BootsnAll Travel Network

Josh’s European Adventure: Day 3 – London, England

Even though I retired to my living quarters at 10PM, I couldn’t fall asleep until about 1AM.  To pass the time I watched one and a half movies from the selection I brought with me.  I’m glad I brought them because otherwise I would have been left with nothing to do.  Harriet had gone to bed rather early since she had to get up at 6AM to help at the homeless shelter over this Christmas Holiday.So today I woke up around 1030AM, and headed downstairs to breakfast.  I had a quick bite and then took a quick shower.  I felt that I needed to get out and see the city today.  I bundled up, put everything I needed in my smaller backpack and went off.  I took the 91 bus two blocks away from where Harriet lived and headed down to the famous Trafalgar Square.  The bus took about 45 minutes since it seemed to stop every block.  I choose a seat on the second floor of the double decker bus to try and get a better view during my journey down to the square.  My plan would have worked if it wasn’t for all the moisture inside the bus.  There was so much the bloody windows were all fogged up and I found myself using the sleeve of my fleece jacket to wipe it all away.

Once I got to Trafalgar Square I snapped a few photos and made my way down the Royal Mall which culminates with the famous Buckingham Palace.  Since it was pretty cold I stopped at the free Institute of Contemporary Arts to grab some culture and then continued my journey to the Palace.  Once I got to the Palace I again snapped several photos and got some people to take a few photos of myself just to prove I was there.  The last time I had visited these places was way back in 2004 when I was visiting my friend John, who at the time went to Cambridge University.  Unfortunately the day we spent walking around the city, it was raining and the weather was quite bad.  This time, even though it was cold and I had a much better digital camera, the photos came out a lot better.  Oh before I got to Buckingham Palace gates I stopped at a crowd who was taking photos, but I couldn’t tell what they were taking pictures of.  When I arrived at the crowd I saw everyone was taking photos of these two British guards in full uniform standing still guarding the gates of one of the entrances of some government office.  After I was asked by two Italian girls to take a photo of them, they returned the favor and took a very serious picture of me standing next to one of the guards.  This was just like the photo I took next to the guard at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand back in 2007.
Just as I got my camera back from one of the Italian girls that snapped the photo for me the guards started this patrol.  It was really cool to see and I even videotaped one of them do a patrol back and forth one time.

From Buckingham Palace I walked all the way down to Westminster Cathedral.  I don’t know if I visited this back in ‘04 but again since it had been a rather long walk in the cold, I stopped inside to take a look around.  Entrance was free, and it was a really cool place.  You could just see how old it was and all the history it represented dating back hundreds of years.  This is why I love Europe and London especially.  History smacks you in the face on every corner.

After looking around the Cathedral I continued my journey to Westminster Abbey.  I didn’t go in because it was 12 pounds for the entrance fee, and I had already been there once before.  Instead I snapped some photos and got a lovely couple to take a photo of me standing in front, which was nice of them.  From there it was off to see Big Ben!  Oh how lovely it was, the sun had just come out so the gold around the clock was just glistening and it made for a great photo.  This time I asked some Japanese girl to take a photo of me with Big Ben in the background, a photo I didn’t manage to get either of the two past times I had visited London, so I was excited to get it this time.  You know what they say; third times the charm!

By this time I was tired and cold.  I had been walking around for over three hours, so I jumped on the Underground (subway), I went to the London Bridge.  Now the London Bridge is not what you are all thinking.  It is not fancy at all and in fact the original London Bridge is somewhere in Arizona.  The fancy bridge everyone is thinking of is the Tower Bridge which crosses the Thames starting in front of the Tower of London.  That bridge is real cool and I was able to walk across it back in ‘04.  Anyway from the London Bridge I took a bus down to Liverpool street station.  I was meant to meet Harriet at 330PM, which is when she got off from her shift at the shelter, but because I was there about an hour early I decided to go to a local pub, grab a pint, sit back and enjoy where I was.  So I did.  I found a nice little pub, got a pint of Extra Cold Strongbow (which is a cider, not a beer), and just relaxed for an hour until it was time to meet Harriet.

At around 3:20PM, I made my way to the McDonalds inside Liverpool Street Station which is where our meeting spot was.  I got a text from Harriet telling me she would be five minutes late, that wasn’t a problem as I waited inside the warm McDonalds.  Once we met up, Harriet suggested that we go to the Tate Modern, a famous Art Museum in London.  I said “sure,” and we began our walk down to the museum.  While Harriet initially said the walk would only take us five minutes, it ended up taking us about fifteen or twenty minutes.  I didn’t mind as I had a hat and gloves and had been walking all day anyway.  Once we got to the museum we both immediately proceeded to the loo (toliet), and then made our way to a famous exhibit being shown.  It was this Brazilian guy (don’t remember his name), and it was really cool.  Normally the Tate Modern is free, but for some special exhibits you have to pay to view them, but since Harriet’s mom Alice is a member, we both got in for free, which made it even better.

After we viewed the exhibit and actually stood on line for thirty minutes to see one particular room, Harriet and I were both ready to go home.  So we walked across the Millennium Bridge at night, which was really nice, past St. Paul’s Cathedral all lit up at night and hopped on the 17 bus back to her home.  We ended up having to wait like almost fifteen minutes and since we were both tired, cold and slightly hungry those fifteen minutes seemed like an hour.

Once we got home, we de-thawed and had some dinner.  After dinner we chatted for a while and then Harriet retired around 11PM, but I wasn’t tired, so I first went downstairs to watch some B movie with Harriet’s mom and then went upstairs to my room.  I ended up watching Indiana Jones 4 and getting to bed around 2AM.  The time difference is killing me early on in my trip, I hoping to get over it in a few days, if not sooner.


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