3 June 2012, Gail’s trip log

What a fantastic day – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – the only thing that was not perfect was the weather. We woke about 630 and looked out – we were docked in Dover and it was rainy and gray. We got dressed, went and had some breakfast, and then came back to do our last minute stuff before disembarking about 830. It was super fast and easy and before 900 we had met our wonderful guide, Glen, had load all our luggage in his Mercedes van, and we were headed toward London. A casual comment from us led immediately to a most unexpected side trip. We said we were Anglicans and loved to visit cathedrals and he said, well, Canterbury was just a little bit away and on the way to London, so he drove us there, parked and we walked about 2 blocks of cobblestone streets and we arrived at the cathedral just in time to go in and attend Matins service, since it is Sunday – what a fantastic surprise and blessing. Service was wonderful and afterwards we toured the cathedral and crypt, then stopped at an ATM for some British pounds, then to a Starbucks for coffee. Then on toward London. Just before London we stopped in Greenwich to view the city of London from across the Thames and to see where the prime meridian runs through at the Royal Observatory. You could stand with one foot in the Eastern and one in the Western hemispheres. It is a beautiful park setting as well. The next stop was the Cutty Sark pub, just a couple miles away and on the Thames for some fish and chips. It was too cold to sit outside on the river. We spent the next 4-5 hours driving through the East End and on into the City of London itself with many stops and diversions. Many roads and bridges were closed because of the 1000 boat flotilla on the Thames for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. There was a great flood of people close to the river, but we saw a lot of it on the telly after checking into our hotel around 500 (very nice room by the way). Our guide is absolutely fantastic! Great sense of humor and incredible knowledge of history – lots of offbeat information about places we were passing. We could not get down around the river, but we covered a lot of London and surroundings over the afternoon. He dropped us at 500 and will be back at 700 in the morning to take us to Cardiff, Wales, and to Bath. We are settling in for four days eating room service and catching up on Facebook. It is free with our upgraded room and I haven’t seen any in over 2 months. To bed early for early wake up. 

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