LondonAugust 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom
Today we headed out to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. I have seen this spectacle a few times now, but this was the first time I saw the full blown ceremony. We started with a stroll through St James Park and like obedient tourists, got there an hour early (although that was more accidental than planned). You can imagine Craig's delight at waiting for an entire hour, in the sun!
The Band of the Irish Guards accompanied the parade today, so there was lots of pomp and pageantry (or standing around and being yelled out by the head Guard if you ask the kids).
We left a little before the main crowd and was rewarded by a very short queue of less than 5 minutes at Westminster Abbey, and a good chunk of that was waiting for the ticket man's machine to connect to the payment network to take our money. I can never get tired of coming to this place. It is quite simply an awesome spectacle. This time around, audio guides were issued as part of the ticket and Finn and Kate listened with great interest to all the commentary as we moved throughout the Abbey.
The rest of the day consisted of walking various Monopoly landmarks along Pall Mall past Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and onto Euston Station to catch a train out to the Harry Potter Studios.
The journey home was an interesting one. We got off the train to change lines at Shepherd's Bush and was confronted by thousands of people making their way to the same Tube station. When the authorities tried to close the station because it was too crowded there was a surge of people into the station trying to keep the gates from closing. Given it then looked like a riot was about to start, we decided to catch the bus instead, but the sheer volume of people made that an impossibility so walking 30+ minutes home was the next option. Picture four tuna trying to swim in the opposite direction to several thousand tuna. It was hard work. Katie was at the right level to take a few elbows to the head, so even though quite "intense" (code for freaked out a little), it was still a spectacle.Read more