as told by JoAnn Doyle
My husband likes to tell people I am his scout. I get the lay of the land first and then he follows, so when the opportunity came for a quick trip to London, of course, I said ‘yes’.
Let the scouting expedition begin! To start, I always opt for walking, browsing in the shops along the way. First stop, Piccadilly Circus to purchase a ticket for ROCK OF AGES at the Shaftesbury Theatre. While waiting for the show to start, I found a chic restaurant and enjoyed an affordable three-course dinner with wine. The ROCK OF AGES was insanely fun!
Next morning, I have my map in hand and am ready to explore. I found using the underground is a breeze in London. The maps are clear, the stations are clean, and people are helpful. There was a lot of activity on the River Thames since the military were holding exercises to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games. Everywhere I went there were signs of what promises to be a great occasion and a feeling of excitement in preparation for the upcoming games.
I started with the Tower of London and nearby London Bridge. I was lucky to see the bridge open. I ate lunch at the Borough Market. This is an amazing retail food market located a short walk from London Bridge. You can find a large variety of foods from all over the world. I enjoyed a decadent melted cheese sandwich at the Kappacasein stand, in the Green Market. It’s made of toasted sourdough bread drenched in butter, minced red onions, and grated sharp cheddar cheese. I really enjoyed the local, yet international flavor of the market.
After I made my way back to the underground, my next stop was the EDF Energy London Eye on the River Thames to take in the panoramic views of London then on to the House of Parliament and Big Ben. Next, I’m off for a quick trip on the Tube and Buckingham Palace to see the Queens Guard.
I finished my sightseeing with St Paul’s Cathedral. St Paul’s is the cathedral of the Diocese of London with a world-famous dome. The choir’s tradition is to sing daily services, and I was lucky to arrive just in time for the Choral Evensong. Inspiring!
I finished up the day in Chinatown. It is located in the Soho area of the City of Westminster, around Gerrard Street. I did some shopping, ate dinner, and finished up back where I started in Piccadilly Circus.
With my scouting expedition complete I found London to be a rich mix of both modern and old. It was also clean, safe, and friendly. I had very little time, but I was able to squeeze in enough to know it is a place I want to visit again. Get ready Mike!