On Sunday morning we woke up bright and early and hopped on the tube to the Tower of London. I had been on the tour a couple of times before, so I left my friends to discover the bloody secrets of the tower for themselves, and went on a long walk. The weather was misty and so superbly British that I couldn't help but pretend I was part of a Charles Dickens novel. I walked across Tower Bridge, ducked into a coffee shop, and then continued across to London Bridge. I saw Christopher Wren's monument in commemoration of the great fire of London (no photo for that one, you'll have to see for yourself!), and discovered some picturesque little alleyways. When the rain starting coming down harder, I decided to drink another latte and wait under my umbrella for the girls. Later than afternoon we went to Trafalgar Square and visited the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. They are both wonderful (FREE) museums, and I got to see portraits of Blur (!!!!), and one of my favorite Seurat's. That day also included Indian food at one of my favorite restaurants (third time I've been there- it's becoming a tradition), and delicious carrot cake.
|clockwise from top: Jeannie&Erin in front of the Tower of London | a Dickensian alley | Covent Garden | the view from London Bridge|
Monday was full of sunshine and Erin and I took a long walk from our hostel to Abbey Road. We ended up getting a little bit lost, so we got to walk the ENTIRE length of Abbey Road, instead of just seeing the studios and famous crosswalk. Oh well, still worth it! After that we met up with Jeannie and had a delicious lunch in her refectory before exploring Regents Park. We went to Primark on Monday afternoon, which included some great deals and way too many people. That night we went on a 2 hour "Deathly Hallows" tour. It was super cold and only kinda Harry Potter related, but I still loved it! Our tour guide was this friendly ole British chap, and he helped us discover many cool places that I might not of found on my own. Among other things, we got to visit the Temple Church at night which was sort of spooky- being surrounded by that much history gives me the chills. Later that evening we went back to Jeannie's school bar to watch her sing her heart out with some wicked good karaoke (if I do say so myself).
|Abbey Road Studios (how I wish I could go in!) and the beauty of Regents Park|
Erin and I deemed Tuesday our "tourist day". We woke up early and visited Westminster Abbey. There was a worker replacing tiles in the Abbey in preparation for the wedding, and Erin & I each got a piece of one! That's definitely my most exciting souvenir! We walked past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, then crossed the Thames to the London Eye. I've never been on the Eye in the past, because it's so freaking expensive, but I bit the bullet this time, and I must say it was worth it! You get such a wonderful view of the city. After the ferris wheel (& some delicious donuts), we walked down the river to the Tate Modern. I love the Tate Modern for it's jaw-dropping structure and wonderful collection of Modern art- plus Erin cracked me up with her observations of some of the more, shall we say, creative exhibits. There was a large part of the museum covered in over 100 million handmade porcelain sunflower seeds... Anyway, after the Tate, we crossed the Millennium Bridge to get to St Paul's Cathedral. It was really fun to walk across, but I was a little scared of Voldemort. haha. No really. After St Paul's and lunch/dinner LINNER, we went to the National Theatre to see Greenland. Following the show, we grabbed dinner and met up with some of Jeannie's pals for drinks. It was a very long, very full, very good Tuesday.
|from the top: Houses of Parliament | Westminster Abbey | Big Ben & the Eye | Hopton's Almshouses | on the Eye | porcelain sunflower seeds | St Paul's Cathedral | the Millennium Bridge and St Paul's | view of the Tate Modern|