Our first night was spent at a Holiday Inn near Heathrow (LHR) (EGLL) because of the late arrival and since we had to pick up a bus to Stansted airport (STN (EGSS)) the next morning, to meet a coworker coming in from Dublin (DUB) (EIDW).  I had previously decided to take a National Express bus between the airports, since it was cost-effective and the timing worked out okay.  So after a short and expensive taxi ride from the hotel (1 mile, 5 minutes £15) we were at the Heathrow Central Bus Station, which according to Wikipedia is the busiest bus station in the UK, although it didn't seem particularly large or intimidating to us.  We waited outside for the call which indicated which stand the bus would be at, but this proved to be unnecessary, as when the bus arrived, it said its route and destination clearly on the side, and they called it over the PA.  It was 5 minutes late or so but got us to Stansted a few minutes early, so all was well.

We headed into Stansted, stopping for a photo op:

Where we met our party, and then took an arranged service to today's work location.  After a hard day at the office, we were off to the Chelmsford Lion Inn, which is a lovely local inn with very nice rooms and a good restaurant.  Recommended.

The next day, after work, and continuing our use of public transport, we took National Rail from Chelmsford into London Liverpool Street station.  Along the way we got to see some countryside.

We saw some of the new facilities for the upcoming London Summer Olympics.

And the London "Gherkin", formerly the Swiss Re building, formally known as 30 St. Mary Axe.

Got into Liverpool Street Station and had time for another photo before taking our taxi to Marble Arch.

After getting settled in, we decided to take a walk to the British Museum.  Since it was a Friday, the museum was open late so we thought we'd have a good opportunity to see a lot in one day.  After taking lunch along the way, we found our way to the north entrance.  Admission is free, except for special exhibits.  Great value.

Saw one of the Crystal Skulls.

One of the highlights was seeing the Rosetta Stone.  I thought it would be larger than it was.

We spent quite a few hours going through a lot of the museum, trying to see what the oldest items were we could find.  We saw things nearly 10,000 years old.

Cuneiform writing.


The next day we went off to see some famous London landmarks.  After taking the Tube, and getting Dad an Oyster Card, we were off to Westminster and the Clock Tower (which houses Big Ben)

The other side of the Palace of Westminster.

We walked over to Westminster Abbey, but didn't go in, rather choosing to take a walk up the road to Buckingham Palace.  We figured we'd come back to the Abbey later in the afternoon.

In Parliament Square, we noticed a statue to Abraham Lincoln. 

There was conflicting information online regarding when the Changing of the Guard is, and it wasn't today.  But we spent some time looking at the palace and watching the guards walk back and forth.

We then headed over to the Churchill War Rooms, which I had seen in 2006 and knew Dad would enjoy seeing.  Along the way we saw a monument to those killed in a bombing in Bali in 2002.

After visiting the war rooms and having a nice lunch, we were walking by the Horse Guard (Household Cavalry) and saw they had a small museum, so we went and checked that out.  We got to see the horses and all the regalia that goes along with them.

After that we headed back to Westminster Abbey, only to find that they closed at 1 on Saturday!  We thought they'd admit until at least 3, but we were wrong.  After standing in the rain, we decided to take a walk to Lambeth Road and the Imperial War Museum, stopping for one final photo op.

Outside the museum are 15" naval guns which had seen action on British battleships in WWII.

The exhibits covered a lot of ground, with some excellent material on WWI which we hadn't seen elsewhere.

This is an exhibit of what WWI trench warfare was like.  Pretty terrible.

For movie lovers, here are the actual robes worn by Thomas Edward Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) during his time with Faisal.

Having done a lot of walking, we took the tube back to Marble Arch, where our hotel was.

The next day being Sunday, we thought to go to church at St. Paul's Cathedral.  It was a beautiful day...

...except for the Occupy London people living there.  (They were evicted a couple weeks after our visit.)

We went to a couple of services, and were able to see the American Memorial Chapel, which is located behind the high altar, which was very moving to both of us.

After that we took a city bus to the Tower of London.  You can see pictures of that from my earlier visit, but there had been some changes.  First, I'm not sure what's up with this dragon made of armor:

Second, I don't know where they moved the painting of Henry VIII to, but we never did see it.

Got a good look at the royal coat of arms.

Afterwards, it was back on the tube to the hotel.

For dinner we ate at the Grazing Goat, a nice pub a short walk from our hotel.  Good food - this was the Sunday roast of beef and yorkshire pudding.

Tomorrow, we were off to Dublin!