After a fairly standard yet still very long and tiring three flights spanning 26 hours, we arrived in London and took our first tube ride to check in at the humble abode of our friends Clyney and Jess, in Maida Vale, north-west London.
A good sleep had us ready to embark on our first day of sightseeing, and Clyney's misfortune with the London job scene was to our advantage as he acted as tour guide for the day. We knocked over visits to Buckingham Palace (conveniently coinciding with the changing of the guards), Trafalgar Square, 10 Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Southbank, Borough Markets, London and Tower Bridge (as it rose!) before retiring to a nearby pub for our first pint of the trip (in the sun, no less!).
On the second day we took a look at Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square before taking part in an English tradition we'd joked about completing in the lead-up to the trip, the tea and scones. We spared no expenses on this one, dining at Harrod's food court where a coffee was a good A$8 or so. A walk through the enormous Hyde Park capped off another tiring day.
The next day was mostly about the Socceroos, and we joined Clyney and Jess at a favourite local haunt to watch the 1-1 match against Ghana. The best of the action was the pub crawl that followed and our unsuccessful attempt at finding a cheap pub feed, leading us to our first foreign Maccas feed. Our first black cab ride home was another highlight, as we got a very English and fairly crazy driver who was great for a laugh.
There was no time to feel hungover, as we boarded a bus to Brighton for a Sunday trip. A whopping 36 pence (about 70 cents!) win at the huge amusement arcade on the pier had Barry hooked on the beach town, although the traditional feed of fish and chips we found certainly didn't do it any favours.
A ride on the London Eye and visit via boat on the Thames to Greenwich headlined our Monday's activities. We later travelled to Clapham in South London to visit a pub called The Alexandra, after strong recommendation from Plunger at South Yarra FC! This also coincided with day one of Wimbledon being on TV, happening just up the road.
Our last day in London saw us take a walk along Abbey Road, past Lords and onto Primrose Hill, where celebs live apparently! The walking ended in Camden where we met Melbourne friends Jill and Geua for dinner. It took them 2.5 hours to get it to us, but it was good, free and probably the nicest pub we visited in London.