Wednesday, 11 July 2007

London--A Historical Day

We went to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, which began at 11:30. Even though we arrived at 10:45, there was already a sea of people. We crossed the road right before the Horse Guard crossed as they were heading down to begin their own parade. While waiting, we took some pictures of the guard, buildings, and flags. We were informed that the flag only flies over the palace when the Queen is in residence. Although I didn't notice them then, there were snipers sitting up on the roof, watching the crowd through binoculars. As the actually change happened, I couldn't see much, but I was doing my best. There is no concept of personal space here. This one gentleman in particular kept elbowing me in the breast until I had to ask him to please stop. I got my lucky break when the Marching band came in front of the palace. People, who were standing close to the gate, moved to the street trying to get a better view. I wriggled up into their spot and didn't let it go. Most of the actual ceremony was quite dull, but then the band broke it out. First the played Hurray for the Red, White, and Blue. Then they did this tribute to American music. It started off with Thriller, included some Bon Jovi, Madonna, etc. It was hilarious. After the craziness was over, we headed through yet another London park, St James.

In St James, we stopped and had lunch. This time, we forced to feed the pigeons are crust from our sandwiches, so that we could keep them distracted while we ate the main part of our food.

Next, we headed over to Westminster Abby. I was excited to be seeing the inside of the church where the Royals marry. However, when we got there we realize you had to pay quite the fee and couldn't take any pictures. I didn't see a whole lot of point in that. So, we enjoyed the view from the outside and then went and sat in St Margaret's. The church which is still used for services in the area.

After that stop, we headed over to see Big Ben. It is quite amazing. I had seen so many pictures of it as a child, that it amazed me that I was actually viewing it in person. We then went into Parliament building. There are no tours allowed, but they did allow us to sit on a debate session between their parties. It was the most entertaining political debate I had ever witnessed. Not only did I learn some interesting facts about British child support laws, but I got to see people talking to each other about issues in a way that seemed very real to me.

We were thinking about doing the London Eye that day, but I was just too exhausted to add one more thing into our list!

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