So, part 2 of my London photo journal....
We decided to head down towards Parliament and Westminster on the Wednesday morning before we left London. Aaron wanted to see Big Ben a bit more up close and personal and I wanted to see more of the tourist sights, so I could check them off my list. We walked down (I never actually used an Oyster card the whole time I was in London. Along those lines, I highly recommend walking around London as a means of losing baby weight. It works.)
As we got closer, we noticed that security was TIGHT. I mean, I haven't ever seen security quite like this. Westminster Abbey was closed to the public and there were an awful lot of people dressed up and just milling around. So, I hopped on Google only to discover that yes, there was going to be a service for the victims of the terrorist attack in March, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was going to be there. Now, I'm always up for a royal sighting and we had some time to spare so we walked down to a small park along the Thames and got some pictures, and milled around Parliament before camping out in front of Westminster with around 50-75 people, mostly in the press. As luck would have it, we got a sighting! Five minutes before noon, a police escort led the way for the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry. Unfortunately, we were not able to see them put the memorial wreath down, but we did see them in and out of the car, and I even managed to get pictures despite tussling a squirming baby. I was incredibly impressed with the traditions I observed, even from a distance outside of Westminster. From the ornate robes worn by the clergy, to the hats worn by the women, to the absolute stillness and respect of the crowd until after the clock chimed noon, I appreciated the reverence and respect.
Afterwards, we popped back into Chinatown for some dumplings (so, so, so good!) and a bit of browsing around some old bookshops. I would have taken pictures of the interior of these bookshops, but they seemed rather stringent about no photographs, which was tragic. They were glorious stores though, but you'll just have to take my word on it!
London was phenomenal. I had such a grand time and have already planned what to see on my next trip, TBD. It is a must-visit city!