When I last left you we had spent our first full day in London. Today is day 2 of our trip November 3, 2013.
We needed to start the day with some nourishment and Jules saw an ad for a place nearby that looked encouraging. None of us bought any sort of internet plan for the trip, so we wouldn’t be able to rely on any mapping service to get us where we needed to go. It was okay though, we had maps that were printed on some sort of papyrus you could fold up, as well as a cage full of pigeons to send out in case we had need of any correspondence. In reality my phone was set to airplane mode but had the wifi on and I used an app called “London Travel Guide with Offline Maps” by tripwolf. This has an offline map and with wifi on, we could still pinpoint our position on the map, making it easy to navigate without a data plan. I’m pretty good at reading maps so this worked out well for us this trip and they had an app for each of the cities we were going to.
We found the restaurant we were looking for and it was closed, I think because it was a Sunday. Being a Sunday morning there wasn’t much open, but we just happened across a little restaurant called “Ponti’s Italian Kitchen”. This place was a hit for all of us, probably in our top 3 meals of the trip. Sometimes the stuff you stumble into on a trip ends up being the greatest.
grape & vanilla cooler, this was an amazing drink (from the menu: Juicy red seedless grapes with a splash of vanilla, a dash of lemon juice & cranberry juice)
– eggs florentine
– Special Breakfast, Ponti’s version of the full English
Bellies full we waddled onto the tube and got off next to the Tower of London. Moms and me visited this last time and while it is a great place to visit, our destination this trip was the Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is the iconic bridge of London and most people tend to call it London Bridge, but it’s not. That’s here in Arizona, or one of them is at least. Tower Bridge has a walkway at the top between the two towers that gives some nice views of the city. Originally this walkway was supposed to be used by citizens of London so they wouldn’t have to wait to cross the river when the big ships sailed through and the bridge was raised. Apparently, the citizens of old London were a bit lazier than the designers thought, because most people preferred to wait and watch the ships pass rather than haul their shopping up and down the stairs.
I am deathly afraid of heights so I was unsure how this was going to go down for me, but the walkway is enclosed and I didn’t really feel the height. The windows can be a little dirty, but there are portholes for an unfettered view. There are two walkways and each has photos and info on other famous bridges in the world. They play a couple of videos about the construction of the bridge and your ticket gains you entrance to the engines tour to see the huge machinery that raises and lowers the drawbridge. Even if you don’t pay you can walk across the bridge for some great views still.
– Tower of London
– Tower Bridge
– River Thames
– Moms made these cut-outs of the newest family member to take with us so he could enjoy the trip ala “Flat Stanley”. Here I am holding him.
– this guy asked Cuz to take his photo and I was taking some other photos and when I turned around he was doing the Gangnam Style dance; it was such an odd moment
– Tower Bridge sign
– engine room
– Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge engine rooms end like a Disney ride and exit into the gift shop. This was the first real souvenir shop we encountered so everybody was excited to buy their London merchandise. I bought some things and headed out to take some photos.
More to come, St. Paul’s Cathedral, more English food, and Piccadilly Circus yet to come.