Our train pulled into Victoria Station, and we followed the flow of the crowd out onto the street. We looked at our offline maps and confidently went in the wrong direction for a few blocks, then turned around and tried the other direction. On the way we passed this:
We continued and found The Grosvenor Hotel. After checking in we followed the long, convoluted trail to our room which involved TWO elevator rides with a long walk between them, as we were in the annex. Later we discovered we were at the farthest end of the hotel, as indicated here:
And if we’d taken the right exit from the station, we would have come out literally right next to our hotel.
The view from our window. Neat!
We decided to head right out and walk off all those hours spent on the train by swinging by Her Majesty’s home.
This was pretty close to our hotel, and we would be walking by it many times in the next couple days.
Wow, now THAT’S GOLD!
I have a crush on these little black taxis, I wonder if I can get one in the US?
The first night we decided to take a night time bus tour, as Rick Steve’s guidebook recommended them as a great way to get your bearings, and during a time when you probably wouldn’t be doing anything else. I think it probably did help a bit. Problem was, getting to it. We bought tickets online, then were supposed to catch it by the Ritz, on the other side of the park next to the Palace. But when we walked there, we got a little lost, and ended up hurrying, and ultimately flat out running to catch the bus just as it was ready to go! I did not think I had any running left in me after all the walking we had done, but there you go. We got our seats, and enjoyed a cool evening tour around town.
The next morning we got breakfast at a nearby coffeeshop, then took a bus down to Westminster to catch a waterbus to Tower of London, because I believe the main thing we had to do that day was go to a play at the Globe, and we already had tickets, so we couldn’t be late.
Water Bus! These were part of the bus system and you paid for them with your Oyster card, same as regular buses, so that was pretty cool. Transportation, plus a fun ride on the river all in one!
We got off at Tower of London, but after seeing the lines and the price of admission, we decided to pass on it. We headed over to cross to the South Embankment to walk to the Globe. And to do that we had to cross:
Tower Bridge! It’s beautiful!
Once on the other side there’s a nice promenade that runs the length of the waterfront, at least as far as we went. Lots to see, and benches to rest on (we were getting REALLY tired from all the walking).
Along the way we saw whatever this is. It wasn’t moving, but it looked like a lot of its parts were water-animated when it was turned on.
We also saw this beautiful ship in drydock.
Finally we got to the Globe, where we got our cushions and waited with a mob to get in. For a weekday afternoon, there were plenty of patrons!
Lots of people on the floor! The whole theater was packed. The seats in the balconies were benches scrunched up to the railing so tight my knees were touching the railing and I couldn’t quite put my feet on the floor. It was super-uncomfortable, and my legs fell asleep, which definitely cut into my enjoyment of Othello. It was probably the best performance I have seen of Othello, but if Dave hadn’t wanted to stay I would have bailed at intermission.
Afterwards I had a little meltdown as I was tired, my feet were tired, my legs were sore, and we didn’t have a phone to direct us to a good restaurant, so the last thing I wanted to do was wander aimlessly looking for a place to eat and end up at some weird pub that didn’t have table service. Dave stayed cool and led me to an italian restaurant nearby with a view of the river and St Paul’s Cathedral, and table service. Perfect.
Next: A long boat ride to nowhere, as I get us lost.
The whole trip:
England – Getting There
England – Bath
England – Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle
England – York
England – York Part 2
England – London
England – London Part 2
England – London Part 3