Published: March 8th 2012March 8th 2012
the room in our hostle
please note the 3 tier bunkbeds...
Welcome to Part Two of my spring break adventures. London! Carrie’s destination of choice.
We successfully got to our 8:50pm flight to London on Monday evening and landed in London’s Gatwick airport. No strikes or waiting for airport staff members. From there we bought a ticket for the train to get to London. We asked someone where the train was and he just said “run now you’ll catch it!” so we did. And caught it!
From there we walked around looking for the hostel. After a wrong turn, asking someone in a hotel for directions at like 11pm, we finally found it. We checked in, walked upstairs and opened the room to our 9 person room. Yes, 9 person. We were greeted by a blast of heat and realized that every one of our 4 rommates were sleeping in a sauna. We didn’t turn a light on and instead used cell phone and digital camera screen lights so we could maneuver around the tiny room. We were laughing pretty hard realizing what we got ourselves into. Abby slept on the very top bunk, me in the middle, and Carrie basically living in her belongings on the bottom, floor level
So we went to bed after waking everyone up from laughing at our current situation and woke up early to explore London. However, not as early as the 2 girls who were out of the room by 6am the following 3 mornings…
We HAD to take a double decker tour bus while in London, and we luckily showed up on the last day of a deal being offered where you could buy a ticket for the day, but use it for 3 days. Success! The tour brought us everywhere and the whole thing lasted around 2 hours. The first time, we wanted to sit on the whole tour just to see everything. The second time, we hopped on and off whenever we wanted to so we could see specific places.
One thing I really liked about London is that it seemed all the tourist-y, well known landmarks are all very close together. For example, I had no idea Big Ben is part of the Palace of Westminster. This was great because this way we got to see everything and actually get out and walk around them. We saw The London Eye, were in Trafalgar Square, passed
the Tower of London (I must go back to actually go in!) and drove over the Tower Bridge.
The first day we went on the bus tour and found the restaurant Chipotle for Carrie because she loves that place! I had a burrito and it was delicious because we are so deprived of that kind of food here! For dinner I had what I wanted to come to London for: fish and chips. They were, as expected, the best I have ever eaten. After running all over London we got back to the hostel and realized that not one person who was staying there was American. So that was interesting. We wanted to go out that night because I have heard only great things from friends who have gone to London about the night life. We, unfortunately, did not get to experience that. We walked around just looking even for somewhere to sit in but learned that the area that we were in, Victoria, the bars close at 11. We came back kind of disappointed and decided to wake up early again the next day to do more touring.
Wednesday, the plan to go to specific areas and
to find Abbey Road to take the classic Beatle pose picture. The first thing we did was go to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards. I don’t even really know what that means, I still don’t know what it means, but what who we saw that day I will never forget! The three of us were chanting “We want Kate!” and “Harr-y! Harr-y!” quietly, but really meaning it. While watching all these dressed up guards stand there and play instruments for 20 minutes or so, a car rolls up behind the gate and 2 people get out, making everyone around us burst out in a very calm golf clap.
We joined in the clap calmly first, then we realized who we were clapping for and began screaming “is this who I think it is??” “Is that her??” It was! THE QUEEN! She was there with her bf Prince Philip
, was offered a bouquet of flowers from this young kid, held up some flag, posed for some group photos, and was on her way. Why was everyone so calm? We were loving it. I overheard a guy behind me say to his girlfriend, “I lived here for
3 years and never saw her, now we’re on vacation and she comes out!” We were so excited!
After that, destination: Abbey Road. Finding the actual street took us a pretty long time, it’s pretty out of the city, almost in a residential area. The street was also very busy, surprisingly to me. I thought it would be just a random street that was easy to cross, like, you know, The Beatles did. Cars would stop for you if you were trying to cross, but before long someone would lay on their horn and traffic would continue. We recruited a girl to be our fourth Beatle, recruited her friend to take the picture, and got it in one shot. Success.
That night we had a really great dinner (I had salmon and a brownie sundae for dessert!) and had tickets to see the show “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. We got them for 46 pounds instead of 62 because we bought them at an information center. It was my second time seeing the show but it was still really great.
I really liked London and that I got to see all the London-y things and food
Me being a Lone Beatle
we got the 4 person shot on a different camera
it has to offer. It was a huge city and much of it was under construction. The people were nice as well, asking if we needed directions, and helping us figure out how to use their confusing currency. Why have a huge coin that’s only worth 2 cents???
The next morning, we headed to Paris for the last part of our Spring Break.
There are more photos below