This was to be a day spent in London without shopping, how hard was that going to be? A short train journey and we arrived at Kings Cross Station. The station has certainly had a face lift since I was last there, and the original roof has been restored and re-glazed and is quite spectacular with the different coloured lighting. The old British Railways cafeteria has long gone and replaced by an assortment of eateries.
A short walk will have you entering St Pancras station, the home of the Eurostar. The arcade under the spectacular glass roof houses a variety of shops. At different ends stand 2 bronzes, one the meeting place (not popular) and the other of Sir John Betjeman gazing at the Barlow roof. Then there is the famous champagne bar, a meeting point for many travellers. On the rendez-vous level we lunched at Carluccio’s Restaurant sitting outside and watching the world go by whilst enjoying the delicious Italian fare. What a coincidence whilst lunching a couple who had just arrived from Paris sat at a nearby table and it turned out they were from Highvale, here we are on the other side of the world and we discover nearby neighbours.
After lunch a must was a black cab ride sightseeing through the street and squares of London, reminiscent of a monopoly board, Euston, Russell Square, Oxford Street, the Aldwych and on to the Embankment. Here we boarded a clipper for the ride to Greenwich and back. Yes it was cold, overcast but not raining . What a way to view some of the majestic buildings along the mighty Thames, and to see the wonderful re-incarnation of the warehouses and wharves into spectacular accommodation. So many sights we see on various TV programmes. Then there were the cable cars crossing the Thames between Olympic venues, somehow I don’t think that would be a ride I would take.
On the return we get to see the Cutty Sark, now restored and then the famous new landmark the Shard (pictured) is spotted, the tallest building in Europe and certainly spectacular. Then there is the deceptively shaped City Hall housing the office of Boris Johnson and situated nearby to the HMS Belfast.
One thing very noticeable in London is the number of cyclists everywhere riding through the traffic bound streets, male and female, all dressed in their business attire. I guess it may be a far more effective way of getting around these days and even Boris rides a bike!
Finally another cab along different streets to do more sightseeing and return to Kings Cross Station for the homeward bound journey.
What a wonderful way to spend a day in London, no matter the weather. Just wonderful memories.
Maverick Travel would like to thank Alison for putting pen to paper. Don’t forget at Maverick Travel you can redeem your American Express membership reward points to pay for your trip – 10,000 = $100.