Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Changing of the Guard and Plans

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
-Robert Burns

I planned out every minute we were going to be in London. I researched the museums, found audio guides for walks and sites, sought recommendations from locals on restaurants and night spots, read countless reviews of shows and sites, spent hours on travel message boards, mapped tube and bus routes - I am sure you get the picture. However, London had other plans. Picked restaurants had "special" holiday hours, the tube had massive closures over the week, I got sick, Matt missed the bus, planes were delayed, and there were crowds.

However, despite all the hiccups, our week went surprising well and the only thing we seemed to be short of was time. I think one of the best example of planning gone awry was our plans to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Message boards, travel guides, and friends all suggested arriving half an hour before the show to see the display of pageantry. Ever-conscience of the clock, we arrived 45 minutes ahead of time to scope out the best place to photograph the guard.

Stepping out of Hyde Park, I knew this was just not going to happen. Bus loads of tourists were already lining the gates, steps, and walk ways around Buckingham Palace. Having already spent enough time standing around in the cold (think fireworks and parade) and not wanting the prize view of the back of someone's head, we moved right along.Fortunately, we moved right along past the horse stables on accident. We found front row seats for the changing of the horse guard. While it might not be as famous, it was pretty nice show of pageantry just the same.Next time we are in London, we will know better. Maybe we will camp out at Buckingham Palace the night before. Hmmm. I wonder if the guards let you do that...


Book Lust said...

The changing of the guard is highly overrated - it takes forever and even if you are near the gates, you are still far away from the action. It looks like the horse guard would be more interesting - twice as many players!


Laura Kay said...

Thanks for making me feel better about missing "the best pageantry" on that side of the pond!