2002 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette
Touring - Day 1 - July 9th

After an uneventful flight from Syracuse to Chicago to London Heathrow, and an Underground ride to Baden-Powell House, we set off into London. Or, to be more accurate, into Westminster, and the Cabinet War Rooms (left). The War Rooms are the underground complex from which Winston Churchill and his staff directed the British war effort during World War Two. You enter through a sandbagged entrance below an office building, and wander through the corridors with an audio wand to explain the rabbit warren of rooms, left just as they were when the war ended. 
From the War Rooms, we went to Methodist Central Hall for lunch at Wesley's Cafeteria ("thanks" to the guard at the War Rooms for telling us about it). Good food, and inexpensive. Then it was across the street to see Westminster Abbey, where the kings and queens of England and Britain have been crowned since the 11th century.  Many of Britain's kings and queens, and her most famous citizens, are buried here, or have memorials in the floor or walls. At left, Matt at the memorial to Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Scouting, after whom our council was named. (B-P is buried in Kenya).
By this time, most of the Scouts had been up over twenty-four hours, and were beginning to sag a bit, but the wall of the Abbey gift shop provided an ideal spot for a nap...
After a walk around Westminster, we walked across the Thames to the London Eye (the photo at the top of this page shows the Eye in relation to the Thames and Parliament). The world's tallest observation wheel, it provides spectacular views of the city - especially since the rain chose that time to stop and the skies cleared for our ride.   

At left, Moses in the Eye, and the first of his collection of spoons. 

The weather held as we left the Eye, and it seemed a good time for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe near Green Park. 
We finished the day with a Ghost Walk. Starting from Embankment Underground station, our guide took us through the streets and alleys of London's West End to end after dark in St. James Park.  Along the way, we heard stories of ghosts and hauntings through time, and visited many parts of London that visitors wouldn't think to go.

Left - our London Walks guide "Richard III" and the Scouts in a back alley near Drury Lane and the Theatre District.  

Finally, back to B-P House and bed for the night. 

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