I woke up bright eyed and excited to see Buckingham palace and the changing of the guards. Unfortunately, the actual visit was shorter than I had planned for. I must have misread the summer opening dates, because the gates remained firmly closed. I didn’t stay and wait for the changing of the guards that would take place in two hours, but I’m beginning to regret that decision. Apparently the Queen’s guard decided to play the Game of Thrones theme song on that very day. What are the odds?!
Still, I got to see the Queen’s guard for the first time! I felt a little sorry that they had to wear long sleeves and a furry bear skin hat during the hot summer. Must be pretty hot wearing a bear skin hat standing directly under the sun. I wonder how they manage to see where they’re going as it appears that the hat comes down to their eyes! It was pretty impressive watching them patrol in time to one another. They swung their arms up high and stamped their feet pretty hard when they return back to their post.
The lamp posts were embellished with this beautiful wreath with lettering inside. It looks to be a royal crest, but I’m not entirely certain of whose.
The Victoria Memorial is directly in front of the palace. It was the first thing I saw as I was walking toward Buckingham Palace through Green Park and it was impressively big. I happened to meet two Korean girls in front of this memorial and we took turns taking photos for each other. One of the girls had a Nikon, but hesitated and handed me her phone instead. It was an awkward moment but I completely understood where it was coming from. With all the stories you hear of pickpockets in Europe, it’s hard to trust strangers with valuable possessions like a DLSR. I felt pretty safe while traveling in London and Interlaken but was always on guard while I was in Paris and particularly when I was in Rome!