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Honeymoon Tuesday: First glimpse of the city

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After we had freshened up at the hotel, we headed out for our first British meal. Naturally we found a burger joint, right? To be fair, we were starving, it was in our neighborhood, and the menu was definitely European. Most of the burgers were bison or lamb or something other than the standard American beef. It definitely wasn’t our favorite meal, but it gave us fuel to tackle the city. I had only been to London for a couple of  days three summers before when I studied abroad in Italy, and Jacob had never even been overseas before. Needless to say, we were excited to spend the afternoon exploring the city. Our hotel was only two blocks from a tube station (the subway system in London) and it was very easy to use and  get around any place we wanted. We took the tube to Picadilly Circus and came out of the station to see this:

piccadilly circus

piccadilly

Of course the dorky Visitors Bureau employee in me  had to take a picture of a Visitor Center

piccadilly_visitor center

We strolled through the streets and found ourselves heading towards Trafalgar Square.
street

Jacob made sure to look pensive along the way

pensive busef

london-street

When we got to Trafalgar Square, however, there was a public showing of an opera that had overtaken the square. The giant lion statue was covered with a huge screen.
trafalgar2

We were amazed at how many people had gathered to watch the opera when it wasn’t even live.
trafalgar4

Big Ben peeking out from Trafalgar.
trafalgar5


ship2


trafalgar6

Right next to Trafalgar was the entrance to Buckingham Palace.
entrance-buckingham palace


jacob-palace


buckingham palace

The following Saturday was the Trooping the Colour and we were lucky enough to see the royal cavalry practicing for the big show. The Trooping of the Colour takes place in June each year to celebrate the Queen’s birthday and is carried out by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with the Queen herself attending and taking the salute.

practice2

Over 1400 officers and men are on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one.
practice

Coincidentally, I saw the same practice when I was in London the last time, but didn’t get to see the real parade. We made a mental note to swing by on Saturday to see if we could get a glimpse of the parade, and kept on walking.
horses


jacob-palace2

We walked back through Trafalgar and down the Strand (the theatre district, where I stayed the last time I was in London), through Covent Garden and eventually stopped for dinner in Soho at a little Italian restaurant. We finally made it back to our hotel room and crashed for something like 14 hours.

The trip of a lifetime had just begun.

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