London, Day 13 – Packing, Buckingham Palace

October 18, 2012 (Thursday) – effectively, this was our last day touring around London, but even then we spent most of the day staying in and packing. After hearing news of my cousin’s death the night before, we stayed up very late and were awakened early due to both the phone and TV making noise; the former was a wrong number, and the latter was a message informing us that the water would be turned off. Go figure.

After spending the early afternoon packing at a leisurely pace (previously, we had taken advantage of and registered for free late checkout, so we had until 4 PM to pack and vacate the room), we left our suitcases with the concierge and headed out to take the 73 to Buckingham Palace.

The 73 travels through Oxford Street so we got a chance to do a bus tour of this busy shopping street. Although it was October, Christmas lights and decorations were already going up. Like the day in Paris when I photographed random people going about their day, I did the same thing of Londoners from my vantage point on the upper deck of the bus.

We got off the bus at Buckingham Palace Road and made our way towards the palace, passing by the Royal Mews. Not long after, we were there.

Being at the palace, I tried to imagine what life might be like for a member of the royal family. When I read about a 15th-century monarch, to me it’s just another bit of history. To the royals, that person is actually an ancestor, a great-great-great grandfather or something. So many centuries of heritage and tradition. I wonder what they think about when they look out the window and see regular people outside.

It was another cold day so we didn’t stay too long at Buckingham. Instead, we headed over to Chinatown for a warm, family-style dinner, something we hadn’t had in a while. After that, we headed back to the hotel and hung out in the lobby (thank goodness for free wifi) until it was time to take the train to Scotland.

Next: To Aberdeen, Scotland