Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wickre Travelogue (August 16th)

After a good nights sleep the three of us headed by subway (tube) to Parliament for a private tour. Our daughter had made arrangements for the tour through a friend in Washington DC who is friends with an aide/staffer to a British Member of Parliament. The aide/staffer met us at the entrance where we had to go through security which included a pat down search. The British have had to deal with the IRA for years and know security.

The aid/staffer gave us a thorough tour of Parliament. We went onto the floor of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Rubbed the foot of the Churchill statue. We then had lunch on the Parliament Terrance overlooking the Thames with the Aide/staffer's Member of Parliament (MP) who is member of the Conservative (Tory) Shadow Cabinet.
You cannot be on terrace without an MP. He was very nice and talkative. We took pictures with him. We then went to Westminster Abby and toured. We saw the grave of Queen Elizabeth I.
We then went a few blocks to
Churchill Bunker Museum. This is where Churchill and his war cabinet directed the British war effort during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz and the rest of World War II. We spent several hours there and had a snack in the canteen. I loved the place and it's history and of course had a good time at the gift shop and bought a 2 CD set of Churchill's World War II speeches. We then walked up along St. James Park to the horse guards area , walked down Whitehall to #10 Downing Street which was barricaded but we could see #10. The British used to run their vast empire from their bureaucracy located along Whitehall Street. As they said "the sun never set on the British Empire". We then walked up to Trafalgar Square commemorating Nelsons victory at Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars., walked us Pall Mall Street where all the old stuffy English Gentleman's clubs are located to Piccadilly Circus (their Times Square), then took the "tube" to Marble Arch near our hotel. We ate at an Italian restaurant "Pezzo" and then to the hotel by 9 p.m.