Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

London Eye, Mounted Cavalry & War Rooms

We walked our little legs off today sightseeing!! First stop was the bank and what a frustrating event that turned out to be, providing customer service does not enter into it. We had hoped to organise some debit cards quickly while we are in London this week. Over here it takes 7-10 days to get your card and then another 7 days to get your PIN. Nothing like putting your pin onto the card at the bank like at home. As we are moving around this makes things very difficult for us.

The next stop was London Eye situated on the River Thames. Last time we were here way back in 1999 this structure had been built but was lying on it's side ready to be pulled up in position. It has been operating for some time now of course and is a major draw card for tourists. The area was absolutely crowded with people and we thought we would be waiting in line for ages, but the lines were moving quite quickly.

Security was very strict and Jenny had to present her bag for inspection. Then we both had a wand passed over us. Before we were allowed to board the capsule it was thoroughly inspected for any suspicious items left behind, the security people even used a long handled mirror to check above the door fittings and under the seats.

London Eye

The London Eye is 135m tall (by comparison the Singapore Flyer is 165m) and the ride takes 30 minutes to slowly complete a rotation. It was a clear London day and we had marvelous views across the River Thames. The Houses of Parliament were very close and we could see Buckingham Palace peeping out further back behind the trees.

View From London Eye

Walking back along Whitehall we passed a mounted horse guard standing in the archway to the Household Cavalry barracks. Both horse and guard stayed perfectly still as people milled around getting their photos taken beside him. He was a model of patience.

Next stop was a visit to the war rooms and the adjoining Winston Churchill Museum. Some of the war rooms were just as they had been left at the conclusion of WW11 and had been sealed for some time. Others had been stripped of their contents but then recreated later using old photos for reference. The staff lived underground in these rooms, working long shifts and sleeping when they could. Winston Churchill ran the war and wrote and delivered his stirring speeches from these historic rooms.

Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms

We wandered back through St James Park and were delighted to see several tiny squirrels scampering around. They were so quick it was difficult to catch them on camera.

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