After visiting Germany (here, here, here and here), we headed for London to take part in World Travel Market, the biggest travel trade show in the world. Of the five days spent in London, four consisted of non-stop work. On day 5 we were being picked up at 13:00 to go to the airport for our return flight, which gave me a morning to do some sightseeing. And I wasn't going to let the opportunity slip me by. I wasn't planning to miss much so I hopped on the rail at 7am that morning and headed for Tower Hill Station. From here my feet would have to do the work. I headed past the Tower of London and over Tower Bridge, glancing at the HMS Belfast as I went by it towards London Bridge. Crossing London Bridge I joined the throngs of people heading for work with coffee in one hand and my Big Bus Company tour map in the other. It had more detail than a conventional street map as well as pictures of the main buildings and attractions, so it was a huge help.
Suddenly St Pauls Cathedral rose up of the surrounds and loomed in front of me. And this just as the sun started to shine on it. Awesome sight... brief sight... and I moved on. From here it was a bit of a long trek towards Trafalgar Square where, after a couple more pictures, I veered off towards Piccadilly Circus. Halfway between the two a curio shop caught my eye. If I was on a dirt road I would have came to a stand still in a ball of dust. A couple of teaspoons, little plates and other bric 'n' brac later and I was on my way again.
After Piccadilli (why call it a circus if there are no clowns?) I changed direction again towards the river and royalty. Next stop, Buckingham Palace. There were no crowds and no changing of the guards. Oh well, no loss. I hear it's a bit of a boring affair, but I'm sure I did see the Queen peeking through the curtains in one of the upstairs windows checking out this incarnation of the comic book character Flash heading for Big Ben.
By the time I got to Westminster Abbey my feet was burning and I finally slowed down to an amble. The cathedral was like the shade of a tree on a warm day, Nelson Mandela's statue in Parliament Square was like a cool breeze blowing into my face, but the thing that was like that little plastic packets of water a runner gets every few kilometers was Big Ben. It was the one thing in London that I had to see in person and I wasn't disappointed. After buying a couple more curios I crossed the Westminster Bridge and caught a water taxi back towards Docklands and my waiting suitcase. The London Eye will have to wait for another visit.