Sunday, February 20, 2011

And we're off...

No trip is ever without it's hiccups and the first 24 hours provided exactly that for us.

1. It's good to know that a flight won't take off if there's luggage for a passenger, but no passenger. Though I wish they would have figured that out BEFORE we were in the queue on the tarmac. Getting out of the queue and returning to the gate meant that we were almost 2 hours late getting into London :(.

2. Arriving two hours late wouldn't have been that terrible, but it was just our luck that the needed tube line (Central) to our hotel was closed because of weekend tube repairs in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Which meant an extra long walk to our hotel dragging our suitcases.

3. Weekend Tube closures meant that Central Line and the Circle and District lines were closed. Who in their right mind closes those lines and the SAME time?

Our matchy carryons

Our original plan was to do Westminster Abbey and then head down to the Tower of London and St. Pauls before ending up in the westend to watch Les Miserables. It didn't go as planned--remember tube closures? In the end we did Westminster, the London Eye, and Les Miserables.

Westminster Abbey: The last time I took a tour of Westminster Abbey (2003), we had a tour guide named Chester, looked exactly like professor Snape, and liked to stroke things with his long fingers. Creepy! We may have been nicked named "Chester the Molester." We had a wonderful tour guide who's name was not Chester.

Parliament Square. For me, Parliament Square is such fascinating place--a hippie commune in the middle of London. During my three previous visits, it was filled with anti-war signage (there's still some left), this time it was mainly death to capitalism signs. I couldn't figure out what they wanted to establish instead of capitalism.

Westminster Bridge: It's the oldest bridge in Central London and was finished in 1862. (Very Random fact)

View from Westminster Bridge looking South.

The view from Westminster Bridge looking north.

London Eye: The London Eye was constructed in 1999 and was originally called the Millennial Eye. It has 36 egg shaped carriages that hold 25 people a piece. It rotates 10 inches per second and takes 30 minutes to complete the entire rotation. It has a height of 443 feet and was the tallest ferris wheel in the world until 2006. By 2008, over 30 million people had ridden it. It also has some of the best views of London.

Towards the Southeast you can see St. Pauls and the Gherkin.

World Cup Fever: With England playing the United States in the first round of the world cup, my loyalties may have been split. Though, my favorite part was as we were eating our dinner a very drunk and excited man, came up to us and started signing one of the English football songs. He kept wanting us to join in and finally I said "We're American." To which he replied "that's too bad" and walked away.

At four in the afternoon, most of this crowd was already drunk.

Les Misearbles: I know that this is strange to say since it takes places in Paris, but Les Mis reminds me of London. I think it's because I grew up watching the 10th anniversary special at Royal Albert Hall and fell even deep in love with the play, the music, the building, and Michael Ball. So it was a must see during my study abroad and is always a wonderful one to see again. The cast did a wonderful job, and even with our jet lag Emily and I managed to stay away for most of it.

I experienced a new London first this trip--being pooped on by a pigeon.


Amanda and Chase England said...

I am so jealous! I just love London, and it's a place I dream about going back to someday. Luckily, I get to live my dreams vicariously for now, so keep blogging:)

The Daily Constitutional said...

Hi, we stumbled upon your great London pics and we really liked them – looks like you had a great trip!

We've made you our Blog of the Week on our blog.

Best wishes

The Daily Constitutional
The London Walks Blog