Saturday, June 5, 2010

Look Kids, Theres Big Ben....

Well today was our big London Day, and I feel like we really accomplished a lot...

We got up and made our way to the free walking tour, which we missed by 20 minutes, but we walked then to Buckingham Palace and met up with the group there to hop on. Buckingham Palace was alright, kind of not an elaborate palace looking place but it was pretty cool. What was cool was that we got there as they were doing the changing of the guard so there were horse guards and royal guards marching around with their big fuzzy black hats. We went along the tour seeing o’ther royal homes and monuments, we got to the house of the princes and got to get close to royal guards to mess around with them, and we made our way towards Big Ben and the houses of Parliament. We saw the headquarters of MI6, aka the agency that Bond belongs to, which is still ‘concealed’ from WW2 with ivy all over it, so German bombers would think it was more trees from the park it is adjacent to. We then went to West Minster Abbey which was really cool but unfortunately we didn't get to go inside :( and to end the tour we sat on the spot where Guy Fawkes was hung and the guide told the story of Guy Fawkes (we were all like ahh V blew this building up! haha)

After the tour we headed back to the National Gallery to meet up with Dave's friends from outside London Claire and Carl. We found them and hung out with them the rest of the day as we toured London some more. We headed to a sports bar to have lunch, and made our way to the River Thames to explore the area around there. We showed Carl the Big Ben clock tower for the first time, as he had never been to London before, which was really cool and funny showing someone from this country around - we won't get to do that again! So we headed down the river and found the Tate Museum, which was sooo much bigger then I ever thought. With free admission, we went on it and did a sort of quick run through the museum, which actually was not as full of artwork as I thought, with like a whole 2 or 3 floors of wasted space. After finishing the Tate we headed out and took the 2 minute walk over to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.

The Globe was really cool and we really wanted to go in but they were putting on a performance of Macbeth soon so we could not tour it. So we thought, wow awesome! Macbeth in the Globe? Let's do it! But the tickets were £35 so we had to pass, but we looked around the shop and stuff and it was really cool. After that we walked down the Thames more and crossed over that bridge that gets destroyed in the last Harry Potter book to St. Paul's cathedral. We looked at that for a bit and then continued more down the Thames to Tower Bridge, which was awesome. After that we got on a tube in the London Underground, which is way cleaner and it seemed faster then NYC subways. We quickly got back to Picadilly Circle, and had to decide where to eat. We looked around a bit and ended up deciding on, funny enough, Planet Hollywood London.

Planet Hollywood was good, the food was the same but the area was a lot more sparse then the ones in America I have been too. However, they had 2 really cool props that elevated it real high. One, Indiana Jone's whip... the other? Han freaking Solo encased in Carbonite. The whole thing. It was so cool.

After dinner we headed back to the Hostel, Claire and Carl missed their train so they got rooms in the hostel as well, and we all hung out for a bit before going to sleep.

In the morning we all got breakfast in the hostel, and it was off to the airport for Spain. I consider this the end of our first leg of the trip, I think it is 1/3rd through now actually as of today, and it's goodbye English speaking countries!

Also, we are in Spain now so from now on the time difference is 6 hours instead of 5 hours... if anyone was curious.


  1. Out of all the cool places you can possibly eat you choose Planet Hollywood? I am not amused.

  2. I know I know, but London is like New York. We walked past a Ripleys Believe it or Not and had to decide between Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Planet Hollywood, and a really expensive Steak house that was out of our price range. All the other food places we walked past were Chinese, Tai, Indian, etc. There was no cool places to eat. I was sad :(

  3. Hey Pat,
    I really liked the pics of London!!! I'm excited to hear all about Spain!!

  4. The British set out to colonize the world and escape their cooking.