After a very refreshing full night of sleep we hit the streets...at 8am (still on Vancouver time). We walked through Bloomsbury, over to Picadilly where we staked out some DVDs and comedy CDs at Virgin and then hiked over to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard.
A lot has been said about the over-ratedness of this event, how the crowds piled up against the gates can be a really uncomfortable chunk of time spent just to see guards troop about.
But it was fun! For two people still adjusting to being halfway around the world it was good, mindless milling watching bright colours on a beautiful sunny morning. Added to the surrealness, we met a couple from the train out of Gatwick yesterday (we had a moment re-arranging bags on the rack), and it turns out that not only were they on the same plane as us, but they live a few blocks away on Oak and 14th!
And then to make it even weirder, the marching band took center yard during the change and fully expecting to hear Sousa-esque bombast we were completely surprised when they broke out in a medley of pop hits starting with Thriller, then Cindy Lauper's Time after Time, Up Where We Belong (sang that at our high school graduation!), Eye of the Tiger from Rocky and finally You Give Love a Bad Name. Wha-huh?
As we made our way to Trafalgar Square the wind picked up sending a viscious weed/pollen cloud into the air that put everyone into wheezes and sneezes. It was almost funny except the little barbed fiends made our skin itch like crazy, and kept blinding us with every gust.
Naturally we had to pay a visit to Forbidden Planet for even more Doctor Who junk. A stop in Russel Square was very pleasant.
We got back to the hotel mid afternoon and were so tuckered we decided a nap was in order. It was only supposed to be a couple of hours but we passed out until just before midnight. Ugh. Can't win with the sleep. We missed out on trying for Spamalot tickets but there's always tomorrow.
Had some dinner, checked some e-mails, read a cool Alan Moore interview in Mustard and now it's back to sleep. I think the plan for Wednesday is the Tower of London and the Globe Theater. Fingers crossed.