Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oww, that hurts!

Good morning from London! Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday but we were busy being tourists. Actually, we started our trip on the 5th, flying out of Boston around 6 PM. We arrived in London around 5 AM local time, and from the minute we got off the train it was a non-stop day of walking and 'sploring. Our hotel puts us right in the middle of everything; just across a park from Buckingham Palace and a little over a mile from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.

In France, the 3rd stage of the Tour was poised to be somewhat of a differentiator between some of the GC guys, and it was; just not in the way many expected. All those miles of cobblestone tore up the peloton. For one, Frank Schleck crashed out, which can't be a benefit for Andy Schleck's effort for Saxo Bank. Lance was having a really good ride, about 30 seconds ahead of Contador, when he got a flat while riding along the gutter of the road. It cost him over a minute and at the end of the day, he was 50 seconds behind last years winner. He's sitting 19th right now about 2 1/2 minutes back, but this really doesn't mean much right now. There are only 3 people ahead of Lance that really have a chance at wearing yellow at the end of the race. The real stages are still the mountains, but it adds more intrigue because if Lance is going to win he now has to come from behind to win. 

So on the day in the Tour were putting themselves through all sorts of pain riding on the pave, we absolutely killed our feet with more than 15 miles of walking throughout London. Touring Westminster Abbey was amazing, and standing amongst the tombs of kings, queens, statesmen, and writers who previously were no more than names in a history book was something I'll never forget. Built over hundreds of years, it's seen everything, and is now the place where royalty is crowned. Sadly, it's one of the few places in town where photography is not allowed, so I don't have any shots of the inside of this wonderful place.

We followed it up with a long walk out to the East End of London to participate in a Jack the Ripper walking tour. It was truly interesting to hear about this gruesome series of murders hundreds of years ago. I learned the City of London itself is only 1 square mile, and everything else around it is a suburb. Pretty amazing to see this many sites, so many things that are so old and so well preserved. Heck in the Abbey, I actually touched a door that is almost 1000 years old. It's unreal how amazing everything is.

We've seen most of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I liked that but was even more impressed with watching the changing of the Horse Guard at their building. It's all been pretty amazing but what's funny is that my favorite place here so far is actually a shop. At the Guard Museum, they have a toy soldier shop. They sell all sorts of metal soldiers painted and positioned in various acts of combat, parade or guard. They have hundreds of different kinds available, and if I had tons of money, I would have bought quite a few. I picked up a medieval knight and a Scottish Guard (the guy seen below). I'll probably pick up one or two more of the ones on sale yet before we leave for France. 
Discipline: Standing still for 8 hours in THAT hat
In terms of eating, we had a HUGE breakfast because the room wasn't ready and we were exhausted. It's difficult eating on a trip like this because most places I have no idea how many calories I'm eating. Thankfully, we're walking or cycling everywhere from the trip except to and from the airports, so we're getting plenty of exercise, even without our planned workouts. My (United) Kingdom for a scale!

They're preparing for a very violent game of polo.

- You can get more and better details on our first day on Rach's blog. She got to the PC first, so she got it for longer. We're off to tea soon, so I could only fit in a little post.

- Proof that douchebags are everywhere: bikers all over the place here, and about 1 in 10 is a helmetless brakeless hipster on a fixie. In a country where it rains a lot.

- I get to take an english tea!

Rach and I in the park across from Buckingham Palace


  1. Hey this is so awesome!! I am glad that you are blogging your travels live, how exciting. Love the pic of you and your wife, so cute. thanks for sharing!- courtnee

  2. Sounds like you both are having a lot of fun. Enjoy!