Saturday, January 31, 2015

Days 1 and 2: Home to London England

Days 1 & 2                6/18/14 and 6/19/14

We met at the MacDonald’s house to ride to Detroit via school van to get to the airport. The participants going on the trip are:

·       Gavin Hoople                                  
·       Becky Hoople
·       Jill DeBoer
·       Zach DeBoer
·       Elise Jorgensen
·       Heidi Dygert
·       Roger MacDonald
·       Phyllis MacDonald

We made great time getting to the airport, stopping at McDonalds on the way. After saying good bye to our drivers, we got through security and waited for our flight. 

There was a major thunderstorm coming from the west towards the airport that delayed flights in Chicago. Our flight was late and it started raining as we were taxing down the runway. We made it, escaping Detroit to arrive in Boston with 40 minutes to get on our next flight. Luckily, we made it and so did our luggage. We arrived at 6:30 am in London,

Our tour director, Anna Viani, met us after we got through customs. She informed us that the other groups from Texas and California would not arrive until mid-afternoon, so she would spend the day with us.
Arriving at the Heathrow Airport

Anna suggested we take the Thames river cruise and so we decided to do it. The group was excited to be in London and enjoyed the trip to central London. I started cat napping, something I couldn’t stop throughout the day.

We were dropped off near the London Eye and I was surprised at how busy it was. I was told it was the most popular tourist attraction in London. For almost £21, you get to go around the Ferris wheel for a half hour and see great views of London.
The London Eye
Jill and Zach DeBoer with the Elizabeth Tower in the background

We got on the boat, going to the upstairs section that was open. The day started out warm, and the sun was out. Some interesting things about the tour of the Thames:
The Palace of Westminster

Old and new architecture

London Bridge

The Tower of London

the Shard
·       There was a lot of different architecture that was in the London skyline.
·       The word wharf came from the phrase “warehouse at river front”.
·       The old wharfs have been made into apartments that can cost close to a million dollars to buy.

We saw the Cutty Sark, a famous sea vessel that was used in the tea and wool trade.  It was notable because of the speed it used to complete the routes.

The rear view of the Cutty Sark
The front of the Cutty Sark

After the tour, we were dropped off at Greenwich Village; we exchanged money and prepared to eat. We tried the pot and mash of Goddard’s of Greenwich for the traditional British meal.
An English meal

Afterwards, we explored the Royal Astronomical museum. We saw the origin of Greenwich Mean Time and the history of where east meets west.
Official time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich

We went back to Westminster point and walked to Trafalgar Square. We shopped for an hour plus while the groups from Texas and California met us. Texas had bad luck with 5 bags lost at the airport.

Once we met, we did some more shopping until we walked down to our meal at a place called Bistro 1 Mediterranean. We had chicken patties (breaded), potatoes, and peas. Dessert was a banana cream confection.

From the restaurant, we walked to where the bus was waiting for us and got a ride to our place, the Premier Inn at Barking. Everyone got their room cards and went to settle in.

Anna called one meeting and then we retired for the night. The Inn didn’t retire, as England played Uruguay in the World Cup. Final Score: Uruguay 2, England 1
£55 = $100.00

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