Europe with 2 Granddaughters, part 2

 

The next morning we set out at what we thought was early —9:30 for an 11:00 changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. We were sadly mistaken as there was already a huge crowd around the yard but we were able to find a place where we could watch the procession in and hear the music that was played. Since there were so many people we didn’t see Christopher Robin or Alice.

Afterwards we walked around St. James Park and gardens which were lovely.

Rose-ringed Parakeet, Mute Swans

Then we walked through the Palace gate

 

to Hyde Park to the Wellington Arch then Marble Arch

Wellington Arch, gate and statue

and eventually found our way to the British Museum.

It is so huge that we were only able to see a part of it but what we saw was fascinating. There was a piece of the Rosetta Stone

7:5 Brit m rose stone

and lots of really old statues from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.

There was a docent who let us hold a hand ax that was 35,000 years old.

7:5 Brit. Mus hand ax 35,000 y.o.

We also went through exhibits from all parts of Africa with amazing masks and sculptures.

It’s really quite a wonderful museum that one could spend days walking through.

Sadly, this was our last day in London.

We went to Kings Cross the next morning for our trip on the Eurostar through the chunnel to Paris, stopping in the station at platform 9 3/4 for the girls to get their pictures taken with their Harry Potter scarves on.

7:6 king X

The Eurostar was not a great experience however.

We had tickets together which we had purchased back in January. However, the day we left there was a fire on the earlier train so it didn’t run and all those people were trying to get on our train. When we went through the ticket taker the girls got their tickets and seats and Denny and I got marked as having no seats. There were hundreds of us in the same boat. We were told we’d have to wait for those with seats to board first and they would see what seats to put us in. They assured us that everyone would get on. So the girls got on and we waited while they called names and handed out seats. I kept trying to get their attention so that they would know we couldn’t leave our 2 granddaughters on alone but no one would acknowledge me. Finally after giving out many tickets (none to us) they announced that those who didn’t have seats would have to take the next train. After a great deal of panic and a lot of yelling and screaming we finally got someone to let us on. They gave me a seat in coach 1 and Denny in coach 8 and the girls were in coach 15 but they didn’t know if we were on the train or not. Finally after we got going I was able to make my way up to coach 15 to see 2 much-relieved girls. As I passed Denny it looked like there were empty seats near him so the girls took their bags back to coach 8 to sit with him. When we got there the conductor was telling Denny he didn’t have a seat and the girls had to go back to theirs. Denny almost had to sit on his luggage along with a few others in between cars but one of the servicemen in the dining car found him a place and even gave him some complimentary cokes.

We finally arrived in Paris about 2 hours late where we made our way on the metro to our Airbnb in the 16th Arrondissement.  And no one told us to “mind the gap”! (at least not in English).

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