There are so many wonderful things to see in London, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do.
So I was thankful when potential plans to go out of the city fell through, because it meant I was able to see a few more things I had on my list.
One thing I had always wanted to see was the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Online I had discovered that the Band of the Scots Guard was going to be participating in the ceremony today, so I knew I had to go.
My new friend Jeniffer, whom I had met last week, joined me in the massive group of people craning to see anything of the time-seasoned tradition within and near the gated palace courtyard.
There were no bagpipes in the band, as I had been hoping, but the members of the ensemble were without a doubt amazing musicians and I enjoyed everything they performed. It was kind of cute that some of the instruments, brass mostly, had little leather jackets. I’m wondering if it was to keep the instrument warm or help the player hold it while marching. Probably the latter.
As I had mentioned before, there were tons of people present to see the ceremony meaning not everyone really had a good view. Jeniffer, myself, and some others nearby started watching everything from some other guy’s phone screen, since he was filming with a selfie stick and was able to stick it through the fence to get a better angle.
Once the ceremony was over, we met another friend, Barbara, by the National Gallery and took a bus to Tower Bridge. The setting sun shone perfectly for pictures of the bridge and the nearby buildings.
Eventually Jeniffer had to split, but Barbara and I continued our adventure by visiting the British Museum. Hopefully I will be able to go back before I leave London because in the 45 minutes we had before the closing of the museum, we saw some wonderful things and there was so much more yet to see.
I always love seeing artifacts from ancient cultures and imagining how life must have been once upon a time. Some of the pieces were quite stunning and thought provoking, but the lion from Babylon’s gate had a special sense of nostalgia, bringing me back to my trip to when I had seen the whole Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
After the museum closed down, Barbara decided she was ready to head home. I, however, felt like the night was still young and pondered what to do for a while. Purchasing same night tickets for the West End was expensive, there were no movies out that I desired to see, and most everything interesting was already closed.
Then I remembered that there was a place I wanted to visit that was certainly open – the extravagant and magnificent Harrods department store!
I had been told many stories about this place, so I had to experience it for myself.
Gracious, it was overwhelming.
Six floors, plus a ground and basement level, with literally anything you could ever think of. Furniture, books, technology, toys, jewelry, perfume, wine, top-of-the-line (sometimes exotic) groceries, and of course, lots and lots of clothes.
Each area was decorated to create a certain mood that aligned with the products. I mean, highly decorated. I can’t imagine how long and how many people it must have taken to put this whole thing together.
One special moment in the store, though, was coming across a memorial statue and fountain to Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Al Fayed, that supports underserved children in the community that the princess was originally from. It was touching and very human. There was even a condolences book that people could sign. It’s amazing how much Princess Diana is still missed after all these years.
Wandering through the halls on nearly every floor, I observed the types of things sold and the prices they were marked at. You did not come to Harrods to find something cheap. Even things on sale were pretty far out of my price range, including the groceries section. It truly is a place of wealth and extravagance.
Literally, there is a restaurant dedicated to all things truffles.
By that alone, I think you get my point.
It was only after meandering on most of the floors, that I decided it was finally time to end my day and head home. Besides, tomorrow is going to be very exciting and I want to be well rested!
But I won’t tell you what it is, you’ll just have to stop by the blog tomorrow to find out.
Hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start!