We started Day 2 in London (Day 4 overall) with a riverboat cruise on the famed Thames river. We were really hoping to get a true Londoner's perspective on the city and it's historic landmarks and our guide did not disappoint. The cruise started from the London Eye and headed towards Parliament and Big Ben. Along the way we passed:
1.) A set of steps that ended abruptly mid-air and were used as death penalty sentences for criminals (in the eye of the government) like Guy Fawkes and William Wallace (inspiration for Braveheart).
2.) The open air Globe Theatre where Shakespeare held his plays. Be forewarned - You Will Get Wet If It's Raining!!!
3.) An Egyptian Obelisk transported to London in the early 1800's. It's over 3500 years old and was made during the Bronze Age.
4.) Most importantly we saw the Anchor Pub which was featured at the end of the first Mission Impossible movie (one of Brad's all time favorites).
We ended our tour with a 360 degree view of the city at the top of the London eye.
The Tower of London & The London Bridge!
Big Ben from atop the London Eye!
This is the tallest building in London, nicknamed "THE SHARD."
Look at Big Ben Photobombing us!
We walked towards the West End shopping district taking a second to admire the outside of Westminster Abbey (too expensive to enter) and strolling through St Catherine's Chapel.
The shopping district is definitely something to be seen. We strolled through Harrods with the rest of the tourists and were amazed how anyone actually conducts business in there. The price tags are extremely high and it's jam packed with tourists of all kinds. If I could've truly afforded something in there, I wouldn't of found a more secluded place to buy it. It did afford us the chance to see watches that cost more than most cars and purses that could buy a condo. Allie did buy a pair of black tennis shoes at H&M because her feet were so sore from walking in crocs. Big spender!!
For dinner, we decided to take a risk and try to get a seat at Bocca Di Lupo which is known for having amazing food, but also a wait list of several days. Located in the heart of Soho (theater district) this famed Italian restaurant is definitely off the beat path. Just the way we like it. The restaurant was packed, but the hostess offered us a seat at the "Chef's table" and we gladly accepted. It was a bar-like area where we sat face to face the with head chef and his cooks as they prepared meals in an open air kitchen. Allie was amazed at the speed and effeciency of the chefs and I was amazed at the restraint they used in their choice of words. I've worked in many restaurants and most chefs would be slapped with fines from the FCC for broadcasting their words into the open air of a restaurant! We ordered Rigatoni with ewe milk alfredo and pancetta, Tagliatelle with duck, a moretti (Italian lager) for Brad to drink and Allie to sniff, and Strawberry Granita with whipped cream. What an amazing culinary experience!
Here are a few things we learned on Day 4:
1.) Harrod's and West End shopping are a rich man's game.
2.) Be open to new experiences. We would've missed so much during our dining experience if we had waited for a table or made reservations for a few nights later. Be spontaneous!
3.) The key to keeping a pregnant wife happy when traveling is keeping her fed and keeping her in comfortable shoes. Nothing else matters.....
Next week, we see mummies, a famous piece of computer software, and cheer on the British football team! Stay tuned for more Strouse House Adventures!!
Missed any of our Strouse House Adventures in Europe? Read them here!
Let the Adventure Begin | Strouse House Adventures: Europe
Greenland is Ice. Iceland is Nice. | Strouse House Adventures: Iceland
Welcome to London | Strouse House Adventures: London
Taking a Stroll Down Memory Land | Strouse House Adventures: London
Football and Famous Mummies | Strouse House Adventures: London
Leaving London | Strouse House Adventures: London
Falling in Love with Dublin | Strouse House Adventures: Dublin
Keep up with our other adventures here in our STROUSE HOUSE ADVENTURES!