London: Day 3 (Churchill War Rooms, Big Ben, Westminster, Sherlock Holmes, British Museum)

Day 3 started with breakfast (aka, smoked salmon) at the hotel and then we hit the road. First up was the Churchill War Rooms, something we all really wanted to see.

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The entire museum is, of course, underground; this is the building above it:

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I could not get enough of the gorgeous architecture!

Back to the museum – it’s fascinating and a MUST SEE. The audio tour is included in the cost of admission and very informative. You see all the rooms, many of which were left as-is after the war ended, plus an entire separate exhibit on the life of Winston Churchill. I was not overly familiar with him as a person and his life was fascinating as well.

Part of the Enigma Machine (we just watched the Imitation Game before we left so this was cool to see in person!):

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This tour takes a couple of hours but is worth every minute.

We walked a few blocks over to Westminster Abbey:

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Big Ben (which is actually just the bell in the clock but let’s not get technical) is right across from Westminster:

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As you can see, the London Eye is visible – it’s actually across the Thames River. We opted to not spend the $ on it this trip.

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There are, remarkably, very few dining options in this area. Of course I had already scouted food options and had a list of possibilities. The closest (and therefore, less steps!) was a pub called The Red Lion.

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It was a little confusing at first; we couldn’t figure out were the dining room was until someone pointed us through a small door that led to a tiny, steep staircase. Upstairs was a small dining room with great views.

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Like most places in London, it has a long history. Charles Dickens was a frequent diner along with many political figures over the years, thanks to it’s close proximity to Parliament and Downing Street.

Dad ordered a seafood pie – he loved it:

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Jason and I both had our first fish & chips of the trip (delish!)

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Day 3 was kicking our rear, er, feet so we decided to head back to the hotel to rest up a bit. But first! We stopped at the Sherlock Holmes Museum located at – where else? – 221b Baker St.

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I’m cheap and care nothing about Sherlock Holmes so I sat at the pub next door while dad and Jason did the tour. Amusing to have a museum dedicated to a fiction character but they said it was interesting and fun to visit once.

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Most of the historical sites and museums have fairly limited hours – such as 10am-5:30pm – which meant scheduling several in one day was hard when you took into account travel time and rest time. Thankfully, on Friday night, the British Museum stayed open until 8:30pm!

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Y’all, it’s HUGE.

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We grabbed a map and just sorta tried to narrow down what we wanted to see – and how much more our pitiful feet could take.

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We found Paul Giamatti’s ancestor:

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Musicians each playing {multiple} instruments that we’d never seen before:

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The Rosetta Stone (it’s not just a language education software company!)

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After we finished at the museum, we wandered over to a fantastic Indian restaurant for a late dinner. Unfortunately, I neglected to get pictures.

And then we crashed!

Steps walked:

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More later!

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