We got up early and wound our way through south London and out to Gatwick where we returned the rental car. We puchased tickets on the Southern Line to take us into town. That was easy by certainly not cheap. Our tickets into town were $18 each. The train was modern, ultra clean, and sleek...and fast! We arrived at the London Bridge station (right under the new pyramid building) and transferred to the tube. That was a LONG way through many winding underground walkways, escalators, and stairs. We purchased a one-way ticket to Trafalgar Square and got on the tube. And "tube" is appropriate as the trains are the shape of the round tubes carved into the bedrock well below the streets of London. I had forgotten how low the ceilings of the trains are...and I was three inches taller back then. Even now my head almost hit the top. The cars of of course new and fresh and everything is digitally controlled with great voice notices that "you can actually understand."
We arrived at Trafalgar Square and found the ticket office where we picked up our 6-day London Activity Pass and Travel Card. Numbers wise this is a great deal and we hope to save a lot using the pass to visit a lot of London sites over this week. We had lunch at a local restaurant...yikes...London prices...and waiting for George and Andi to join us in town.
From there we had a short visit to the National Gallery. We were only there for 45 minutes using the available time before our entry into Buckingham Palace to see some of the masters. It is a great art gallery with some pretty outstanding works of art. I am always amazed honestly, at how much I retained from all those years of art appreciate in school. I saw paintings today for the first time that I studied so, so many years ago. I love art, am an artist myself, and I am always humbled when I witness the mastery of geniuses from so long ago. The ones I have now seen for the first time included "Sunflowers" and "Cat in a Chair" and "Wheatfield with Cypress by Van Gogh, "Mediterrean Landscape" by Picasso, and my favorite "Bathers at Asnières" by Seurat. My taste is pretty obvious.