England / London

Leaving London

So, it is time to leave London.  We woke up this morning, Scott brought me my coffee (from one of the 4 Starbucks within a 2 block radius) and we started packing up.  We got everything ready to go, and then went for one last walk to Trafalgar Square.  We decided to stop at Pret for lunch – since they are literally on every corner, and seem to be the quick  & easy run in for food place to be.  We’ve been seeing them everywhere, and Lydia has been asking to go in.

The awesomely droll Policeman.

The awesomely droll Policeman.

We were headed to the Pret we knew was beside Trafalgar, when we stumbled into road blocks and the road shut down.  People were murmuring about what was going on, one person saying the queen was coming through, another saying the horses were coming.  There was a mounted policeman near us, and when he was asked he said, “Hold on a second and you’ll see.”  When a few people were getting irritated at the road being shut down, he finally looked over and said, “We’ve got 200 years of tradition here.  Sorry if it inconveniences you.”  But his voice sounded quite un-sorry and I found I liked him more for it.

So we waited a few minutes, and up the road came the Queen’s Life Guard, otherwise known as the Horse Guard.  They were on their way from their barracks to do the changing of the Horse Guard, and we just happened to be there.  So we got to get a few more pictures of them, and then duck into Pret.

There were several guys doing this schtick.  The girls loved looking and figuring out how they did it.

There were several guys doing this schtick. The girls loved looking and figuring out how they did it.

Pret is the easy place to stop in and grab pre-made sandwiches, drinks, crisps, and pastries.  So we all grabbed a sandwich, drink and treat, and went over to Trafalgar Square to sit and eat our lunch for a last look around.  The intention was to let the girls climb the lions one last time, but that was derailed by the construction of a large platform that was taking place.  I’m kind of sorry we’ll miss it, because the London Symphony Orchestra will be giving an open air concert in the square!  Doesn’t that sound great?

IMG_4099So, instead, we sat on the steps in the square, ate our lunches, and watched all the different people milling about, as well as the street performers.  We were even accosted by one guy insisting on making bracelets for Lydia and KatieRose.  We let him and paid him a few pounds for it.  It was our last day, and we weren’t going to be able to change back the coins anyway.

IMG_4089And then it was time to grab our luggage and put the tube system to the test getting all of us and all out luggage through, including train change, to St. Pancras station, where we could take the train through the chunnel and to Paris.  Except for being a bit awkward when we had to carry bags up and down steps, it was no big deal, and we were at St. Pancras, through their security, and boarding out train smoothly.

By the way, that's "V for Victory" not the peace sign!

By the way, that’s “V for Victory” not the peace sign!

The train from London to Paris takes about 2.5 hours, hitting speeds of about 185mph.  That’s some pretty quick and easy travel.  The chunnel itself was just a really long tunnel, and there’s no mention of ‘this is it!’ or anything.  We had gone through a couple of tunnels coming out of London, and we hit another that was really long, and that was the chunnel.  Next thing we knew we were in France!

St. Pancras Station in London.

St. Pancras Station in London.

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