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Published: June 21st 2009
So, my clever plan to gain an extra hour of sleep by taking the earlier bus to London backfired… since we took the ferry I had to get up and get off to go through border patrol and get on the ferry… at 3am, guh. One plus, I got to see the Cliffs of Dover, although it was too dark to get a decent photo.
(Sidenote: why are American border guards so grumpy in comparison to everywhere else I go? France patrol didn‘t ask me a single question, and the UK guy was perfectly fine with the fact I had no clue where I was going next)
Anyway, I arrived in London at 4:40am. Not pleasant. I attempted to nap (while hugging my bags for dear life), but finally gave up around 6am and just wandered around the bus terminal aimlessly for an hour. Finally around 7am I headed up to my hostel in the northern burbs. That in itself was an adventure because the main tube line was down until 9:30am, so I had to do a major detour. Good thing their system is pretty straight forward.
The hostel’s pretty nice, very cozy. The walls have fantastic
cartoons all over them which I of course took many photos of, and any place that has a giant Bugs Bunny painted on the wall has got to be good.
I headed out to explore without a plan, as per usual. I started at Piccadilly Circus (sort of like Time Square in NY) and wandered around all the streets. I came upon a huge festival called “West End Live” (reminded me of WestFest), so I sat and listened to that for a bit.
I was then a total nerd and went to see this Harry Potter trailor/display they had set up haha. They had some of the outfits from the upcoming movie and then I got to sit in THE chair Dumbledore sits in during the movie, and I got to wave HIS wand. Yeah, yeah, that’s right.
Next was Trafalgar (sp?) Square which is my favourite site so far. There are two giant fountains, statues galore, a church in one corner, the National Gallery on one side, and the gates to St James Park not to far ahead. I took a quick look at the Gallery - at least at the paintings that were famous enough
for me to know the names… and then I walked around St James, saw some of the guards, and walked down to Parliament (aka Big Ben).
At this point in the day I was pooped and decided to call it in and head back to the hostel. After just a few hours of exploring, I decided I have to spend an extra day here. Plan for tomorrow is to go back to Big Ben, and see everything else down in that end (Westminster Abbey, Buckingham, London Bridge etc).
And no visit to London is complete until I go have fish n’ chips too =)
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