We passed through customs without a problem, retrieved our luggage (all arrived safely), and headed for our first experience on the Tube. We are able use group tube tickets - which are a fraction of the cost of regular Oyster Cards or travel cards - and purchasing them was easier than I thought it would be - so that was a relief. This was one of the few tube journeys that would involve a couple train changes, and as you can imagine with all our luggage, that was a lot of heavy lifting and hassle (and of course we may have gone up and down the wrong set of stairs once or twice while trying to get oriented). But all in all we arrived safely.
|Janey & Shelby heading into and waiting for the Tube at Bond street; Mr. Becker showing proper tube riding technique|
We settled into our rooms, and just the process of slowing down began to bring in the sleepiness accumulating - but in order to beat the jet lag we wanted to avoid afternoon naps - so after a quick lunch break we headed out for our afternoon Harry Potter/Overview tour. We were a little behind schedule, so we didn't get through all we have planned. A great part of this is due to the fact that...LONDON IS HUGE. Ms. Beyer, our VP told me a while back "do not be deceived in London - things look close on a map, but in fact, they are further away than they look." I now know this is true.
|Headed out for our first adventure - just leaving the hotel|
|Janey & Shelby in front of the Bank Building; 450 year old church, complete with vicar who came out and waved to us as we walked by|
|Leadenhall Market ("Diagon Alley") with students out front, as well as group in front of the now blue door to the 'Leaky Cauldon"|
|Simran, Harleen, Suesha, Rene, Harsimran, Harjot, Qudrat, Kimmi and Manroop on the Millennium Bridge.|
|Various view of and from the Millennium Bridge - including looking at if from the ground, towards St. Paul's, and at Ms. Garr|
|Bell tour containing Big Ben (left) and look from Westminster Bridge towards the London Eye (looks smaller here than in real life - 30 people fit in each of those capsules)|
|Parlaiment, as seen while walking across the Westminster Bridge|
|Left, Harsimran & Qudrat in front of the lights, Right, Harpreet, Rene, Simran and Suesha with Ripley's Believe it or not in the background, both in Piccadilly Circus.|
|Girls on the Tube ride home, looking tired and struggling to stay awake. Been a long and fulfilling day.|