Okay...we did not get to see the Queen during our one day in London. But we did see where she dwells, as well as many other special sights, thanks to our friend and tour guide Laura Bangs, who lives in the Cambridge area.
Our day began with breakfast at McDonald's. And on the menu...hearty British-style breakfast sausage sandwiches with hot tea...naturally.
Then we hopped on the subway train. Our ticket entitled us on and off throughout London all day.
Crystal was enthusiastic about the train, as she loves subways.
Our first glimpses of downtown London made us excited.
This guy is not a statue, but a living, breathing man. Although I don't see how he can breathe under all that gold paint.
It was a chilly, blustery day, and we had to do a lot of walking, but that did not dampen our spirits one bit. Onward through the fog...to...THE TOWER OF LONDON.
This guy overheard me quip, "Oh...he's just too cute. I must stop and take his photo." He grinned and said (with that charming British accent), "I bet you say that to all the BEEFEATERS!" (You must know your British history, folks. Look it up!)
Umm...even castles need "necessaries."
So much of our Tower touring could not be photographed, such as "The Crown Jewels." So I will resort to Google images to show you a bit of what dazzled us.
Rachel was quite taken with the jewels. She would have stayed there all day, I think.
While observing all this richness, I could not help but think of Heaven...and all that awaits us there. Not to be compared!
Buckingham Palace was a fun stop as well.
We traipsed through numerous "greens," or parks. They were lovely. Even the barren trees had a lovely charm.
Architectural delights were countless.
Shopping and eating was memorable that day as well. Like the delightful picnic...on the subway. But honestly, we were so tired of taking pictures, we just did not pull out our cameras.
Speaking of being tired...I was that...tired...and run down. However, I was thrilled to be in London, and was pleased that I was able to physically keep up with the taxing pace of the day. That is...until "The 193 Steps." (Not to be confused with Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," please.)
"The 193 Steps" episode was designed by Crystal, I speculated, to do me in! She had chosen our path to the top of the subway station, not wanting to wait at the elevator line. (Whoops. When in England you would say "the lift queue.") I TRUSTED HER! As we were about halfway up, my knees simply gave out, painfully.
"How much farther, Crystal? Can you see the top?', I breathlessly inquired.
Then co-conspirator, Rachel, comments, "Maybe that's why that sign back there said, WARNING: 193 STEPS."
WHAT??? NOW you tell me!!! Well...it was too late to turn back. I threatened to have Crystal haul me up on her back. So step, by painful step, I climbed.
"I think I can...I think I can," I heard myself say.
How humbling, or should I say humiliating? BUT I MADE IT TO THE TOP!!! And I let Crystal know she owed me...big time.
In all fairness Crystal felt badly...and did buy me a sweet little gift for penance...and so I would stop holding it over her head.
We spent weeks in INDIA serving together, with some trials along the way. And we came through...as friends. The family of God...how sweet.
And we enjoyed London together...immensely. Many thanks to Laura. And please...give our compliments to the Queen, will you?