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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London
November 17th 2014
Published: November 21st 2014
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*Computer issues delayed posting on Monday.





This morning we took the subway up two stops to King's Cross train station; home of Harry Potter's Hogwart's Express. I got to take a stereotypical tourist photo at the added Platform 9 3/4, and we ventured into the little gift shop. We didn't buy anything, but it was still neat, and ignited my inner Potter fan once again.





From King's Cross, we took the subway over to Westminster. So many sights today! We saw Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Parliament, Westminster Abbey, went up in the London Eye, and walked through both Trafalgar and Leicester Squares.





We'd just missed the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, but were still able to view the amazing Palace itself as well as its grounds and a few solo guards. I even got a short video of one guard marching back and forth from his post. I also liked the horse mounted police and enjoyed seeing some sort of royal marching band (they weren't playing when they marched by).





We had lunch at a pub that Jason actually ate at 7 years ago when he was studying abroad, The Red Lion. I had the most wonderfully delicious vegetarian pie (like a pot pie, but no meat) and a great dark beer - London Porter (this trip might make me into a beer drinker!) which I really enjoyed.





We got TONS of photos of Big Ben. I had no idea it was part of the Parliament building itself. Fun fact - the face of the Hennepin County Courthouse's clock is actually larger than Big Ben's. Up in the London Eye, we could see so far - even back to St. Paul's Cathedral, which we'd visited 2 days prior, but seems like so much longer than that. I got a bit nervous being so high up (and above the water), but we got some great views of the city.





In Leicester Square, a main hub for shopping and dining, we popped into a pub for a few pints before heading back to our apartment for dinner. When Jason went up to get us a round, a man asked if the seat next to me was taken. I said it was and asked if he was also from the States. He was from Texas, and after he heard we were from Minnesota, he told us his wife had grown up in Edina! Small world. Tomorrow back to Dublin for one last night. We'll be staying at a hotel near the airport since we won't have a car this time and will get in after dinner time.





*Tuesday and Wednesday were spent entirely on travel. 😞 London back to Dublin on Tuesday, then Dublin to Chicago to Minneapolis Wednesday. After Jason's 4 hour delay with United that caused him to run like the wind at O'Hare last week and almost miss his flight to Dublin, plus our additional 3 hour delay from O'Hare to Minneapolis last night, neither of us are keen on flying United again in the future. After being awake for 23 hours, we finally made it home early this morning at 2:00am. Lucky we took today off work "just in case."





Besides the delays, this was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime trip for me. Traveling solo was a great expedition, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to see the world (or even their own 'backyard') and doesn't want to wait for someone else to come along to travel with. That being said, the only thing about this adventure I would've changed was the amount of driving I had to do and the length of the solo portion of the trip. Mountain and countryside driving on single lane roads for hours and hours by yourself is not for the faint of heart, I was over it after a few days and couldn't wait for my partner in crime to join me.



With that, I'll leave you with an Irish Blessing and a little list I compiled of words or phrases that are different than back home:

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.



U.S. - Welcome to (insert location here)
Ireland - You are very welcome t (insert location)

U.S. - No problem / No worries
Ireland - Not at all / No bother

U.S. - Movie
Ireland - Film (pronounced FILL-em)

U.S. - Bathroom
Ireland - Toilet

U.S. - Police
Ireland - Garda (plural is GardaĆ­ - pronounced gahr-DEE)

U.S. - Sidewalk
Ireland - Footpath

U.S. - Highway/Freeway
Ireland - Motorway

U.S. - Gas
Ireland - Petrol

U.S. - Lunch
Ireland - Dinner

U.S. - Dinner
Ireland - Tea

U.S. - Check (at a restaurant)
Ireland - Bill

U.S. - Bar
Ireland - Pub (short for Public House)

U.S. - Tall (as in a beer)
Ireland - Pint

U.S. - Thank you very much
Ireland - Thanks a million

U.S. - Elevator
Ireland - Lift

U.S. - Garbage/Trash
Ireland - Rubbish

U.S. - Great
Ireland - Lovely

U.S. - N/A
Ireland - Jaunting Car - a 2-wheeled wooden 'buggy' of sorts pulled by a horse


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