I woke up bright and far too early but excited to explore London. My method of attack was having a map on my phone with a bunch of places starred, a good pair of feet, and an ‘Oyster’ card–why their tube/metro/underground is an oyster, I am not sure, but whatever, Londoners. Oh, and I speak the language. Setting off into the unknown in London was a little less scary than setting off into the unknown in Esfahan, Iran. There are a million photos of London out there, so I didn’t try very hard on these ones!
I crossed the London Bridge, singing to myself “London bridge is falling down, my fair lady…”
Walking around London reminded me quite a bit of walking around Boston. It might have been the chilliness combined with excitement or it might have been the fact that last time I was in Boston I was on a total New Order kick as I was in London, but I think it had something to do with the style of the buildings and the strange streets.
I wandered by St. Patrick’s church and onwards to the London Museum, which was super cool–it was free and basically a very extended history of London, but it had some neat artifacts and I loved getting to walk through history.
Accidentally, I took the tube to Hyde Park, which was my favourite place in London! It reminded me of Queens Park in Invercargill and of my childhood, and there were a bunch of ducks and I wished that I had brought bread to feed them.
I then accidentally stumbled upon the Royal Albert Hall, and completely flipped out. I’ve watched videos of the Cure there and I have a DVD of the Killers there and a bunch of other bands I love have played there, so I was excited.
I bought a sausage roll from their cafeteria and returned to Hyde Park to eat it, almost crying at the deliciousness of real sausages. The US needs to get its act together on food, man!
There’s a cluster of three free museums–the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Being midday on a Wednesday, these were crowded with primary school students. I went into all three, though it was really challenging to breeze through–I generally like to go to one exhibit and read every single world, but here I strolled through trying to see everything. The Natural History museum was my favourite of the three with really cool artifacts, fossils, and architecture. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Science Museum, though apparently its best exhibit is the one on the cosmos one has to pay to see, and the Victoria and Albert was fascinating, having pieces on various different cultures.
Going back through Hyde Park, I came to the Wellington Arch, where I had more fun taking photos of random people than of the actual monument. Whoops.
Aaand I came to Buckingham Palace. I’ve got to say, I wasn’t really very impressed. Even the White House is prettier, and as noted in regards to food, the US rarely gets anything right.
Then, Big Ben appeared! I felt quite fond of Big Ben. He was rather pretty.
The London Eye was 23 pounds, but I’ve been seeing similar wheels all over the Middle East and dying to go on one, so I shelled out the cash. It was raining slowly and absolutely gorgeous.
I returned to the hostel to rest and get to WiFi for half an hour before heading out for the evening.