UK & Ireland, Day 14: London, Day 2

Tuesday, 6/7/16

We were checking out of the Days Hotel today and moving to a hotel closer to the airport later this afternoon, but we still had the issue of luggage storage for the time in between. Thankfully, we had emailed ahead of time, and the Days Hotel was able to store our luggage for us during the day.  After the immense pain our feet suffered the day before, we decided to use the train as much as possible today. We bought a Travel Day Pass to maximize our value. There was rain in the forecast today beginning around noon, so we began our day at the Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London.
Tower of London
We stopped at EAT. for breakfast - Francisco had an Egg Pot - egg, avocado, and beans with feta - and I had Avocado Sourdough Toast with Feta. We also had a Mocha Chiller.
EAT. Egg Pot Avocado Sourdough Toast with Feta Mocha Chiller
We started with a guided tour, but we were with a large group and it was difficult to hear, so eventually we split off. He was a really good guide though; he explained that they change the program in the warmer months when they get more international visitors. He asked if there were any visitors from America, and all us Americans raised our hands. "This could be your history, too, if you'd only paid your taxes. Any visitors from Australia? You must feel right at home in this prison."
This historic castle is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952 although its primary purpose was as a grand palace. Here you can see the Crown Jewels and the ravens. Legend has it that the kingdom and Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress.  
Tower of London
Tower of London
Historic Tower of London with modern buildings behind it
We could see Tower Bridge from here, and we also walked over to it.  The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and it has become an iconic symbol of London. Tourists commonly call this London Bridge, but that is not the official name of this historic landmark.
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
We hopped back on the subway and took it to the King's Cross Station to visit the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4. This was really just a small shop with a photo opportunity for a fee.
Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4
While we were at the Station, we stopped for lunch at Giraffe where we shared a delicious Halloumi & Falafel Burger and a Salted Caramel Shake.  We also shared a pastry from Patisserie Valerie.
Giraffe Patisserie Valerie
Next we headed to the British Museum - just in time as it was starting to rain!
British Museum
I am generally not a museum person, but I was excited to see both this one and the Titanic Museum in Ireland.
British Museum
I thought this book display in the gift shop was really neat!
As it was almost time to leave, I realized we somehow hadn't seen the Rosetta Stone yet, so we set off to find that.
We headed back to the Days Hotel to collect our luggage and then back to the Underground to take a train to the Ramada Hounslow. It was raining, so it was not the best walk with luggage.
Our room was basic with a second full-size bed at the foot of the main bed. This didn't really leave much floor space, but we took advantage of having the second bed so we could sleep separately since it was so warm. We were hungry, but dinner didn't start until 6:30.
Ramada Hounslow
We walked around the neighborhood a bit, but there wasn't a lot of restaurant options, so we just ended up grabbing a smoothie at Caffe Venezia. We showered, re-packed, and ordered room service once it was after 6:30 - Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni and sticky toffee pudding.


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