Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So sorry for the delay on the updates! I've just been so busy the last few days writing papers and getting over a minor cold. No worries, though, I'm healthy again and ready to let you know all about my weekend adventure to London. I went with my three friends Sam, Laura, and Ken on Saturday morning and staying until Sunday night. We were meeting Laura's sister Renee and her two friends Meredith and Paula. Those three are studying abroad in Switzerland and came up for the weekend. We got in Saturday and first checked into our hostel, which was Greenwhich and was very nice. Then, we got right to sight seeing and got off the Tube at Charing Cross Station - Right at Trafalger Square. I had seen the square before, but only from a double decker bus. So, it was really cool to see it.

We also got a chance to climb on the lions, which was a highlight as well! Ken was the only one brave enough to climb all the way up. Watching him attempt to get down again was pretty entertaining.
After Trafalger, we wandered around for a bit, looking for a place for lunch. And then...we found the perfect place...

A Sherlock Holmes themed restaurant! They had delicious food, and Holmes' study set up in one room. It was really cool to look at, and there was a violin, a pipe, and lots of spy stuff. Elementary, my dear Watson.

Afterward, we continued on down Parliament Street (passing Downing St. and Scotland Yard) and headed down to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
Our main objective, however, was going to Westminster Abbey. I've wanted to go there for a long time, as it is one of the oldest and most important Churches in England. It is where the new monarch is crowned, and where hundreds of famous people are buried. We saw the tombs of Elizabeth I, Mary I, Edward VII (Henry VIII's son), Geoffrey Chauncer, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Mary Queen of Scots, Alfred Tennyson, and many more. It was absolutely breathtaking inside, but we weren't allowed to take pictures. Here is the outside:

Westminster is a must-see in London. Afterwards, we headed off to Kensington, wanting to check out some free museums. The first we went to was the Victoria and Albert museum. They had tons of statues, objects from courts across Europe, and a very interesting fashion museum.
After wandering around the museum for a while, we decided to go see some really cool things we could actually buy. So where do we go? Harrods of coursre!
It. was. massive. I've never been in a store so big, or with things so expensive. Insane. I can't even describe it, but there was a Christmas World, Toy Land, and a Pet Kingdom, just to mention a few of my favorite sections. Also, on the Egyptian Escalators (yes, they had Country themed escalators) there was a woman singing opera.

We spent a good few hours in Harrods, mostly because we got lost in between the sports section and the shoe section. and when I say 'lost' I mean distracted by the shoes.

Afterward, we went out for some Indian food, which was surprisingly cheap for London, and then head back to Westminster to check out the sights at night. Here is the group (from left): Paula, Meredith, Ken, Renee, Laura, and Sam.
After a night at our hostel, we got up early for another fun filled day in London. First stop: Platform 9 3/4, straight out of Harry Potter. Sam and Laura were pretty excited, so Ken and I teased them a little bit.

But we were like little kids when it came to our next stop: Abbey Road. It took us forever to get there, since a bunch of the Tube lines were shut down for maintenance and we had to walk quite a distance. But it was so worth it.

We even got the ultimate picture! You can't tell, but there are cars coming in both directions, so we were speed walking across.

After some music history, we headed out for some real history - The Tower of London. I was so excited for this, and it met all of my expectations. We got a guided tour from a Beefeater named George and he took us all around, telling us all the stories about coronations, prisoners, and executions.
Traitors' Gate is where all of the traitors to the crown are brought and then led straight into the Bloody Tower. Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, Sir Walter Raliegh, and even a young Princess Elizabeth I came through this gate.
This is tower green, where seven executions took place during the reign of Henry VIII - two of which were his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.
We also saw the crown jewels and an exhibition on Henry VIII's armor. It was a beautiful day, so it was hard to imagine all the terrible things that had happened within it's walls. One of my favorite Tower stories is that of the Lost Princes. In the 1400's, Prince Richard and Prince Edward (11 and 8 years old) were held prisoner in the Tower by their uncle after the death of their father, the king. At some point, they disappeared, and their uncle was crowned king. No one knows for sure what happened to them to this day. But, it is believed that they were murdered and buried within the walls of the Tower.

And on that happy note, here I am with Tower Bridge.

Our last stop in London was the British Museum, which is easily the coolest museum I've ever been too. We didn't spend nearly enough time there to see everything, so I know I'll be going back. They have thousands of artifacts from Ancient Egypt, Greece, Asia, and Europe. We were in awe of everything we saw, especially the Rosetta Stone. I also especially liked the mummies.

London is an amazing place, and I'm so excited to go back. It was also really cool, because Chelsea beat Liverpool on Sunday, and when we were leaving Paddington, all of the Chelsea fans were leaving too. Paddington was full of blue jerseys!

It was a great weekend, but I definitely could've used the time for papers, which I had to do the last few days. I have three due next week, so I'll be working on them this week as well! Busy busy busy...

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