If you want to find crowds in England, go to a castle or a palace. The state rooms of Buckingham Palace aren’t open to the public all year. I think it’s something like ten weeks starting 7/22/17. Check their website if you want to know for sure. Timing is everything. We caught the tail end of the changing of the guards, as those coming off duty marched out. I find it amusing that they had police guarding the royal guards.
About thirty seconds after the horse guards trotted through, a guy on a street sweeper came through. He probably needed to do a few more passes, but it’s the thought that counts. The horses still left their markers all along the path, so watch where you step if you go there for the changing of the guards.
Next up, Natural History Museum
This museum gave me a greater appreciation for the interactive nature of most British museums. It would be great fun to take kids to or to experience as a kid. We missed the unveiling of the big blue whale bones there. I believe the Duchess of Cambridge and her children where there for that a few days prior. Bet the place was crowded then.
In terms of order and layout and directions of how one is to proceed, the British museums excel. In sheer number of dinosaur bones, I believe the New York City Natural History Museum is better.
McDonalds – You Can’t Escape Them
Pretty sure we ate at McDonalds. We definitely ate at McDonalds one of the days, but I’m fairly confident it was this day. I think the whole meal for two of us cost ten pounds. Okay, so playing with the fancy ordering machine was kind of fun. Whichever day, I remember having a tough time finding it. We were looking for red golden arches…and the sign was green. Green.
A Stroll by Royal Albert Hall
We didn’t go in, but I’d wanted to see it because it shows up in a video game I play. (Forge of Empires If you want an invite just ask, but it’s free to sign up, unless you really want to pay them for things like diamonds to level faster.) I ended up deleting it from my game, but I see it around. Apparently, it got a paint job since the game designers fashioned their version of it.
Royal Albert Hall
Aside: I love that most of the Underground stations in central London tell you what to exit for and which lines you can transfer to. More on the Underground later.
Second aside: I tried to take the picture from an angle that would hide most of the ugly scaffolding. Many of these beautiful buildings in London are under construction to preserve them for future generations. Unfortunately, construction means ugly scaffolding.
Science Museum, London
If you’re still over in London, you can catch Dunkirk (the movie) in the imax theater at the Science Museum. Inside, you’ll find a lot of interactive exhibits. The Brits love their giant diorama displays. Everything from mind games to illusions to big replica termite mounds can be found in the science museum. The space food’s actually reasonably priced. They did have a nice variety of space ice cream. It’s not the best stuff on Earth, but it’s definitely worth checking out at least once in your life.
Robot display was a tad disappointing, but the constellation thing and the escalator that goes up through a mini Earth is very cool.
Both museums are worth seeing. If you’re trying to use things on the London Pass, these might be the ones to get cut, but I enjoyed them.
Need to Catch Up?
Part 1: Preparation, Planning, Cost
Part 2: Arrival and First Day in the City
Part 3: Getting into Tourist Mode