Today turned out to be a seriously wonderful day.
It started out by being a beautiful 24 degrees – both yesterday and the day I arrived were both over 30 and humid. It was so hot you’d be sweating just sitting still. So in comparison, 24 felt blissfully cool.
I got up a bit late, planned out the day’s activities at breakfast, and then made it to Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the guards at 11:30! I also lucked out in that somebody abandoned their prime seat on a wall and I managed to nab it, allowing for a vantage point above the packed crowd around the gates.
Pretty horses going by at the changing of the guards ceremony.
The changing of the guards ceremony was quite cool to watch, especially the progression of the soldiers and then the horses down the road. After the ceremony finished I spent some time walking around the palace, which is absolutely gorgeous, and bordered on both sides by beautiful parks.
St. James’s Park, right beside Buckingham Palace.
Afterwards, I attempted to walk to Big Ben, and got lost. I accidentally found a delicious cafe, where I used the free wifi to figure out where I was, and then took the tube to Parliament Square. There I walked around and saw Big Ben (although “big ben” is actually the giant bell, not the clock tower itself), the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the statue of Winston Churchill.
Big Ben clock tower:
Panoramic picture of Parliament Square. That’s Big Ben in the middle, the Houses of Parliament connected to its right, and the church visible on the right is St. Margaret’s, which is right in front of Westminster Abbey. Also in this square are numerous statues, including those of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Winston Churchill.
In the evening, I headed over to the Victoria & Alberta Museum, where I met up with an old friend whom I haven’t seen in a very long time. Seeing her again has so far been one of the highlights of the trip! We wandered through the museum for a few hours, taking in the displays on art & design and stopping at the seriously gorgeous museum cafe for a bite to eat.
My phone ran out of storage space just as I got to the Victoria & Albert Museum (which is fair, considering that I’ve taken over 1000 photos in the past two weeks). My friend did let me use her camera, though, so more pictures to come later on!