Since the cafe wasn't open on Sundays, we thought we might as well just have breakfast in the hotel though we'd have to pay for it. And boy, did we pay! Another shock to the pocketbook, it cost £23 per person for the full buffet breakfast! Ok, we could have walked away and tried to find somewhere else but sod it, we did it anyway and had a good breakfast.
We had to be at a pub near Trafalgar Square at 12:30 to meet friends but had the rest of the morning to do something. G. wanted to Fly the Eye, the London Eye so we decided to go there. By bus. Probably should have gone by tube as there was quite a bottleneck at Parliament Square but we were stuck by then. We got to the Eye and assessed the queues. They weren't excessive but we worried they might have been long enough that it would have prevented us from getting back up Whitehall in time. I spotted a booth that said "Fast track" and noticed a much shorter queue at the Eye for that. Hmmm.... Let's investigate.
Fast Track tickets were available alone or with combinations of other attractions but they cost nearly 10 pounds more. I thought about it but we were there and G. did really want to go though he'd have not complained if we didn't. It would have felt a bit of a waste of time, though as we were there now. Oh sod it again, let's do it. More extra expense but it's not going to be something we would do again and the day was pretty clear. Not quite a clear blue sky but the views would be good. We paid and got boarded within 5 - 10 minutes. It takes 30 minutes to do the circuit and we had great views up and down the Thames and across London in all directions. I've done this once before, about 10 years ago and though I probably won't do it again, it would be neat to see it at night with all the lights.
Time was short, We decided to take a taxi up Whitehall and again got caught up in that traffic on the other side of Westminster bridge. I hadnt' thought we would have to go through that to get around and back up Whitehall but we did. However, we did get to the pub, the Lord Moon on the Mall, with a bit of time to look for a bank machine which we found just on the corner. Our friends arrived shortly and we had a lovely visit and a meal there later in the afternoon.
After they all had to leave, we thought we might walk across Trafalgar Square and have a browse through the National Gallery. Neither of us had been there in years and we both enjoy galleries and museums. The National Gallery, at least, was free! It's also enormous with lovely big rooms and high ceilings. The building is absolutely beautiful but there's so much to see that we didn't see it all before our feet gave way.
We went over to St. Martin's in the Field church but it was closed to tourists as there was a Sunday service on so we walked abit and decided, in the end, to do what we did yesterday. We picked up some sandwiches and drinks in a Pret shop and walked a ways to find a bus stop that would have one that would get us back to the hotel. We had to walk over past Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and past Haymarket to get to it! It doesn't look like much on the map but when your feet hurt, every foot feels like a yard!
Our evening consisted of spending as much quality time together as possible. We won't see each other until September again. Thus is the life of a long distance relationship.
In the morning, we were up pretty early. I had booked a private car to the airport rather than an airport bus that picks up at various hotels which would have me up at stupid o'clock. That cost £55 which is still about the same or a bit less than a taxi ride but more than the shuttle or the train. By this point, I didn't really care and the car was clean and very comfortable. I got right to the terminal door rather than having to slog my bags through the underground tunnels from the train station. Some things are worth the extra money!
I had something to eat at the airport and G. returned to that little cafe for his breakfast before going to Euston station for the train. *sigh* holiday's over. Now we will start planning the next one!