Feb 27

Europe 1996 Day 6: Buckingham Palace – Knitsbridge – Covent Garden – Sunset Blvd.

by in Europe 1996

Tuesday February 27, 1996
Has it really been 5 days???

We arose around 9am and decided to check out the continental breakfast offered by the hotel. Personally, I didn’t it was worth the 4 pounds that they charged for it. I think the 4 pounds to stand on the Prime Meridian was a better deal. From there it was off to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards. It was crowded, and really not very exciting. I think watching the crowds was more entertaining. we did see Elton John being whisked away from the Palace after being awarded the Royal Order of the Empire. On an entertaining side note, I earned 5 pounds from Wesley for asking a mounted police officer if she would be willing to pose for a picture with the Gorn. She gratefully, though a bit hesitantly agreed. I found my Snoqualmie Pen tucked away in my backpack. From Buckingham we traveled over to Covenant Gardens to shop at the Doc Marten store and other places…. I bought Jonathan a pair of Docs, after returning to the hotel later I found out I got the wrong size so I will have to exchange them. After buying the Docs, I headed out on my own to find a tie shop. I dragged my nice suit all the way from California, but forgot the tie. I found a tie at “The Tie Rack” where two friendly guys helped me out. I then headed out to Knightsbridge to do some shopping ala AbFab at Harvey Nichols and Harrods. I decided that it was too upscale for me when I went into Harvey Nichols and discovered that they wanted the equivalent of $75 for a T-shirt from Italy! So I left and went down to the Swatch store about 4 shops down.

I found at the Swatch store the rare Jean Michel Jarre Europe in Concert Swatch for 95 pounds. I explained to the lady that I was a big fan of Jarre’s and how we never get this stuff in the US. The woman said that she and her husband actually knew Jarre, and were quite friendly with him. They even went to the Wembly Concert in 1993. She also said her husband has the largest collection of Swatches in the UK, and the 4th largest in the world. So after seeing the autographed Jarre photo on the wall, I bought the watch and she gave me 4 copies of the Europe in Concert poster. Needless to say I was very excited and happy. I decided I didn’t need to buy anything else, so I went back to the hotel and phoned Matt back in the US. It was 9am there and he wasn’t home. So I relaxed until the others got back.

That night, we got all dressed up and headed for SoHo to go see the London Stage production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Blvd. It was based on a Billy Wilder film. Great story, acting, stets and production, and the music was typical Webber. We all looked pretty spiffy. So spiffy in fact that the driver of the taxi was convinced we were important travelers from the US (or he knew the right words to say to his passengers for a big tip). After the play we headed over to Covenant Gardens to have dinner. We ate at a place called Marshall’s Restaurant. After that it was back to the hotel to rest up for our early rise tomorrow and our tour of London.

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