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Published: April 4th 2015
The first part of my first week of spring break started off in London. I started by meeting up with mom in the airport. It was so nice to finally see someone from home and seeing mom and getting to spend the next week with her was fabulous. We started off from the airport on the tube and made our way to our apartment we would be staying in for the next few days. While on the tube from the airport, mom and I were completely insulted by a man for being American. Out of all the places I have been, this was a first. We got back on the tube and made our way to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. We walked around Westminster Abbey before walking to Trafalgar Square and looking in the National Gallery where we saw Monet's Waterlillies and a few Michelangelo's and DaVinci's. A traditional British dinner, steak and ale pie with chips and a pint ended our first night in London.
On day two, we started by going to the Tower of London. The weather was dreadful, but the Tower and grounds were amazing. Once we entered into the grounds, we headed straight for the crown jewels. They were spectacular. The massive gems that make up these crowns made me wonder how the Queen can where them. Inside the jewel house was also silverware and other silver pieces used for entertaining and dining by the royals. We made our way around the grounds and many buildings and towers. The White Tower was the second most impressive after the crown jewels. Inside the White Tower were loads of suits of armor and even the armor that former kings wore. After finishing everything in the Tower of London, we walked over to Tower Bridge. We were able to also go up to the top of Tower Bridge and see the view of London and the River Thames. We also saw the engine room where the machinery that raised and lowered the bridge was held. After the bridge was dinner at a delicious fish and chip "chippie" place. After walking around a bit after dinner, we found Shaftsbury Ave, where Harry, Ron and Hermione apparated to in The Deathly Hallows.
Day three was about royals and pageantry. We started off walking down The Mall and looking at Horse Guards Parade, St. James Park, St. James Palace and Clarence House. Our walk down The Mall ended at Buckingham Palace where we got to see the changing the guard ceremony. We stood at the fence of the palace for about 1.5 hours, but we were able to see the ceremony from the very front. It was the pageantry that many people expect of the British and to think they do it once a day is a little crazy. After the changing the guard and lunch we went to the Churchill War Rooms and saw where Churchill and his cabinet met underground during WWII. It was fascinating and adds to my list of places I have now been to that have to do with WWII. After the War Rooms it was off to evensong at Westminster Abbey. This was a fantastic experience. We were there early enough that we got to sit in the quire, which is right where the choir is and during special ceremonies, it is where VIPs sit. The music and voices of the choir were beautiful and sitting in the quire made the experience all the better. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful day.
Day four was packed with many sights in London. The day started off at the British Library where we saw a Guttenberg Bible, original Beatles lyrics for Yesterday and some others, an original Beowulf, and many other old pieces of literature. After the library, we walked to the British Museum to look at the thousands of antiquities that are held on the museum. After the museum, we went to the Borough Market which was amazing. From there we made our way along the Thames to the Globe Theatre before going in to the Tate Modern Gallery, where my understanding of modern art did not change. We saw one piece where all a man did was cut out an octagon and pasted it to the wall. Not for sure how that is art. After having a quick fill of modern art, we made our way across the Millennium Bridge (Harry Potter 6) and around St. Paul's Cathedral. While walking around the Cathedral, it began to rain and when mom put up her umbrella, a strong wind came through and snapped the umbrella in half.
London was lovely, as the British would say. I think it can go down as my favorite city I have been to. I loved the vibe the city put off and the sights to see are endless. Mom and I tried to pack in as much as possible and I think we accomplished that. I think London has my heart, I just wish it wasn't so expensive. Until my return London, Cheers!
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