Exploring London

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 07 ~ Day #120
Budget to date
Spent today
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Miles by Sea
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Current Location: Customs House, London, England

Today’s Total Expenses: $110.76

Transportation: $19.94 (£12.60 transit passes)

Accommodation: $75.64

Food: $15.18 (£9.59 dinner & cider)

Miles Traveled Today:
While we are in London we won’t be counting any of the miles we put on by just exploring the city. We’ll only add miles when we’re actually traveling from one place to another.

Dealing With the Transit Strike

Being Canadian we are not strangers to transit strikes but I’ve got to say that I’ve never experienced such a polite strike – really.

Let me explain.

Not all of the lines were shut down during the transit strike which meant you could still get around if you knew how to circumvent the areas that were closed.

Well, not knowing the transit system we thought we wouldn’t be able to get anywhere.

Not so! At each station that had a portion of the tubes, or buses, closed, there were several transit employees telling you how you could get around the closures – honestly.

We were simply amazed and we were able to use the tubes get to the sightseeing that we wanted to do today.

How very, very civilized.

Beautiful Sunny Day in London

As if to offset the problems of the transit strike, London greeted us with a bright sunny day.

We spent the day trying to take in some of the more famous landmarks such as:

Big Ben

Big Ben was right where it was supposed to be and I was certainly excited to see it.

It wasn’t as much of an experience for Geoff as he had grown up near London and had seen Big Ben many, many times during his youth.

I had expected it to be all out on its own, but it was still very recognizable for a new tourist like me.


The Parliament buildings are quite impressive and you can actually go into them when parliament is sitting and witness government in action.

I was tempted, but we were there too early. We were told when parliament would be sitting later that day but then figured that government is government and it was likely to be pretty boring anyway.

But it was still an experience to see the seat of power.

Buckingham Palace

Naturally, as this was my first trip to England, I simply had to see Buckingham Palace.

I’m afraid to say that it was a bit of a disappointment. It’s just a rectangular gray building and I was expecting more of a “castle” feel to it.

Also, they were not doing the changing of the guards the day we were there, so I didn’t get to see that either.

They did have tours of certain rooms of Buckingham Palace. Apparently they do this kind of thing very infrequently.

However, the admission fee was £17.00 each (almost $27 US) and was, therefore, out of our budget. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to see it another time we are in London.

Hyde Park and Speakers Corner

We also stopped into Hyde Park with the express purpose of seeing Speakers Corner.

Hyde Park is a beautiful large park in the heart of London. A great place to stroll or picnic on such a lovely day and there were lots of people taking advantage of the lovely weather.

Unfortunately there was no one at Speakers Corner giving their opinion on whatever they chose to. Again, perhaps on our next trip to London.

Royal Cavalry

We also stumbled across the Royal Cavalry Stables and wandered around a bit.

There really wasn’t much to see but there were some rather impressive soldiers there.

10 Downing Street

I had told Geoff that, naturally, I wanted to see 10 Downing Street while we were in London. That is, of course, the residence of the Prime Minister.

He kept telling me that it was simply a door with a guard standing outside and nothing more. But, I would not be deterred.

So, we found where it was but Downing Street was closed off to all but official traffic and we couldn’t get anywhere near 10 Downing itself.

We asked the police guarding this entrance and he told us that this had been done by Margaret Thatcher during the difficulty with the IRA and these measures are still in place.

All in all, it was a great sightseeing day for me and a review for Geoff.

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