Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Fever is upon us, we are cheering for at least 4 teams right now! Whenever Germany wins a game we know immediately, all the horns honking and people driving around waving flags from their cars. It's great!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

London - Monday 

So it was our last day in London and we still had plenty to see! We started out by going to see Trafalgar Square, and having some Starbucks on the way. Jacob had gotten a book about London and we wanted to be sure to see all the sights in the story, so that was one we hadn't seen. We checked it out for a while, managed to keep Jacob out of the fountains and then hopped on the underground again. We were off to the Natural History Museum. This was one of the highlights of our trip, it was so much fun. It's been a while since we have been in a museum that we can understand everything, not having to try and translate it all. There was plenty for Jacob to do, and even a "real" T Rex to look at. (It growled and snorted at us!) The building that was built for the museum was really neat also, so many details in every bit of the architecture.

We were close to Harrod's Department Store, so we decided to stroll over and have a look. We looked around a little bit, a pretty amazing store. Very crowded and overdecorated, but I guess that is the point. We were ready for something to eat,so we grabbed something and then went back to the hotel, to start packing up to go home early the next morning. Kenny went on a walking tour that evening that he really enjoyed, it was with London Walks. He went on the "Jack the Ripper" tour, guided by a guy that is "the" authority on Jack the Ripper. We will definitely take some of their other tours if we get back to London, they have so many. And all you do is show up, and start walking! While he did that Jacob and I hung out at the hotel and got everything ready for the next morning, we had to leave early to catch our flight back to Germany!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

London - Sunday 

The weather looked great so we decided to ride the

London Eye

We had checked into it on Friday afternoon but the lines were very long, so we were there right at opening time on Sunday morning and the lines were not too bad. It takes about 30 minutes and since the weather was clear we had great views of the city. Jacob enjoyed the ride too, he thought it was fun to go up so high. When we were finished there we took the underground to the London Zoo. It was probably one of the longest trips on the underground, most places are just a couple stops away. Once we arrived at our stop we had quite a walk to the zoo, we were glad we had Jacob's stroller. Otherwise he would have been worn out before we got to the zoo. The lines to get in were so long, but we eventually made it through the gate. It is a nice zoo, lots of animals. We saw the statue commemorating the bear that inspired the "Winnie the Pooh" stories, here is Jacob with it.

The plaque in the back tells the story, here it is in a short summary :
On August 24th, 1914 while enroute overseas during World War I Lieutenant Harry Colebourn V.S. of the 34th Fort Garry Horse Regiment of Manitoba purchased a black Canadian bear cub at White River, Ontario. He named her Winnie, after Winnipeg, his hometown. The bear became the pet of the soldiers. While Lieutenant Colebourn served in France she was left in the care of the London Zoo. In 1919, he gave her to the zoo where she was visited and loved by many, including the author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher.

I had forgotten that this was where Winnie the Pooh came from, so it was a nice surprise. It is tucked away in a corner so I'm glad we didn't miss it! The exhibits were nice, we spent a few hours at the zoo. Jacob had a lot of fun, it was a nice break for him.

After the zoo we found a cab and went to the British Library, home to many historical manuscripts and books. We saw the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, original Alice in Wonderland writings, and many other items. The room all these things are in is not very large, but there is so much in there! We spent some time looking at them, and then headed back to Piccadilly Circus for dinner. While there we saw a movie premiere going on, they had a red carpet out and lots of security. And lots of people trying to see the movie stars! Then it was back to the hotel, we still had one day left!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

London -Saturday 

We set out Saturday morning to the Westminster Underground station, and started a walking tour from one of our books. We were right next to Big Ben (as Jacob calls it, "my old friend Ben") and the Parliament buildings. Around the corner from there is Westminster Abbey, so we joined the line to get in there. The church was so crowded, and we were there quite early. We took a while to see everything and even so I'm sure we missed out on some of the sights in the church. We saw as we were leaving Westminster that the line was twice as long to get in! We continued on our walking tour, it took us through a park towards Buckingham Palace, where we saw a bit of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. We took a break at a playground in the park where Jacob was delighted that everyone spoke English. I heard him talking to lots of people as he was trying out all the equipment. We then walked down the other side of the park, along the street you see in all the royal processions. At the end of that street we saw some more of the Guards. The horses were a little feisty, but the guards were not!
We were really close to Tralfagar Square at that point, so we took a look at that and then headed on for Piccadilly Circus. This area is full of shops, food and people, it is very entertaining. We went to Planet Hollywood for lunch, we were all starving by then. It was as good at Planet Hollywood ever is, we have visited quite a few of them. Our day was not over yet, we went on to the British Museum after lunch. This museum is much like the Louvre in Paris. You could spend days looking at everything. We went through and saw some highlights that we were interested in, and the things along the way to those items. One highlight we saw was the
Rosetta Stone, it was a very popular exhibit. By the end of our time in the museum we were so tired, we had really walked all over London. We grabbed some sandwiches and took the underground back to our hotel, ate dinner in the room and went to bed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


We had a great time in London, it was a lot of fun. We saw so much in the days we were there, everything that we had planned to see. The weather was okay, we had a little rain each day but never too much that we couldn't get around with our rain coats on.

We left from Germany on Thursday night, and it was a short flight to London Stansted Airport. There is a train that runs from the airport to Liverpool Station in the center of London, so we took that. From there we grabbed a taxi to our hotel, and got settled in for the next few days. The cabs are so cool there, they are the "black cabs" that you see in movies. They look like the PT Cruisers people drive in the U.S. The back area is huge, with a regular seat and some fold down seats. There are tons of cabs, it was never a problem to find one wherever we were.

Friday morning we woke up and headed for the Tower of London. We decided to walk so we could see some sights on the way, our path led along the Thames river towards the Tower bridge. We first went to look around a bit, and viewed the crown jewels. Then we joined a tour by one of the guards, also known as a "Beefeater". That was very good, they are very entertaining. After the tour we went into the main building, the white tower. There were many displays in there of old weapons, armor, etc. Jacob enjoyed seeing those things, and they had some hands on displays he could do.

When we finished up at the Tower we grabbed some lunch and headed for St Paul's Cathedral. Again we decided to walk, and see as much as possible. We passed by a monument to the destruction of the great fire of London, and many Starbucks. By the time we got to the cathedral Jacob was asleep, and he slept through all of it. It is such a beautiful and huge cathedral, with so much to see. There is a foot bridge leading across the Thames river very close to the cathedral, so we made our way across the bridge and wandered around back to our hotel. We weren't there too long, and decided to go out and find some Fish and Chips. Jacob had been wanting them since we were on the airplane, so we found a casual restaurant that offered them. Then it was back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

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