|The Tower Bridge as seen from the Tower of London|
We took advantage of the long Pentecost weekend to fly to London. There is commuter jet service from Amsterdam to London City Airport, which is located very close to downtown. With the time change we left Amsterdam at 8:00 am and arrived at London City at 8:00 am. We took a short train, then the tube and were at our hotel by 9:15, just in time for breakfast.
The primary objective of the trip was theater. We saw three shows, with each of us picking one. Grant chose Phantom of the Opera, I chose Billy Elliot and Lori's choice was Rock of Ages. All three were great.
We also managed to fit in some culture. Our hotel was next door to the British Museum, where you can (and we have) spend most of a day. Since we'd been before, we took the one-hour highlights tour. After doing that tour, I'd call it a best practice. You see all the things you've heard about, Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, etc. but the pace is not so grueling.
|Chess pieces from the 1100's that were found in Scotland in the 1830's. They are made of walrus ivory and whale tooth.|
|The Royal Game of Ur. Maybe not as popular as Monopoly, but still interesting. It is from what is now Iraq and was played in 2500 BC.|
|We use this picture to threaten Goldie and Tai Tai|
|Kind of a scary looking cat|
|Part of the Tower of London|
|A raven from the tower.|
|The Imperial War Museum|
|Formerly known as Bedlam|
|Lori and Grant in front of Buckingham Palace. They were building the stage for the Queen's Jubilee.|
|For the true British experience we had tea at our hotel. The timers monitor how long to steep your tea. The different sands represent black tea, green tea and flavored tea.|
|Grant found a donut stand.|
|St. Pauls Cathedral sits at the highest point in London. It normally cost around 15 pounds to visit, but we "accidentally" discovered that if you go during services it is free.|
|Kate's boyfriend, Doug, had recommended a visit to Borough Market, an outdoor food market described by the guide book as a "foodie's paradise". It was a great recommendation.|