March 17, 2010

Sunny London

Good day, chaps! I'm back from jolly good London, where I have just spent one of the best weekends of my life. We had a pretty lengthy to-do list but we managed to do most of the important stuff like eat fish and chips, see Portobello Road, and walk over the Millennium Bridge. Alright, I admit those might not be the first (or even hundredth) things you think of when you think of London but they were special to us so we did them!

We started out this trip on a much better foot than the Barcelona trip - we actually left the day we were supposed to! Score! And the sun was shining in both Malaga and London. Double score!

Our plane arrived Friday night at Stansted airport, which is about an hour away from the city center. We planned to take a bus to Victoria Station and then I had directions for taking the Tube to our hostel but the bus was full. Instead of letting us wait for another one, one of the guys in charge threw us on another bus to Liverpool Street, which is in a completely different part of town! We were lucky to find a very nice (and a wee bit intoxicated) English man that helped us buy cards for the subway that we were able to use the whole weekend. Yay for being able to speak English in London!

We finally made our way to the hostel and crashed. I'm always amazed at how quickly traveling can wear you out - all we did was sit and wait for the plane, then sit on the plane, then sit on a bus, and finally sit on a subway. But we were completely exhausted!

Hanging out in the hostel

Good thing we got a good night's rest because we were up bright Saturday for a free tour of the city! Our tour guide, Dave, was a native Londoner and full of fun facts about the city like...

-The Duke of Wellington built a giant statue (above) right outside of his front door to honor himself.

-After an important naval battle, the British put their slain captain in a barrel of wine to preserve his body until they returned to the Motherland. But when they got back and went to pull him out, they found only his body but no wine. It turns out that they had drained every barrel during their celebratory voyage home - including the one with the body in it!

-The 2012 Summer Olympics will be held in London. The only sport that will be played on royal property will be beach volleyball. The courtyard of one of the palaces will be turned into a volleyball court!

Changing of the guard!

Our tour took us past the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Parliament building, Westminister Abbey, and a bunch of other palaces and important places I can't even remember. After our lovely tour, Dave showed us a place to go for an authentic British lunch of FISH AND CHIPS! And we even took a double-decker bus to get there - two birds with one stone :)

Emma about to enjoy some fish 'n chips nomnomnom

After filling up our bellies with fish, chips, tartar sauce, and "mushy peas", we walked along the River Thames and picked out the best street vendors for our return to the Eye the next day. Every few feet we saw another stand selling waffles swimming in chocolate and piled high with whipped cream, creamy ice cream in crazy flavors like dark chocolate and rum raisin, and the sweet smells of peanuts covered in butter and sugar! I probably would have gained 10 pounds in 4 days if didn't walk everywhere :)

Big Ben = Gator Bait

After our exciting day of sightseeing and exploring, we went on a pub crawl! Since it was set up through a company catering to tourists, it didn't exactly live up to my expectations. I always imagined a pub crawl to take place along the same street, with people popping in and out of seedy bars with the regulars hunched over their favorite brew, chatting it up with their favorite bartenders. Our crawl consisted of just one bar and 4 dance clubs, where they served fancy drinks and played loud music. But it was fun to hang out and meet some new people!

When in London, act like Spice Girls!

Overall, it was a very successful day and we got A LOT crossed off of our to-do list but there was still so much more to see on Sunday :)

-Big Ben: check
-fish 'n chips: check
-Buckingham Palace: check
-double-decker bus: check
-pub crawl: check


Beth said...


Aunt Amy said...

Did you actually eat the mushy peas!? I should have warned you about them. They're bloody awful.

Kasey said...

I've never been able to make myself eat mushy peas - just the name is gross to me. Did you put salt and vinegar on your chips? No ketchup!

Megan said...

I tried the mushy peas! They weren't so bad but it was a small portion so I don't know if I could have handled any more than what we got. And I found out that chips + salt + vinegar = heaven :)

Daddy said...

I am happy that you had a great time and made it back safely! My statue will be done by the time you get home!

Love you!