a day in London

Finishing off our trip, Meghan and I flew back to Nairobi and then on to an overnight flight to Heathrow.

We took the Picadilly Underground into the city which dropped us off just across the street from our Kensington Gardens area hotel.  Since we arrived first thing in the morning, we were unable to check in to our hotel room so we just dropped off our bags and walked around for a bit.

We started off through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, eventually hitting Oxford Street but being a Sunday, it was pretty quiet as most of the shops were still closed.  But, we found a cafe for breakfast and enjoyed a light meal with some good coffee.

After our breakfast we continued walking around for a bit and eventually found ourselves in front of Buckingham palace where the changing of the guard was going on – or so we thought.. we later realized that it was a bit more than that, with two marching bands performing and was probably associated with the annual Colonel’s Review (which happened the previous day) and Sovereign’s Birthday (which would happen the following week).  We stayed there for a little while and enjoyed the music and watched the crowds and then eventually moved on.

We next walked along the Thames for a while checking out the London Eye and walking along the water.  The weather was quite warm and there were a lot of people out on the streets enjoying the sun, as were we, though we were starting to feel the effects of the overnight flight, no shower, and a little too much sun.  So we sat on the shade side of a pub with a couple of pints and relaxed for a while.

We decided to take an underground back to our hotel so that we could finally check in and shower but the tube station was closed so we found ourselves walking further to the next station.  Along the way we saw a billboard for the Lion King which we thought would be a fun end to our Africa trip so rather than heading back to the hotel we grabbed a train in the opposite direction and got tickets for the matinee performance.

It was a lot of fun seeing the Lion King and fully appreciating all of the Africa references in the performance – like the sets and costumes and the way the animals move – so much of it is right on.  And with all of the kids in the theater for the matinee we got the added treat of enjoying the show with their perspective exhibited through their laughter and gasps.

After the play we finally head back to our hotel where we showered and changed while watching a little of UEFA EURO 2008 soccer.  And when we were ready to head out we went to a local pub to watch the beginning of the next game (Germany Poland).

For dinner we found an Indian restaurant with a TV so we could watch the remainder of the game while enjoying a good Curry.

By the time we finished dinner it was about 10:00 and we were amazed that it was still light out!  During our whole Africa trip the sun had been setting by 6:00 so we were a little taken off guard that it was already so late.  And with the weight of the flights and the trip behind us we were pretty beat.  So off to bed and up the next morning for our flights home.

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