A Short Visit to London

My last stop on my very busy couple of weeks in Europe was in London. After leaving Munich, I flew back to London where I was spending a couple of nights. I had a day trip to Wales to see a Partner on Thursday, before a late afternoon flight home.

 A sign at the train station in Wales. Crazy language!

A sign at the train station in Wales. Crazy language!

I got into London in the early evening, and took the Heathrow Express back to Paddington, where my hotel was located a couple of blocks from the train station. That trip brought back a lot of memories from my time living in London, where every trip I did followed that same path. Good times.

After getting settled, I wandered out to the edge of Hyde Park, a few blocks away where I found a great pub, and had a pint and some very traditional pub food. More good memories. I didn't last long after that. It had been a long day, and I was exhausted. I had an early start in the morning as well. 

I was up early on Thursday, and took the trains a couple of hours west to Wales, where I spent the day with a partner. It was a productive day, even if the train ride out wasn't particularly smooth. 

I was back to London by just after dinner time, and was able to catch up with my friend Mark at the Victoria Pub, a few blocks from my hotel. We had some dinner, and spent the evening catching up, which was great. I felt like I should have done more with the evening, but it had been a long couple of weeks, and so I called it a night.

The Victoria Pub

I had most of the day Friday to myself, before heading to the airport for a 5:30 p.m. flight. I figured I had until about 1:00 to explore. I got up early and went for a run through Hyde Park. It was a really nice day, and felt good to get out. 

My run in London, through the parks and around Buckingham Palace.

A Harlequin Duck - I had to stop to get a photo!

It wasn't my fastest run ever, as I stopped in a number of places to take some pictures. There were tons of wild flowers out.

The gardens out front of Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace

After my run, I went back to the hotel and got organized. I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, then headed out. I figured I had a few hours, and decided to head over to Trafalgar Square to spend some time in the National Gallery. It's such an amazing place - I can't tell you how many times I've been, but even to spend an hour wandering about is well worth it.

The National Gallery. It had started to get a bit cloudy at that point.

I think I spent about an hour wandering the gallery. As usual, I spent a bit of time in the Renaissance, then meandered over to the Impressionists. Seurat's Bathers, is one of my all time favourites, but the mood was spoiled by this huge class of teenagers and their guide who tromped over and took over the room. It was time to move on.

I didn't have a lot of time, so I headed back out to the Square, then over towards the Thames. I walked part way across the bridge at Charing Cross, to have a look at my old flat, the South Bank, the Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Such an amazing view, and what I think of when I think of London. 

My view.

Sadly, it was time to head back to the hotel, then off to the airport. I had about an hour still, which was a bit tight. So I walked back through Trafalgar Square, then along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. There was a Changing of the Guard, so I got to see a bit of that. Then it was a stroll back through Green and Hyde Park's to the hotel. While too short as always, it was a lovely visit, and a nice day.

The trip home was pretty uneventful, but it was so good to be home and see Justine!

Admiralty Arch. An Edwardian landmark building, formerly government offices, featuring archway entrance to the Mall.

A view up the Mall.

The Changing of the Guard.

A slightly different view of the gardens near Buckingham Palace

I had heard of the parrots living in Hyde Park, but I had never seen them before!

I saw the whole flock this time - too cool!