Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday - York to London

We seem to have grown accustomed to the early mornings. Again, this morning it was wake-up at 6:15, breakfast at 7:00, and departure at 8:00. The kids have been so punctual and even alert. The adults have all remarked about what great travelers they have been. We thought maybe our luck had run out with weather since it was cool and foggy as we left York, but the closer we got to London, the sunnier and warmer it got. Our luck holds. We hope that we can bring the sunshine and warmth home with us. We arrived in London close to 13:00 and were surprised that our rooms were ready at the St. Giles Hotel We quickly dropped the luggage in our rooms and boarded the coach so that Danny could take us to The Tower of London.
We said good- bye to Danny and thanked him for being a wonderful driver.

We ate a quick lunch and then entered the Tower. Most of us went straight to the Jewel House to see the Crown Jewels. The queue was long, but the wait was worth it. We were totally amazed at the bejeweled swords, maces, and orbs used in the coronation ceremonies. Also on display were crowns from the monarchs, including the 7 pound crown of St. Edward, the coronation crown. Many gold serving pieces filled glass cases. One student remarked that you could swim in the punch bowl.

Some also joined one of the Beefeater's tours, while others explored the Tower on their own. We saw the Bloody Tower, including Sir Walter Raleigh's room, Tower of Torture, Armory building, the chapel where Anne Boleyn is buried, and Traitor's Gate.
Of course, the ravens were there to greet us.

On the way out, we saw the set that the CBS Morning Show will be using for covering the Royal Wedding in the upcoming week. Then it was time for our daily group picture. Lots of sunburned noses and the beginning of tans thanks to the hot sunny day.

A couple of tube rides and we arrive at the restaurant for dinner. Ms. Montrois, did you enjoy the solo ride? We couldn't leave England without a fish and chips dinner and that's what we did on this, our last, night.

After dinner, we took the tube to Waterloo where we thought we were going to have our last night recap as well as witness a Good Friday procession. As we exited the tube station and walked a couple of short blocks, we realized that we were standing underneath the giant London Eye. Change that procession acidity to a surprise ride on the Eye. We did do our trip recap and thanks before boarding the Eye. In Sacket's tradition we posed a lot of "what ifs."

Then we joined the queue for the Eye and before long we were afforded magnificent views of London. Many of our travelers have vowed to return.

Back to the hotel and the news that we needed to be up and ready to board our coach for a trip to Gatwick Airport at 6 am. Not much time to organize our suitcases and get much sleep. But, we can sleep on the flight.

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