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Published: November 29th 2011
Well it's almost December and I have yet to talk about the end of October. Sorry everyone. Well I left you on a cliff hanger last time. I left Paris and was heading towards London.
So, I got into London late on Wednesday night, so I simply went straight to the hostel by Kings Cross and slept. Thursday I enjoyed the best hostel breakfast ever, yummy English sausage and beans, and then headed out early to drop off my things at the hostel I would stay for the rest of the trip which was in Victoria. Then I headed out to Tower of London because my lovely roommate Emilia told me that is was the one thing I HAD to do in London. She was right. The tour was fantastic. Our Yeomen Warder was hilarious and informative (more interesting little-known facts, than general history). We went to the chapel on the grounds where Anne Boleyn is buried and other famous people I cannot recall. I also saw the Crown Jewels. They were sparkly. Then I had time to explore the grounds, so I saw a lot of armor, torture devices, and I walked along the outer walls and towers.
Then I walked along the river and walked over Tower Bridge, which is the "prettiest" of the bridges. Compared to the Seine, the River Thames is a monster of a river, so there are less bridges, but that just means that each bridge is cool. Once on the other side of the Thames, I strolled along the "Queen's Walk" and headed towards the Globe Theater. Along the way I saw the big military boat. Don't remember the name. But it was big and it had a lot of big guns. I also saw an old boat, which was probably not a pirate ship, but that's what it looked like, so we'll just call it a pirate ship. Then I visited the Globe Theater which was pretty stellar being a theatre buff. It of course would have been better if I could have shared it with my mom, dad and brother, Zach who all majored in Theater.
Then I continued my walk, passing Southwark and London Bridge. Then I visited the Tate Modern art museum and enjoyed the lovely surrealism artwork. Then I walked over Millennium Bridge and headed to St. Paul's Cathedral. It was closed because the "Occupy" movement was camped out all around the cathedral. It was the first time I had come face-to-face with a peaceful protest/Occupy movement and it was fascinating to see. Then I headed over to the British Museum and enjoyed artifacts from all around the world. So amazing. Then I finally headed to the hostel and enjoyed a drink with another woman who was traveling alone. She was from Holland and was super nice. Then I watched a soccer match and headed to bed. There were actually some young Frenchmen in the same room as me and they were being loud and obnoxious, so I scolded them in French and we all got to sleep peacefully. Yay for French.
Friday I headed out to Westminster Abbey which was overwhelming astounding. There is so much history in that church and to see all the resting places of so many kings and queens, and even Isaac Newton, was surreal. Then there was poet's corner where so many of my favorite writers rest. It really was out of this world to be surrounded by so many great men whose works I have read and love. As I was leaving the Abbey, I ran into none other than Abbey, another girl in my program. Small world. She was also on her own, so I stuck with her. So we went to Buckingham Palace and just missed the Changing of the Guard, but such is life. Then I ended up taking her on the same walk as I had done the day before, but it was a glorious day out, so I didn't mind. She headed home and I went to St. James Park which really rivals Central Park. It just might be my new favorite park. Then I went to Hyde Park and saw the Princess Diana Memorial and enjoyed all the colors of autumn. Then I went to the hostel, enjoyed a pizza and headed back out to see Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew' at Southwark Theatre. I was so awesome. I loved the modern interpretation and I loved the experience of seeing a Shakespearean play in London.
On Saturday Abbey and I met up at Parliament. Coming out of the Underground I was greeted by the London Eye and Big Ben, which was pretty epic. Then She and I took a tour of Parliament which was much more enjoyable than anticipated. So much history, so cool. Then we went on a Harry Potter walking tour which was freaking awesome since we both love Harry Potter. Andrew, our tour guide, not only shared all the fun Harry Potter facts, but also shared a lot of the history about all the places we walked by. So it was a mini-historical tour of London as well which was once again enjoyable and fascinating. She then went home and I went back to St. James Park and enjoyed a crisp fall afternoon reading my Harry Potter book in French under a beautiful willow tree.
Then at the hostel met another lone traveler, Kyle, who is studying abroad in Florence. He and I shared drinks, pizza, and lovely conversation. Then it was bedtime. The next day I went to church that was down the block. It was Church of England, so it was somewhat similar to an Episcopalian service. It was sort of cool because all the men were in suits and ties and the women in skirts and dresses, though I was out of place in my jeans and sweater. But there was also a baptism, so that was cool to see/participate in. Then it was time to catch my train and head home.
London was superbly stupendous. The weather was fantastic, the Underground was awesome and the history and richness of the city was fascinating.
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