London, day 3: feeling the pain

Day three was rough. Our bodies were definitely feeling the pain from our hardcore sightseeing, walking and stair climbing in London. I can’t even describe how sore we were. Just picture us hobbling through this entire day:

We got up “early” to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. We arrived 45 minutes early to get a good spot at the gate and waited. And waited. And the tourists crowded in. And it was HOT. The crowd grew and closed in around us, and you know how I feel about people. So after getting a couple photos of the guards who were waiting to be relieved, and standing and sweating in the crowd for a good 20 minutes, we called it quits. Rick Steves (or Steven Ricks as Daniela calls him) said the actual change was not that exciting anyways.

Tired Buckingham Palace guard waiting for the new guards to arrive

Luckily, as we were leaving, we came across the little parade that escorts the new guards coming to replace the current guards. I’m pretty sure this was actually the most exciting part of the whole ceremony anyways.

Parade escort for the new guards

Next up we headed towards Westminste Abbey, but first Daniela asked a policeman for directions:

To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect at Westminster Abbey, but it was really cool. The church was so jam-packed with tombs, monuments and ornate pieces. The cloister was really peaceful, and seeing the tombs of Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton was cool, but my favorite part was definitely Poets’ Corner. It was full of tombs of so many literary giants.

Next we walked up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square again, and on the way we met another guard:

We went to visit the National Gallery, which was free (woohoo). There were some interesting pieces, but not my favorite museum in the world. Then again, we were so physically exhausted that I probably wasn’t in prime museum-visiting mode.

We tried to relax by heading to Hyde Park. Unfortunately, that really only resulted in more walking. It was a nice park, though, with a big lake in the middle, surrounded by benches, a trail, cafes and even a mini beach. You could even rent paddle boats and paddle your little heart out in the lake. While our hearts were up for it, our little tired legs were not, so we just lay down on a bench for a tiny bit. I love visiting parks, they are for sure the most relaxing, free activity you could take advantage of in any city you’re exploring.

We set out on one more mission before we left Hyde Park: to find the Peter Pan statue. We found it!

Since we were in the neighborhood, we also decided to stop by Harrod’s in Knightsbridge. I definitely felt like I was dressed too bummy to even step into the store! And sadly, even though they were having a big annual sale, I still couldn’t afford anything! The joys of being unemployed, I guess.

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