Queen’s Guards

April 02, 2013-LondonBuckinghamGuards-3762

April 02, 2013-LondonBuckinghamGuards-3762

The Changing of the Guards at roughly 11:00am (it starts at 10:40am).  The Guard goes around the Monument and down towards the mall.  These Foot Guard Sentries are active military members and are actively ready for duty if necessary.

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After the morning’s breakfast, we set off to tour the Palaces of London. We took a bus to Trafalgar Square, which is a large open area and home to the National Museum. There is a large monument in the square with a lion on each corner. Definitely one of the more popular parts of the Square for tourists.

April 02, 2013-LondonTrafalgarSquare-3715Trafalgar Square facing the National Museum

April 02, 2013-LondonGrantTrafalgarSquare-3723Grant checking out the square

April 02, 2013-LondonMeTrafalgarSquare-3732These Lions are a popular spot in the square.. the little boy next to me beat me to the good spot.

From there, we headed towards Buckingham Palace, with a short stroll through St. James Park. When we got to the front of the Palace, we were greeted with a sizable crowd and police men. Not knowing what was going on, we lined up against the road with everyone else and heard a band start to play. Perfect timing! We made it right before the changing of the guards! At first, we thought we were on the wrong side as the band made its way around the opposite side of the circle, but a few moments later, the actual guards marched by, led by a few horses. It was really interesting to see!

April 02, 2013-LondonFlag-3747 The UK’s Pride

April 02, 2013-LondonBuckinghamPalace-3751Buckingham Palace

April 02, 2013-LondonBuckinghamStatue-3783The Pinnacle of the Monument for Queen Victoria in front of the Palace

We walked back through St. James Park toward’s Westminster Palace, but walked through the Household Cavalry Museum where another changing of guards was happening AGAIN! The two previous guards (on horses) paraded out as the new ones took their places.

April 02, 2013-LondonJamesParkDucks-3808 These ducks were fighting(?) all over the pond..
April 02, 2013-LondonCavalry-3838One of the King’s Troops, Royal Horse Artillery outside Horse Guards (Cavalry Museum).

April 02, 2013-LondonUnderground-3846The infamous “Tube”

We walked by Downing St then to Westminster Palace (home of Big Ben). I’ve seen this in so many movies (notably the scene from a favorite movie of mine 28 Days Later where they cleared the entire street for an opening scene!) so it was exciting to see in person.

April 02, 2013-LondonWestminster-3878Westminster Palace with “Big Ben” on the right

After walking across the Thames, we found Ned’s Noodle Bar to grab some lunch. A stroll past the London Eye brought us along the Thames River.

April 02, 2013-LondonEye-3894The London Eye

Since we didn’t have much time in the city, we asked the recommendations of people’s favorite museum or gallery. The Tate Modern seemed to top many people’s lists, so a few short kilometers later we found ourselves in the gallery. Their exhibits were all themed, with many being about putting a modern twist on older works of art, or the pure manipulation of the canvas through destruction (fire, cutting, etc.). Much different than many of the works of renaissance artists we’ve seen in places like the Louvre.

April 02, 2013-LondonTateModern-3919Tate Modern

The other guys were extremely excited about the fact that London had a Chipotle restaurant. So it was a burrito bowl from Chipotle for dinner. A little taste of America in a bowl (even though it’s Mexican..).

We watched the FC Barcelona versus Paris game before getting to bed early, with an early 4:15 wake up time to catch our flight to Amsterdam, Netherlands!

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