Today, Londoners are having their 4 day week end, celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Simple word from me: “I wish I was there…”. I am not British, but like many others around the world, we all like British Royals and especially the Queen herself.
I am lucky enough to be married to a “Brit” who just happens to be a royalist. The problem is we don’t live in the UK, thus for this very week, we were in Doha, watching the celebration on TV.
However, I managed to convince Keith to take us to London for a day, after a family wedding 3 weeks ago. I was sick and had a fever a day before, but I forced myself to go on that Saturday afternoon, as this might be my only opportunity to see the atmosphere first hand, just to go to London 3 weeks prior to the celebration. We were in the UK for a family wedding, not in London, but I persuaded Keith to go to London by train, just for the day.
London is a big city, as well as full of history, thus what one can do in London for a day? Well, not much really, however, there are some websites that give suggestions of what we can do for a day out in London.
Visit London, suggested to start the visit with the National Gallery just off Trafalgar Square, however, if you are a day tripper to London from nearby, (like we were), I think it’s better to go to London by train, and we arrived at Waterloo Station, which is nearby to the London Eye, and that is what we did. However, to do the London Eye, one needs to book prior, as it’s a very popular attraction. As I had been up there before, we gave it a miss. I also gave London Aquarium a miss, even though it’s next door to the Eye.
Yes, one can spend the rest of the day in this area by doing these attractions, but for me, as I liked the atmosphere and the life of the city, I decided to just walk across Westminster Bridge, and turn right on Parliament Square, down Whitehall. Looking to Downing Street, to the office and official resident of the Prime Minister. Funny enough, right next to Downing Street there was this demonstration on UK Police Racial Code and right across there was this pro Campaign for Palestine.
From that bit of excitement, we then passed by Horse Guards, where people can walk in and out of the Horse Guards Parade.
At the end of Whitehall we arrive at Trafalgar Square, where the count down of the 2012 Olympic games was located and where people sit around on the steps posing, watching an open air concert.
To the right of Trafalgar Square, we then walked through Admiralty Arch on to The Mall. On normal days, this place is quiet and uninteresting, but I bet during the Royal events, I bet hundred thousands of people will be marching through this place, and I could already imagine the bunting along The Mall, The Mall will look very alive and full of atmosphere for the Jubilee. But this time, this is my picture of The Mall.
OK, we did not stay on The Mall, as it is a pretty long road and ends up at Buckingham Palace, but instead we turn right heading for Regent Street. This is one of the posh shopping areas in London, where one can find lots of designer shops. This road is another long road that you could spend window shopping or real shopping for the whole day. However, off Regent street, there’s this interesting area called Carnaby Street, a pedestrianised shopping street located in the Soho district, that I think is worth seeing.
By the time we reach Oxford Street and Oxford Circus station, it was already late, around 7 o’clock in the evening, and we were already very tired and ready to go back to our hotel in Guildford, but I also wanted to see the London blue hour, thus we just headed back to the London Eye area to get ready for the sunset/blue hour. That concluded our one day visit to London.