The Importance of Getting the High Ground [Day 15 Europe]

[5.22.2009] journal entry

Okay, second big day with London Pass – we started out by going to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. Interesting. Sooo many people showed up, it’s crazy. Thanks to Rick Steve’s tips we found some high ground on the monument area in the middle of the ’roundabout’ in front of the palace. We spent about 1.5 hours there – most of it waiting. The marching around and the band playing was cool, but not so much to warrant that many people. It took a while for the mob to disperse, but then we headed over to the Queen’s Gallery next to the Palace. The Palace wasn’t open for tours right now. The gallery was really cool. Very nice pieces, paintings and furniture. In the Queen’s Gallery gift shop I found an adorable ornament and some sweet gifts for some people. =) After the gallery we headed up to Trafalgar Square for lunch. [T-Mobile commercial in Trafalgar Square on Youtube. fun] On our way we saw the guards changing outside St. James Palace. It was way easier to see and I got much better pictures. Then we got lunch at Pret A Manger and headed over for a quick peek at 10 Downing St. Of course the street is completely protected by gates but I snuck in a few pictures just because. We also passed the horse guards at the Calvary Museum and then headed to the National Gallery. Very cool art from the classic greats like da Vinci, Renoir, Matese, Monet, etc. I loved it but by the end we were almost museumed out. One big one (museum) to go. Ran into the National Portrait Gallery which looked cool but we didn’t have time to do. Popped over to their gift shop for some great postcards and found some photo clips (also seen on then we headed to a place nearby call Chomsky for some great Indian food. It was so delicious. I don’t remember what the dishes were called but I had a lamb appetizer then chicken curry and rice and this little fried dough dessert. John had chicken and he ordered a mango mousse with raspberries and mango glaze – so good. It was pretty fair on price too. Afterwords we hopped the tube back to Southwark near the Tate Modern. It’s open until 10 PM on Fridays so we decided to visit it last that day. It was a totally different art experience. Honestly, it was a nice change to see some modern and different kinds of art. I love that piece in the second room of the first main exhibit downstairs (which I was planning on looking up later–oops). They also have this interactive exhibit that just opened that day. Apparently a version of it had opened 38 years ago and had to be shut down after four days because the public got so excited that they basically broke the exhibit. Ooops. Took some pictures of that too. After the Tate closed we headed back to the apartment. My feet are ready to fall off.

Only one more full day left!

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