Today was the hottest day in a heat wave that hit London while we were there. Compared to what we had experienced in Southeast Asia, the heat didn't seem that crazy to us. But with temps reaching 102 degrees, Londoners didn't quite know what to do with themselves. All of the trains had scheduled delays to avoid overheating the tracks, so we decided to stay local again and check out more of London.
We started off with an English breakfast! I got the normal breakfast, and Dylan got the big breakfast (which came with an extra sausage and hashbrown on top of the two bacons, one sausage, two eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, and two pieces of toast that were in the normal breakfast.) It was a ton of food and delicious!
What do you do when you have a super full stomach in 90+ degree weather? You decide to stand in a crowd of people for an hour to watch the Changing of the Guard outside of Buckingham Palace of course! I had really wanted to see the Changing of the Guard and Dylan was nice enough to endure the heat and buckets of sweat with me.
We started off at the edge of a crowd behind the gate, with just an ok view. But by the end, I had managed to sneak up close for a better viewing spot!
A band played music during the ceremony. They started out with typical marching music, but then switched it up. They played the Doctor Who theme song, "Take on Me" by A-ha, "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk, and then the theme songs from Austin Powers and Pirates of the Carribean.
Next, we decided to go into Westminster Abbey. Although the museums were free in London, everything else was really expensive. But we decided to pick the Westminster Abbey as the one site that was worth paying for the entry.
The outside of the building was beautiful and the inside was amazing too! (I didn't get many inside photos since there were a lot of no-photo signs about.)
From Westminster Abbey, we went to the National Gallery, another free museum!
I got to see one of my favorite British paintings, and Dylan got to pose with this silly horse painting.
We also came across this really creepy painting.
After the National Gallery, we walked back through Leicester Square and saw a bunch of kids playing in a fountain. Everyone seemed to be looking for a way to cool off!
We ended up taking the Underground back to our hotel to pick up the computer and attempt another round of posting-catch-up in a park. This time we went to Hyde Park.
The park was pretty and had a big lake where you could rent paddle-boats.
After about an hour, we started hearing some thunder and seeing lightning. It wasn't long before it started raining. The typical London weather had officially returned! Luckily, we were able to stay pretty dry walking under big trees back to the Underground station.
I had been meaning to visit the famed 9 and 3/4 platform of Kings Cross Station from Harry Potter since it was right by our hotel, but we finally got around to it this afternoon. I didn't want to wait in the long queue for the official photo, but Dylan helped me get a good photo from the side!
We also got a photo with one of the many telephone booths.
We had plans to end our day with some Indian food at a really highly-rated place near our hotel. On our walk there, we found ourselves in a super hipster-looking area, complete with seating along a canal, a really big water fountain for kids to play in, and a small live music venue. We had read online that the Kings Cross area where we were staying was becoming pretty gentrified, and this was clear evidence of that!
Unfortuantely, the restaurant we were planning on eating at had about a two hour long queue outside of it. We were hungry and not that interested in spending so much time waiting, so we went with plan b and ended up at a small restaurant called Piebury Corner that I had read about. It was really cute and had great pies! The pie crust was amazing! We of course had to get savory pies and some sweet ones (apple and banoffee). Yum!