I don’t recommend a London crash course weekend! Yet, that is exactly what we did thanks to my poor planning. We flew from India to London for 3 nights/2 days before our final destination, Brazil. While we maximized our feet walking 26+ miles and seeing some wonderful history and culture, London deserves more respect and I hope that someday we may stay longer.
Take a deep breath, put your power walking shoes on, and enjoy the snapshot. We essentially took 4 walking tours in 2 days:
During a typical London fashion rainstorm, we trooped through with our free guide (but not so free) who entertained us with royal history on Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and a canceled changing of the guard – when it rains…
The second tour was a night trawling for the grim reapers of London’s dark side. Sebastian & I saw criminal history including Jack the Ripper.
Our third was a self-guided walk of Kensington Palace & Gardens where the most talked about royals, Prince William & Kate, reside. This included a lovely fashion exhibit showing the royal styles over the years including many Lady Diana dresses.
Finally, London would not be complete without a Tower tour. The fortress that guards the Crown Jewels and has kept many acriminal jailed as well as queens and consorts that fell out of favor. The Nepalese Gurkha guards happened to be on duty which reminded us of our times in India and the shakes of Nepal’s earthquake only weeks earlier. We walked across London Bridge to Borough Market for a fantastic lunch on whatever your heart desires. Louisa and I shared a meat pie from The Pie Minister while Sebastian and Leti chowed down on pulled pork and dogs.
For our big night out, we went to the Royal Drury Lane Theater for Charlie & Chocolate Factory. Despite our nosebleed seats from above, the show was fun and entertaining for the whole family. And if that’s not enough, we did our best to eat like kings. We dined on burgers and beer at famous Patty & Bun – something we all craved. Leti ate her favorite meal – chicken livers while I enjoyed a classic fish & chips at the Royal Automobile Club where we stayed. The girls had a chance to spend an afternoon shopping and English tea at 5 star Brown’s Hotel while the boys climbed Monument that is like a lighthouse in the center of the city with great views!
As you can imagine, we departed London in exhaustion and ready for some Rio beach time!