Day 7 – London – New Years Eve
After packing up all my stuff which had exploded from my bags once I arrived at Harriet’s I decided that it was imperative I get some fish and chips before I left London. So I set off for the bus and headed down to Kings Cross Station. Apparently fish and chips isn’t as common as everyone back home things it is. Go figure. Anyway, after I found a place that didn’t take credit card, I got out some money and went back. The fish and chips was everything I expected them to be. I chilled out there for a while and took it slow, tonight was New Year’s Eve!
Once I got back to Harriet’s, I showered up and got ready for tonight’s festivities which included some drinks at the Quigley residence before we all went our separate ways. So we all had some bubbly, nibbles and at around 815PM, Harriet and I met her old friend Tom who would be joining us tonight. Tonight we decided to try and see the fireworks down by the Thames River, which are set off from the London Eye along the Southbank.
So Tom, Harriet and I set off from the bus stop where we picked Tom up for the first pub of the night. Even though the pub didn’t charge to get in, there was no place to sit inside the pub. So we took our drinks outside the pub to their garden and sat in the freezing cold. Since I was wearing a sweater, fleece and jacket I wasn’t that cold initially, but after a while my neck began to really get cold. After a while we moved inside, finishing up our drinks and went to pub 2. At pub 2, they weren’t charging for admittance and after a while we did get a seat. It was also a more user friendly pub with younger adults there and good drinks on tap. For some reason I had decided to make this a cyder night, go figure, that was probably a bad move considering how much sugar are in each of them and how much your stomach hurts at the end of the night, but that was the choice I made before I took the first sip.
From pub 2 at around 1030pm after having some real interesting debate about socialized medicine (which I am personally against in any country whose population is greater than 10 million), we attempted to get down to the river and see the fireworks at midnight. Well apparently us 3 weren’t the only ones who had this idea. There were about 500,000 other people who had the same one as us, who would have thought!
We decided that taking the tube would be best. Once we got on the tube it became crowded and crowded fast. Well the first tube we took wasn’t but once we transferred to the line that was going to take us to Waterloo station (picadilly line from the northern line), it became very crowded. That was the train to take since other stations were closed. After getting out from Waterloo station the line began. All three of us after going through the main line were all looking for shortcuts to get us to the Eye the quickest. I eventually found a route that would take us pretty close and with thousands of others, we all rang in the new year! It was awesome.
So all in all it took us about an hour and half to experience something that lasted 5 minutes, and I definitely thought it was worth it. Getting home was a completely other story. Since the police had closed off streets and created barracades so that the general public could only walk certain ways, our choices were quite limited and we ended up having to wait a really long time to get back to the tube station. But on the way, we took a few seconds to absorb all that was going around us, including saying Happy New Year to the Constables and random people. I got a few photos of myself in the crowd and even managed to let the security at Kings College of London to use their bathroom (boy was that clutch and just in the nick of time too).
Eventually Harriet and I got home around 2am. It took us about 2 hours to do so, which included long waits, crowded tubes and a 25 minute walk back to her house from Euston underground station.