought it a joke, but he assured us they were quite serious about it and they have a closed circuit camera at the top for verification......if you don't make it all the way (331 steps), ya don't get the certificate!
St. Katherine docks
ANOTHER Starbuck...at the yacht basin.
We left from there and walked through the St. Katherine Docks. Here, Londoners with a few extra bucks dock their yachts. It was a nice walk and a very pretty area. After this....we grabbed a tube ride back to Victoria Station to claim our luggage and continue our journey. We picked up a bus to Luton, one of London's airports where we're staying tonight. Our driver for the trip was a very chatty and helpful guy named Jim.
How did we know so much about Jim? Well....it seems they knew about our rock star status and we had a bus to ourselves...with none of the other London riff raff on it! He said it happens sometimes.....that there are only a couple...or sometimes no passengers...but you do the route anyway.
Our own bus!
Easyjet/Easyhotel world headquarters. Orange is their color.....
We arrived at Luton airport and hiked about ten minutes back to our hotel.....right at the airport. We had a great time in London......the Londoners are such friendly and warm people.....we do love the UK! We stay here in Luton...and in a few hours (zero too damn early in military time), we hike to the airport to board our plane to Iceland. Tomorrow, I'll post from up near the arctic circle!
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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