Day 294 to Day 307
09.11.2013 - 22.11.2013 10 °C
After a packed week in Berlin we arrived in London the day prior to Remembrance Day which we attended in Trafalgar Square. There was a great ceremony and two minutes silence which included the shutting down of the Trafalgar Square intersection where no traffic could move for the whole two minutes.
After the Remembrance Day ceremony we headed over to the National Portrait Gallery which we had been meaning to do for some time. We unfortunately did not have enough time to appreciate all of the paintings so we decided to focus on the Royal section. There were so many paintings that all come with a little slice of history so there was lots to learn.
Our next day in London consisted of catching up with some friends for dinner. On our way to this dinner we were walking through Hyde Park and saw the Royal helicopter land at Kensington Palace. Although we do not think Prince William was on board it was nice to think we had maybe seen a Royal on board!
We also visited the Army Museum and the British Museum. As you may have realised by now this time we were in London was orientated towards visiting Galleries and Museums.
We love looking for a bargain so we visited the Spitalfield markets in Whitechapel. We were lucky enough to actually find something (a small painting of Scottie and Westie dog) we wanted to buy that was a) not too expensive and b) we were able to post home. Whilst in Whitechapel we also visited some of the well-known sites associated with the Jack the Ripper murders (which apparently don’t look much different today compared to back in 1888). Whitechapel is only a short walk from the Tower of London so after this we went and visited the Tower for one last look.
Still on the topic of markets ever since the start of our trip Rein has wanted to visit the Camden Markets in Camden Town. We went there on a Saturday, apparently the best day to go. We thought we may only need a couple of hours there but we ended up spending most of the day at the stable markets. There was a lot of cheap touristy stuff on the outside, but if you journey a little deeper and are prepared to spend time sifting through stalls, there are some really nice things you can buy. Unfortunately we could not buy a lot of the stuff we liked as we couldn’t fit it in our bags.
Our last night in London was spent at the Theatre in the West End. Leah didn’t really have any preference so we went and saw Spamalot as Rein had always wanted to see it. Funnily enough Leah was hiding the Grail throughout the musical and was pulled up on stage at the end of the show for a song with the cast. For this honour she also received an Arthur award and a can of spam. Needless to say Rein was annoyed he was not allowed to take any photos!
After a week seeing things in London we had previously missed we flew into Edinburgh for the second time on our trip; however, this time we were there to sight see instead of being there on the way to somewhere else. One very cold and windy Edinburgh day we decided to walk to Hollyrood Park and then walk to the top of Arthurs Seat, a high lookout with amazing views over Edinburgh. Rein made the trek all the way to the top; however, Leah and Henry decided to only go half way as they were really cold.
Continuing on from our London theme we visited the Edinburgh Museum. We probably wished we’d spent more time there as once again there was so much stuff to see! We decided to concentrate on Scottish history and went through the museum with that in mind.
Being December the Edinburgh Christmas markets had opened up which were great to visit. There was an ice skating rink, mulled wine, and lots of hot food. It was really starting to feel like winter as it was cold and the sun was setting around 3:30pm in the afternoon. We also took the opportunity whilst in Edinburgh to do some shopping as we knew we were coming to the end of our trip and needed some new clothes for the festive season.
After lots of sightseeing in London and Edinburgh we were on our way back to Melfort House in the Scottish Highlands for December and Christmas.