Day 3 London
Our flight from Singapore to London was a little ahead of schedule and we were able to get through customs and immigration reasonably quickly, so we had a chance to grab a half decent cup of coffee and something to eat before Julie arrived to meet us. We then made our way to the bus and were confronted with a cold blast as we exited the building, a significant change from what we had left 13 hours before in Singapore. No time for hanging around, we made our way to pick up Paul and Jo and were on our way into London to do the first of our commemorations of the day. First into Hyde Park Corner where Tamika and Kira did their first commemorations for the trip at the Australian War Memorial there. Our next stop; The Animals in War memorial on Park Lane on the edge of Hyde Park, dedicated to the memory of all those animals that have served in times of war, many of them losing their lives alongside the soldiers that they were supporting. Charlotte made her first commemoration here, using the example of two Australian horses; Midnight and Bill the Bastard, as a representation of the important roles that animals played. Her commemoration was delivered with such passion that there weren’t any dry eyes among the group when she had finished.
Then some sightseeing. A bit of a drive around Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and a few other similar sights then we got off and walked around the Houses of Parliament, on to Whitehall, passed Number 10, and the Horse Guards where we stopped for the obligatory photos with the ever patient horses and their riders. We also got to see the “Colours” being brought back to headquarters after the changing of the guard. From here we walked to Trafalgar Square, ticking another item off of Kira’s bucket list. We then made our way back to where the bus was parked with a quick side trip onto Westminster Bridge for a look at the “Eye” before jumping on board and heading to the Tower Of London. A great opportunity for a bite to eat and then a look around the riverfront of the Tower and the Tower Bridge.
The last stop of the day was the Imperial War Museum, a must see if you are ever in London. It has massive displays and to try and see it all in one visit takes too much out you. Best to focus on one area and then promise yourself a return visit to see some more next time. There are displays on each of the World Wars as well as other conflicts and the “Holocaust” display is a trip by itself.
After a few hours here we headed north of London to our “digs” for the night, stopping off at a little pub for tea on the way.