Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2006 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 1 - July 11th - London


"Day one" of our trip started the morning before, when we met in Binghamton to catch a bus to JFK airport in New York City. By seven that evening, we were in the air, and on our way to London. At seven the next morning, we were at London Heathrow, and by nine we'd dropped our gear off at Baden-Powell House in Kensington. 

From B-P House we walked to Westminster, past Harrods, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, and we passed Horse Guards as they were preparing for the daily Changing of the Guards.

We grabbed a quick lunch at Wesley's Cafe in the Methodist General Hall, then went into Westminster Abbey for a self-guided tour.  

From Westminster, we took the railroad to Hampton Court, Henry VIII's palace, about 20 miles upriver from London.  

One of Henry's ladies-in-waiting took us on a tour of some of the public rooms in the Palace - she was quite excited about the imminent arrival of  soon-to-be-Queen Anne of Cleves. What a disappointment when one of the men at court brought the news that she didn't match her portrait...

The Tudor kitchens still survive at the Palace, and there was a fire blazing in one of the huge fireplaces where the spit boys once turned dozens of roasts for Henry VIII's table. 
It was nearly a three hour riverboat ride along the Thames back to Westminster Pier. The scenery along the river ranged from wild country to stretches of houses and pubs, and after we passed through the tidal lock it became ever more urban. 
As we arrived at Westminster Pier, we were across the Thames from the London Eye,  the world's largest observation wheel.

Our flight on the Eye was scheduled for nine o'clock, just at sunset. After dinner, we loaded onto one of the cars, which are about the size of a school bus, for our half-hour ride. 
Above, Nick and John
Right, Jon taking self-portrait with Parliament

The Houses of Parliament, from the top of the Eye. 

It was about ten thirty when we arrived back at Baden-Powell House, well traveled but exhausted, most of the Scouts having been up for thirty six hours by then... 

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