Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Portsmouth and London, England!

     This post is long overdue, mainly because Stephen and I are leaving tomorrow for Vienna to spend Thanksgiving in Austria and I still have not reported on England with Matthew.  A few weeks ago, actually probably a few months ago, Stephen's brother Matthew's Navy submarine docked in Portsmouth, England, so Stephen and I decided to meet him there and check out London, too.  We arrived at London-Gatwick on Tuesday and we flew back into Verona on Friday.  After renting a car at the airport we drove (yes, on the other side of the road) back to Portsmouth, a southern coastal town about an hour away from London.  We got dinner that night and decided to head to London early the next morning.  We first headed toward Buckingham Palace (after a stressful ride to park the car).  The area was full of officers and horses.

     We walked around Buckingham Palace, where as you can see, there were a lot of people, it was packed.  We saw the changing of the guards and then we kept walking along until we heard Big Ben ringing, so we started walking that way.

     The road lining up to the Palace was lined with British flags, and apparently these are Polish flags, so I think the ambassador from Poland was visiting that day.  

     We crossed through a beautiful park where we caught our first sight of the Eye of London, and stopped to get our picture taken--but as it seems the nice lady who took our picture did not get the wheel in the picture, but that is okay!

     We found the river Thames and Big Ben followed--and we decided that Big Ben must not refer to the size of the building because it really isn't that big, but since we could hear the bells from such a long way away, it must refer to the size of the bells!

     We spent the rest of the day walking around London, and since Stephen and Matthew are both big fans of Harry Potter, we took a long trek to King's Cross, the train station featured in the books and the movies.

     Altogether it was a great trip, unlike our other trips it was not touristy--we did a day in London, but then spent most of the time around Portsmouth a town that, as our English waiter informed us "has nothing to do." We did visit the birthplace of Charles Dickens, literally just a house where he was born.  It is in a neighborhood where normal people just live, and the museum is just another townhouse in a row of townhouses.  We had a great time and Matthew just arrived back in Connecticut a few days ago!