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September 11th 2005
Published: February 15th 2006
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Trafalgar SquareTrafalgar SquareTrafalgar Square

Patrice, Mar, me, and Clay posing in front of a fountain in the square
Our flight finally arrived in the UK at around 10am. The weather was a bit dreary as one would expect in London but everyone seemed to be in good spirits as we finally arrived in Europe!!! We were a bit on edge though, it being the 4th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as well as the recent London Underground bombings. We made it this far and weren't about to let anything get in our way. Customs was pretty easy and within a half hour we had retrieved our bags and were ready to venture into the city. We decided to take the Underground from the airport to Russell Square. The entire journey would take a little less than an hour. Sitting there on the Underground was when the jet-lag appeared to set in. I looked around at everyone and their eyelids seem to be getting heavier as time went by. We finally arrived at the Russel Square Station and found our hotel for the next 2 nights, The Imperial Hotel. Checking into our rooms was a breeze. Patrice and I were to share a room for the duration of the trip. Our room was what I had expected, 2 tiny
Fun on the LionFun on the LionFun on the Lion

Clay, Suzanne, and myself acting stupid on the lion
twin beds made for children and not much space for anything else. I decided to go downstairs while Patrice rested to find out if Suzanne and Clay had checked in yet. After inquiring with the front desk and finding out they hadn't yet arrived, I decided to go for a little walk. As I was turning the corner on to the main street, I ran into Suzanne and Clay. I got a bit of a chuckle when I noticed they were totally playing tourist with their Contiki travelbag and camera hanging around their necks.

After they checked in and got settled we decided to go out for a bit of exploration. First things first, we had to get lunch. We settled on a little cafe/bar right next to the hotel. It was here that we discovered how extremely expensive this country is. I think I paid a good 15 pounds for my fish and chips and coke which equates to almost $30 US dollars. After lunch, we decided to take a hop on/hop off city tour bus which takes you to all the major sights around the city. Our first stop was Trafalgar square. This is one of
Houses of ParliamentHouses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament

On the bus with the Houses of Parliament in the background
London's main attractions and is named in honor of a very famous battle in which the British were victorious. We explored the square a bit and took the obligatory photos of the fountains and giant lion statues. Suzanne, Clay, Patrice, and I decided to have some fun by climbing the lions and acting very childish and retarded. We got back on the bus and went to the quintessential London attraction, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. We walked around a bit and took photos while admiring all the details of this amazing structure. Starting to feel a bit tired, we continued walking towards Westminster Abbey. This is London's most famous house of worship and is the site of many famous weddings, funerals, and coronations for British Royalty over the past few centuries. No one seemed overly impressed so we re-boarded the bus and just sat there for the duration of the tour without getting off. We were just soaking in the sights of London from atop our open-air double decker bus. We got off at Trafalgar Square and had some coffee/hot chocolate before we decided to walk the rest of the way back to the hotel.

Not sure if we were lost or not but we seemed to be walking for quite a while. Either that or we just completely took the long route. We finally made it back to the street where the hotel was located and decided we better find some dinner now. There wasn't much to choose from in the immediate vicinity. I think our choices were limited to Italian and Bangladeshi. We decided to be daring and try some Bangladeshi which none of us had ever had. It was like complete culture shock as none of us had any idea of what to order. We ended up just taking the recommendations of the waiter. We ordered 3-4 dishes and just ended up sharing it all amongst ourselves. I still have no idea what we wound up up eating. In the end, I paid 20 pounds for my share which is about $40 dollars for what seemed like a very light meal!!!! Back to the hotel to call it an early night as we were all very tired. As I was sitting there in the room, I got a bit restless and decided to go out and do some night exploration on my own. I thought about going over to a bar that I noticed during our walk back to the hotel. I settled on taking the Underground over to the Houses of Parliament and London Bridge just to see what they looked like all lit up at night. Eventually, I made my way back to the hotel tonight at around 11pm.

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10th August 2007

are you sure?
are u sure that's london bridge? Looks more like the Tower Bridge ... hehehe ... The real London bridge was moved to Texas !!!

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