This past summer my wife and I went on our longest trip ever. We spent two weeks visiting London and Paris. For this monumental trip I wanted a new camera that would take high quality pictures to document our vacation. So I did what I do best, research and then more research. In my research I looked at various DSLR’s, but honestly did not want to drag around a big, heavy camera, so I started looking at hybrid cameras. I settled on the new Sony NEX-5N, which claimed to take DSLR quality pictures in a smaller, lighter package. I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. The picture quality is remarkable and its small package has kept us mobile while running around during our travels. So I wanted to share some of our 2200(!!) pictures from our London itinerary.
Day 1: We flew into Gatwick on a red-eye flight, took the train into London, dropped our bags at our hotel, and set off on our adventure. Who has time for jet lag, when you have a world-class city to explore? First we took the Underground to King’s Cross Station on our way to the British Library. Then, we took a stroll to breath-in the sights and sounds of London. Lastly, we visited the British Museum, home of the Rosetta Stone. Both the British Library and British Museum are free and are well worth the time.
Day 2: This morning was one that I had been anticipating since planning the trip. It included an early morning visit to the Tower of London and Beefeater Tour, which I highly recommend. The tour is both informational and funny, which can be difficult to pull off. We then took a peaceful cruise on the River Thames from the Tower of London to the Houses of Parliament. We strolled around Parliament and toured through Westminster Abbey.
Before our trip I purchased a London Pass that allowed entrance into certain sites for three days. This was the first day we used it and each tour and our cruise were covered by the pass, so thanks to pre-planning our first two days of sightseeing were free.
Day 3: We started with a lovely breakfast in the park in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. We then toured the inside of St. Paul’s including a climb up some very narrow staircases to the top for a view of the city. Leaving St. Paul’s we walked over the Millennium Bridge and ate a wonderful lunch in a park between the River Thames and the Tate Modern Museum. After getting reenergized we toured the Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Rooms, and walked around Buckingham Palace.
Day 4: On the last day of our London Pass, we used it to visit Windsor Castle and to observe the changing of the guard. After visiting the castle we stopped for afternoon tea and lunch in the Crooked House of Windsor. Windsor Castle is about an hour outside of the city center, so getting there and walking around took up a good portion of our day. After our lunch we had enough daylight left to get back into London and climb the hill leading to the Royal Observatory, home of the Prime Meridian.
Day 5: For our last day in London we essentially created our own bus/walking tour of the city. We first visited the original Twinings Tea Store on Strand Ave. that was established in 1706. My wife is a huge Twinings Tea fan, so this is something she enjoyed immensely. After our morning tea: we attended a street party at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen, we then took a leisurely walk through Hyde Park, we stopped in front of the world’s most famous address, 221b Baker Street, we meandered amongst the wares beings sold on Portobello Road, and finally we joined the crush of people milling through Piccadilly Circus.