Today I was booked in for a tour of Buckingham Palace, however when I arrived to collect my ticket I was told that I needed a printed paper copy of my purchase receipt. Just showing them the receipt on my iPad screen was not enough. The very unhelpful gent at the ticket office directed me to an internet cafe at Victoria Station to print my ticket, but I was unable to find it and missed the tour. Hopefully the good folks at the London Pass (who I booked the ticket through) will be able to do something for me. *fingers crossed*
Here are a few photos from the area...
I also went to check out Number 10 Downing Street, but they have sealed this off from the public now, however the very friendly and heavily armed police that were guarding the PM's residence showed me how to get to the War Rooms. This was an amazing attraction, and again I was kind of awestruck to see where Churchill and his Government planned their strategies during the Blitz. The Map Room and the Cabinet Room were pretty much left untouched after the war finished and the lights were switched off on 16 August 1945. The remaining rooms were faithfully re-created using photographs from the time and from descriptions from the people who worked there. The conditions during the 6 years of operation would have been horrendous.. with no natural light, food rations, and no flushing toilets. Also, pretty much everyone smoked, and given the poor ventilation it would have been a pretty foul environment.
These photos are a bit dark, due to the low lighting throughout the exhibition.
I ended the day by catching up with a couple of Perth friends in the Covent Garden/Soho area. When I got off the Tube at Covent Garden Station, I noticed that it was exit only while they replaced two of the four lifts. This station only has lift or stair access to the deep Piccadilly line trains and so the the only options were to wait for a lift, or take the 193 stairs to the surface. Given that this is equivalent to a 15 storey building.. I opted for the lift. I've been told that this is one of the deepest of the Tube stations.