Welcome to London

Tuesday 19th, October. It was early when we got into Euston Station in London. The sleeper train from Edinburgh wasn’t what we had imagined it to be. The cabins were cramped and the beds weren’t very comfortable. Not to mention the fact that there were no private facilities in the cabin. The ride down was a stop start affair which didn’t help us to sleep, so we were feeling rather poorly by the time we disembarked the train. My original plan was to put our luggage in storage at the station and then go sightseeing till we could check in at the Sofitel St James. But after the previous night where we had been charged a huge price to store our stuff we thought better of it. We changed our minds and decided to go to the hotel now, around 7am, and at least get our bags stored there for the day. We headed off the platform in search of the exit and a taxi cab. We took a few wrong turns again which was no fault of ours, the signs were just poor. Anyway we got our cab and headed for the Sofitel St James.

We arrived at the Sofitel St James looking quite rough around the edges and went to check in, of sorts. I didn’t expect to get a room till the normal check in time which was 2pm, but the staff were wonderful and told us they could have a room ready for us around 10am. In the mean time they offered to take care of our bags and said we could go and have breakfast. We took them up on both offers and enjoyed a very nice breakfast to start the day. We ate breakfast in the main dinning area. There were other guests in there eating and all of them looked clean and refreshed. We on the other hand looked unkept and rather dishevelled, but we were still afforded the same service as everyone else.

After breakfast I went and got my camera out of storage and we headed down towards St James Park which was only a short walk from the hotel. The weather in London was spectacular with the sun out and very little wind. It was fresh in the morning, but we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The park was beautiful and it was rather quiet at that time of day. We wandered along and looked at the birds in the pond and watched the squirrels running around in search of nuts to eat. St James park lead us right to Buckingham Palace. We walked through the Australian Gates to get to the Palace. As we passed through them I saw my first Aston Martin driving past. I got a quick photo of it and I was happy. The Palace is huge with very ornate gates. It looks a little bland from the road but I’m sure it is quite opulent inside. There was no changing of the guard today but we still got some shots of the guards that were there. At one point I was taking Kim’s photo and I was a little too close to get the shot I wanted so I move back a bit. A couple of other tourists took this as their opportunity to move in closer to the gate, I wasn’t too impressed with that.

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