After that fun stop, we hustled back on the train and headed to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard. It was fun to see all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the ceremony. Plus, it was nice to get a good look at the palace, since commercial vehicles, like our tour bus, aren't allowed to drive in front of it.
From there, we walked through Green Park and Hyde Park, taking advantage, once again, of the surprisingly sunny weather. We decided to picnic in Hyde Park, next to The Serpentine Lake, where the swans, geese, and ducks entertained us while we ate. Our last act in the park was to visit Speaker's Corner, where, on Sundays, the public is invited to speak about whatever might be on its mind. The only caveat is that an individual who wishes to speak must be at least six inches off royal soil, so you need to bring your "soapbox," which is where, we were told, the saying "On your (my) soapbox" comes from.
We spent the rest of the afternoon aboard the hop-on, hop-off bus, seeing the interesting sights of the city and being thankful that we weren't seeing it on foot with the millions of other people wandering around. We are big fans of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour and will likely try it again sometime in another city.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in London, but we'll wrap it up tomorrow with a trip to Real Russia (the travel agency we are working with to book our Trans-Mongolian train trip), finalizing our visa applications for Russia and China, before heading to the coast for a few days, while they process everything.
|Platform 9 3/4|
|A sweet treat for a sweet boy|
|Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Beans|
|Some of the flavors are truly disgusting,|
but that is part of the appeal to boys, I think.
|The royal pipers during the Changing of the Guard|
|More Changing of the Guard pageantry|
|A walk in the royal park|
|A man on his "soapbox" in Speaker's Corner|
|Harrod's Department Store|
(I personally think this building is prettier than Buckingham Palace!)
London's answer to Times Square
|It was a full, fun, and fatiguing day!|