We checked out of the wonderful (NOT) Travelodge Royal Scot this morning. Did I mention not to stay there?! Tonight we will be staying near Gatwick airport since we have an early 7:10am flight back home.
We hopped on the Underground and rode it to Victoria station, where we put our luggage in storage for the day.
First plan of the day, to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. The serious faced, red coated, furry hatted guards change posts with a 40 minute ceremony. Its quite a serious show. I think much of what was happening is lost on a majority of the crowd, including us. To have someone explain the ceremony would make it more interesting.
I'm glad we saw it and I would recommend it to anyone visiting London, though overall I would give it an average rating. The idea of seeing the ceremony is much more intersting that the ceremony itself.
Gates of Buckingham Palace
The brass band was interesting. Once all the guard units were in place, they played several 'pop' songs to keep the crowds entertained while the duty officers changed out the guards. This included one song by Michael Jackson. It seemed a bit out of place for a royal ceremony.
The changing of the guard attracts large crowds.
Once the ceremony was over, we hopped on the Underground and headed to the Imperial War Museum. Not so much because we wanted to see the War Museum, but because there was a kids exhibit that Brandon wanted to see - Terrible Trenches. This exhibit is based on a series of books called 'Horrible Histories' by Terry Deary. As the book says, "It's history with the nasty bits left in!" Perfect for boys.
Imperial War Museum
Brandon tries on a gas mask
After some Cinese for lunch, we headed to the National Portrait Gallery. Katrina wanted to see a special photography exhibit. Brandon and I were tired, so we hung out in the lobby and waited patiently.
From the museum we walked through the park and past Buckingham Palace to Victoria station, where we collected our luggage and caught a train to Gatwick Airport. From there we rode the hotel shuttle to the Travelodge for the night.
The Royal Mail
Our England adventure is over. Tomorrow morning we fly home to Milan.
My favorites from England: Bath, Stonehenge and the villages of the Cotswolds, the York Castle Museum, pasties, Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the British Museum. It was a great trip. We would love to go back and see other parts of England, as well as Scotland. Someday...