Tuesday, April 21, 2009

London Bridge is Falling Down

Day 8: After staying out till 3:30 and getting up 5:30 to catch my flight, I was pretty tired, which to be fair, may have contributed to my dislike of London. In any case, after I got off my flight, I picked up my London pass at the tourist office then headed to drop my bags off at my hostel. What I didn't count on when planning the London segment of my journey is the fact that it takes FOREVER to get ANYWHERE in London. To be honest, it's a little bit ridiculous.

Anyway, after the hostel and a quick lunch, I headed of to St. Paul's Cathedral, designed by the great Sir Christopher Wren, and the wedding place of Princess Dianna. It really is a fairly cool piece of architecture, but definitely not my favourite cathedral. Here's a picture of the outside:

Next on the list was supposed to be Globe Theatre:

However, upon finding out that I would have to wait quite a while for the next tour, I decided to do the more expensive Tower of London with the pass that I'd already paid for. I had to practically run to get there on time, and when I did, I found that half of the exhibition had been closed down and I only had 30 minutes to look around. The stuff about torture was pretty cool though. (Good grief, I sound like a sadist.) And I got a good picture of the sunset. Tower of London and sunset:

And I saw the Tower Bridge and walked across it! That's another thing about London though... it definitely has cooler bridges and better architecture than Dublin, but in London, it feels like the bridges take precedence over the river. It's like it's there, but in the way, and when someone does notice the river it's more like an annoyance, and something to throw trash in. But in Dublin, the river is like a part of the city, and people enjoy it and want it there. So they don't build bridges to hide it. They hope the river hides the bridges. I sound like a crackhead. But whatever.
Day 9: So, I was SUPPOSED to go to Stonehenge today. My bus left at 7:15, and I thought that 45 minutes would be PLENTY of time to get to the bus station from my hostel. Not so. I ended up there at like 7:30 or so... and the next bus wasn't til 11:15, by which time it would be too late to catch another bus over to the actual Stonehenge site. So, instead I stayed around London and did a couple of walking tours of London.

The first one took me through a little bit of the history of the city, and I learned a lot and saw quite a bit, so I really enjoyed it. For example, I learned that the London street layout is based on a street plan that was drawn in the middle ages, and the majority of the streets haven't changed. Which means that if Dickens or Shakespeare came back to London today, they could walk you through it, no problem. Speaking of Dickens, we walked past the George and Vulture pub, which I believe he mentions in the Pickwick Papers.
The next walking tour I did was supposed to explain some of the history and legends in the London portion of the Da Vinci Code. I didn't really like the tour though, because I felt like it was just a reenactment/summary of what happens in the film/book. But we saw this snazzy Templar church... or was it masonic? I can't remember. But they're known for their circular churches.

And we also got to see Big Ben! Tourists can't actually go inside the building though, because they're parliament offices.

And although I didn't watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, I DID watch the changing of the horse guard. Woot woot!

1 comment:

  1. You should have taken a tour to Bath to see the Roman baths. We enjoyed that much better than Stonehenge. We loved Tower of London also.
    Cousin Leslie