Chapter 13 - Farewell to Britain

Queuing for 'Proms in the Park'

Saturday 13 September

We caught a taxi over to the Heathrow terminal and then the Underground to Knightsbridge where we paid a vist to Harrods. It certainly lives up to its reputation and is an amazing shopping experience. All very, very upmarket. The huge Christmas department was like an Aladdin's cave with every possible shape, colour and size of glittering Christmas decorations and gifts. We looked through several different departments till we became quite boggled by it all.

Caught a bus then to Oxford Circus, walked along Oxford Street and then bus back to Marble Arch where we joined the crowds starting to gather in Hyde Park for the BBC Proms in the Park. People were coming in droves with their folding chairs, blankets and eskys. We thought we would just sit outside the enclosure as the ticket price of 25pounds was a bit more than we were prepared to pay. However, in the usual way that things have been working out so well for us, we were offered a ticket for 20pounds and another for free - couldn't resist that so joined the queue and headed in, with 40,000 other people, to see a most wonderful concert.

This was to be our last night in Britain and what a fitting end to a very memorable and enjoyable 'trip of a lifetime' for us. We had often watched 'The Proms' on TV but to be there in such an enthusiastic crowd was a wonderful experience. The program included Teatro with great songs from Phantom and Les Mis, Bjorn Again with all the old famous Abba Hits, Jose Carreras, Lesley Garret and the amazing violinist David Garrett, and of course the BBC Concert Orchestra who entertained us with the themes from all the James Bond movies and much more.

People were dancing, singing and waving flags (mainly the Union Jack but we also noticed some from Aus & NZ and others) and the atmosphere left us with a much better impression of London than we had gained previously. We did not stay right to the end as we didn't fancy coping with the crowds as we headed for the tube.

Sunday 14 September 2008

We stored our luggage at the Holiday Inn and hopped on the Underground for our last journey in to London. Found a bus to take us over the Westminster Bridge to the London Eye. Joined the long queue to purchase our tickets, then queued again to join 'the flight'.

Luckily it was a bright sunny day though still rather hazy but the 130ft high wheel did give us a good view over London and The Thames.

Walked back over the Westminster Bridge and on past Big Ben and Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Gate where we found The Albert Hotel, a popular spot for our last lunch at a British pub. We walked on to Buckingham Palace and, sadly, we were just too late to go in for a tour.

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday in London and as we walked back through Green Park there were many happy people to be seen just enjoying the sunshine - even the sqirrels were scampering across the grass. Caught the underground back to Heathrow, hopper bus to Holiday Inn, picked up our luggage and back to Terminal 5 in good time for our 9.10pm flight home via Hong Kong.

Good-bye to London and the UK and many many thanks to all those wonderful people who have made our trip so very memorable and enjoyable - we'll be back!