We landed at Heathrow, London on 26 May 2001 with much anticipation of what lay ahead. Having cleared customs, we headed for the London underground, and so our adventure began!
26 - 27 May 2001
We met Peter's friend Ross at our London hotel, and immediately set out on a hectic tour of the sites of London. Ross made a very competent and informative guide, whisking us on and off the underground to the various sights.
Our first significant visit was the impressive St. Paul's Cathedral. Whilst admiring the size and elegance of the building, we decided to climb up the stairs to the whispering gallery. From there, we climbed further stairs to the top of the dome. In all, we climbed about 500 stairs!
Being good, patriotic South Africans, our next stop was South Africa House in Trafalgar Square. From there we saw the Horse Guard Parade, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben... At about 5.00 we stopped in at a pub on Leicester Square. Later, we met up with Peter's friend Donald who had travelled into London to meet up with us, and enjoyed a Japanese style meal at Wagamama's. It was great to have been able to meet up with Ross and Donald so early in the trip.
After a good night's sleep and welcome rest for the feet, we were off to see the sights again. Our main activity for the morning was a visit to the Tower of London. The Tower has a long and interesting history, although for Linda, the interest probably lay elsewhere - the Crown Jewels!
We met Ross at about mid-day, so up until then we had to navigate our own way around the underground. The underground itself was reasonable easy to get the hang off; what we battled with was the disorientation when we once again surfaced above ground. Our lunch was a picnic in St. James' Park:
This was followed by more walking - including Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park.
We eventually arrived back at our hotel, were we had a light (although expensive) supper and bid farewell to Ross. An early night was called for, as the following morning we would depart at 6.00 am for Europe.