Christmas in London

It took me a bit to get to this blog. Sorry. I almost didn’t blog at all since we went to London this time of year two years ago. However, I have come to my senses and I want to spend just a moment to tell you how great our London visit actually was.

I think most people who travel have managed to spend some time in London. It’s a fairly common destination. But I don’t think that many have considered visiting during the Christmas season. In fact, when we went two years ago, we were not thinking about Christmas. It was Thanksgiving weekend, after all, and Thanksgiving had come early that year. The night city was brilliant with color, but we only caught a glimpse. That visit, we mostly ventured out during the daytime.

As we left, we agreed we must go back – specifically for the Christmas displays. This year, we did. This trip did not disappoint.

It was cool and drizzly the entire time we were there. We didn’t care. We walked miles and miles around the city at night in the drizzle and we had the time of our lives. It is stunningly beautiful and, in fact, I think the wet streets made our photos even more beautiful.

Each shopping district has its own theme. The lights – angels, snowflakes, stars, whatever- are strung for blocks across and over the busy London streets. One district (Piccadilly Circus I think) had these lovely sparkling angels as far as the eye could see.

Check out my Instagram for more photos and the video of the sparkly angels:

terri_weir

My husband Skip and our daughter Taylor.
Don’t miss Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park!

Buckingham Palace

On the morning of our third day in London, we decided to see Buckingham Palace.

Before each trip we take, I google, read, study and ask questions and consider. I look at maps and learn train routes. I memorize the method and route from the airport to the hotel and I make sure to have options in mind. (My husband, on the other hand, occasionally asks me, “When are we leaving again?” But I digress.) Other than making a hotel reservation, we make no concrete plans. We wing it.

So, Buckingham Palace may or may not have been visited by the Tumbleweed Tourists when we made our very first trip to London ever last November. I mean, I knew it was there. But it wasn’t at the top of my list.

We decided to Uber to Buckingham Palace and had a wonderful driver from Poland who engaged us in delightful conversation about his homeland, why he moved to London, why everyone moves to London, and why we’ve only met about three folks in three days who were actually British. Eventually he says, “You’re going to see the changing of the guard?”

We didn’t know anything about when the changing of the guard happens and honestly had not considered checking into it. But there we were, at 10:30 am, about to arrive at the palace where the changing of the guard happens every day. At 11:00 am.

Of course, as it turned out, the changing of the guard of Buckingham Palace was the highlight of our visit. I don’t care how many tourists are mobbed around those gates, this is a show worthy of the watching.

Takeaway

The changing of the guard happens every day at 11:00 am at Buckingham Palace. If you walk up Birdcage Walk from Parliament, you will pass the guard’s museum on your left. If you time it right, you can watch the Queen’s Guard Band gather in formation and march to the palace whilst playing lively tunes. It’s totally worth looking like a tourist running alongside them with your phone in the air to capture video which you will show to everyone you know for weeks.