To Iceland, London, and beyond…

(Please continue to bear with me as this is the first time I have ever posted pictures using my iPad. Also, if anyone knows how to upload the edited version of your photos from iPhoto into WordPress, I would love if you could pass these helpful hints on to me. Thank you. I hope to get better as the trip goes on!)

We are having a lovely time on holiday.

We have done so much in the last two days. Currently, we are on board the Eurostar between London and France. With that comes an opportunity to catch up on my blog as there are no distractions. Nothing but blackness to view from the windows as I think about traveling beneath the waters of the English Channel. We are headed to Paris for the day, but then it will be off Normandy for a few days to tour the battlefields of the second world war as well as take in the glorious Mont St. Michel. We will be returning to Paris later in our trip.

So far we have braved the winds and cold of Iceland for the opportunity to rejuvenate in the mineral rich hot springs of the Blue Lagoon. We had a nine hour layover in Iceland before our scheduled London departure. Like most of those arriving in Rejkjavik, we opted for the tour out to the Blue lagoon. There appears to be a collaboration between the management of the Lagoon and Iceland Air as we were swiftly channeled towards our bus and into the Lagoon. The lagoon was a needed distraction from our exhaustion though it was quite spendy. I’m not sure we would do it again. Though soothing, the hot springs were mostly luke warm with the occasional burst of hot water. Until we planted ourselves at one of the sources for the hot water entering the springs, we found ourselves shivering in the icy blustery day around us. All in all, we are thankful for the experience and grateful that our 9 nine hours went quickly and we didn’t have to wait them out in the airport.
After a day in Iceland, we flew off to London arriving late in the evening. After checking into our hotel, we set off for a sampling of the local fare. Really, fish and chips? Ok, maybe next time. Instead, we found this wonderful Lebanese place a few blocks from our hotel in Paddington. It was AMAZING. We couldn’t get enough of it and gorged ourselves on homemade hummus, lentil and quinoa salads, lebanese sausage wraps, fresh yogurt and cucumber sauce and baklava. YUM! With full bellies and a warm bed beneath us, we sank deeply into slumber.
Yesterday, we woke up to a brilliant London day. They have been experiencing a heat wave and we were blessed to hit the tail end of it. We spent the whole day taking in the sights and sounds of London. From double decker buses, to the stories of the Tower of London to the waters of the Thames, we absorbed all that London could throw at us in a short time. We walked the streets, rode the buses, mastered the subways and relaxed on the river boats. Big Ben stood glorious in the sky, its plated clock glimmering Gold in the afternoon sun. The London eye moved continuously in the skyline busy with visitors anxious to take in the bustling city scape. The parks were filled with visitors and locals sprawling out on the green lawn enjoying picnics and time spent with family and friends. Starbucks was hopping as folks attempted to beat the heat and enjoy an ice cold beverage. Then it was on to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parlament who remained quiet and distinguished with little to say as their heritage preceded them. Buckingham Palace was busy with the hustle and last minute preparations for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations next weekend. Also, in the right time at the right place, we were able to watch the Queen’s horses with beautiful breastplates of Gold ride from the Royal Mews to Buckingham palace. It was breathtaking! We couldn’t believe our good fortune. Late in the evening, we even took a juant back to the famous Harrod’s department store to capture the essence of it lit up against the night sky. We finished the evening off with another late night stop at, yep, you guessed it, our little neighborhood Lebanese place. Another round of hummus was in order. : )
With that, I am signing off for a little shut eye before we hit the streets of Paris. Our sights are set on the Eiffel Tower and Nortre Dame for the afternoon. Hopefully, we can accomplish each of these before taking our train out to Caen where we will be picking up our rental car. Oh, the let the road tripping adventures begin.

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