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[personal profile] inyri
Okay, so I finally got all the pictures back and scanned in and uploaded. I'm no professional photographer so most of them are pretty crappy, but you can get a general idea of things. They can all be found here.

Day 1-2: Sunday and Monday

I worked most of the day on Sunday so was pretty tired by the time we got to the airport. Mom and I flew overnight and landed in London at around 1pm on Monday afternoon. Dad had been there for a few days already (he was working the Farnborough airshow, which is the reason for the trip) and his driver picked us up at the airport and took us to the hotel. We stayed at the Lanesborough, which is on the site of the old St. George's Hospital in Hyde Park Corner. Some of the later pictures in the album show how close the hotel was to Hyde Park itself and Buckingham Palace.

We got to the hotel around 3pm, rested and had tea. The tea tray picture in the album is the tray they bring you when you ask for tea... silver and fine china and tea biscuits and all. The hotel itself was impressive... a little too chintzy for my tastes, since I'm not a big fan of Regency/Victorian decorating, but nice nonetheless. There are some pictures of our room in the album.. foyer, bedroom, sitting room and all. I had a little rollaway bed in the sitting room area and occasionally felt like a bad Dobby going to sleep in my little nook. I really shouldn't complain, though.

Later on we had to go to a customer reception at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was open just for us. I didn't get to see much that day, though, because most of the galleries were closed. I got dressed up and drank more champagne than is good for me and ate little canapes and made small talk with important people for a few hours, then went home and went to bed, having been up for ~35 hours by that point.

Day 3 Tuesday

Since we didn't get to see much of the museum on Monday, mom and I got up and walked down along Knightsbridge to it, stopping in Harrod's to sightsee as we went. Harrod's is mostly overpriced, but nice to walk through. The museum was huge- I took a few pictures of some interesting costume articles they had on display. We ate lunch in the courtyard there, then headed up to Hyde Park and spent the afternoon wandering. We walked by the new Princess Diana memorial fountain (which was being used as a swimming area for small tourist children until it was closed due to falls) and along the Serpentine. Overall the weather was great for the entire trip; it never rained while I was out and about, which was a pleasant surprise.

Tuesday night we had dinner with a group of clients from an Israeli company (I don't want to print names here because I don't know how much of these dealings are public domain), including the ex-head of the Israeli secret service. I apparently have a standing invitation to visit Tel Aviv anytime I want. The food was great, conversation boring as usual, but I'm not going to complain over free dinner.

Day 4 Wednesday

Wednesday morning we got up and walked to Buckingham Palace to watch the end of the changing of the guard. I didn't stay for the whole thing, since the crowd was making me pretty intensely claustrophobic, but I got some good pictures of the guards returning to the stables. Mom and I then headed down to Westminster Abbey and did the walking tour through there... I'd been there before but it's the kind of place I like to visit. There's so much history in one place. We then took the tube up to Covent Garden, browsed the shops there, walked through the National Gallery and had a snack before heading back to the hotel. We didn't make it quite all the way through the Gallery, but I was happy with what I saw. It's a very weird feeling to see the actual works of paintings you've only seen in books.

Wednesday night was dinner with Japanese clients. Apparently they always take us out to Chinese food, but we've agreed that next time the companies dine together we're all going for sushi. This was met with approval on both sides.

Day 4 Thursday

I'd gotten really tired of my mother's insistance on walking everywhere and peculiarities, so I spent Thursday on my own. I started out with St. Paul's Cathedral, which was sadly being renovated so the pictures don't show nearly the impression you get from the inside. The climb to the top is long- 500+ steps up and the same number down- but well worth it; the view from the top observation deck is incredible. Sat through a communion service too, so that gets me out of church for the next few weeks (I hope). It was the feast of Mary Magdalene, which I found somehow appropriate. Next I walked across the Millennium Bridge and took the path along the Thames down to the Tower Bridge. This way takes you past the new Globe Theatre, the London Bridge and a few other popular attractions. I stopped by the Tower of London next, and had the good luck to make it there as the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula was opening- it's only open rarely, and it's a neat little place. Anne Bolyn, Katherine Howard and Jane Grey are buried there, among others. After the Tower closed I got back on the underground and headed up to the British Museum, which was open late. I wanted to take about a thousand pictures there... sadly I took about three before the digital camera battery died. Oh, well.

Walked back along Oxford St and had dinner in a little cafe there, then did a little bit of shopping. Mom and Dad had gone out to another customer dinner, so I hung around a little bit longer in the shopping district and then headed back home.

Day 5 Friday

Friday, Dad didn't have to work the airshow, so we all took a boat down the Thames to Greenwich. The boat ride was gorgeous and I took lots of pictures (most of which didn't turn out due to people's heads in my way). Once we got to Greenwich we ate lunch in a pub, since I needed to have fish and chips and a pint of cider at least once before we went home. I surprised my parents by finishing the entire pint, though I'm not sure what they were expecting given their college drinking habits. I had my picture taken on the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory, so now I've been in both hemispheres at the same time.

Later that night we had a dinner for all of Dad's immediate staff, with delicious Indian food. I had a champagne and mango juice drink that was surprisingly good, and chatted with all the company wives. Exciting, exciting... but the food was great.

Day 6 Saturday

Spent all day Saturday in Camden Town, shopping. After I shook my parents off my tail, I browsed all over the place and picked up a few pretty things. I also got properly fitted for a corset, which I didn't buy but wished I could have, and which when laced got my waist down to 25 inches. It was a little constraining, I'll admit, but looked damn good. On the way back into town I was taking the underground through King's Cross and decided to be exceptionally geeky, so I went looking for Platform 9 3/4. There is, in fact, now a sign for Platform 9 3/4 at the railway station, so I took pictures.

Eventually I had to head back to the hotel for dinner and theatre with the parents, both of which were good. I'd seen the show before (Joseph and the Technicolor et cetera) but my dad hadn't; a good time was had by all.

Day 7 Sunday

Uneventful. Woke up, taken to airport, long plane ride home. We'd gotten upgraded to business class somehow so we got the neat chairs that fully recline into bed-like contraptions, which make the ride much more comfortable.

That's the trip in a nutshell. I've captioned most of the pictures in the album, so hopefully those are all clear. Also, I have chocolates for those who requested them, which will be mailed as soon as I am sure their recipient is in town to receive them.
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May 2009

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