To catch up on my London trip so far, check out part 1!
The next day, I woke up early (like, 9 am… haha, love my life here) and went to the Tower of London by myself to do my tour.
I actually just needed the ticket to get into the tower (actually like a closed courtyard with a bunch of walkways and buildings and towers) and then I was free to wander around by myself or join in a tour, which took about an hour. I walked around a bit by myself first and took some pictures.
There was one little room with information about and examples of different kinds of torture devices. The Tower of London is famous for having tortured a lot of people there, although not that many were truly tortured.
This is the moat… apparently it used to be filled with all kinds of nastiness… river dregs, poop, E. coli… although it once had polar bears in it! …that died from the gross water.
I learned a lot of cool stuff from the tour. It was led by a yeoman guide, who actually live (with their families, if they have them) right in the Tower of London buildings! I didn’t take a picture of my guide, but he basically looked like this. He told us about the Tower ravens; there are ravens with their wings clipped that live in the tower. Legend has it that if the ravens leave, the tower will fall! I didn’t see them though.
After the tour, I headed in to see the Crown Jewels. Pictures are strictly verboten, but me being the sneaky person I am, I snapped a few.
After that, I went to Starbucks so I could text Logan about meeting up, and on the way there I took a few more pictures of Tower Bridge. Not nearly as pretty during the day though!
Logan and I agreed to meet at this certain train station, but on the way there, I just HAD to make a little side trip to Shakespeare’s Globe theater to take a picture to show to my old students. Last semester, I taught a Shakespeare class and got really close to all my students. I tagged them all in this picture on Facebook!
Also on my way to go meet Logan, I snapped a couple funny pictures. I noticed something in London: people stink at walking. It’s not like Paris, where people spread out over the whole path when they’re walking somewhere, but then go back to the right side when there are people walking at them. No, in London, people walk wherever they want, even when people are coming at them. Right side, left side, anything goes. In the US, I feel like most people understand that you are SUPPOSED to walk on the right side of the sidewalk; it makes sense to me that this comes from driving on the right side of the road. In England, where people drive on the left side of the road, it would be logical for people to walk on the left side. Nope. In fact, there are signs in crowded places like train stations directing people, but they are often contradictory…
What the heck, London?
Logan and I headed to my favorite fast-food restaurant in the world (really the only one I’ll willingly eat at): CHIPOTLE! If that sounds familiar, it’s because I mentioned it here in this post. No judging. Chipotle burrito bowls are amazing. I’ve been majorly missing Mexican food since I’ve been in Europe; I think we ate Mexican for three meals while I was in London! But I’m slowly figuring out where to buy Mexican ingredients here and even made my own taco seasoning yesterday, since the stuff here is not so good, if you can even find it, and I need to ration the packets my mom and sister sent me! I used my homemade seasoning tonight to make this recipe. It turned out pretty well, if a little hot from the seasoning! I also made French silk pie from my cousin Katie’s recipe last night; judging by how there are 2 pieces left (of 8…), I’d say it was a hit!
Wow, off topic! So, we got Chipotle and I was really happy.
After that, we made like tourists and went to Abbey Road… you know, where this photo was taken.
Then we went to Millennium Bridge. I didn’t get any good pics of the whole thing, but it looks like this. On the way, we came across round mirrored balls, so Logan and I took a picture like it was the Bean:
On the bridge:
Okay honestly I forget what order we did all the things that day, but at some point we also went to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
As you can see on the left, there was kind of a carnival going on, with rides, really loud music, etc.- Logan and I were like, this is a CHURCH! SHH! After that, we headed to Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey is HUGE.
By this time, the sun was starting to go down, and it was absolutely beautiful!
Big Ben was awesome in the setting sun light.
We considered going to some fountains that are apparently kinda cool, but decided to go back to Logan’s and eat some dinner instead. We hung out there for awhile and then later that night we went to Po Na Na, this bar near Wimbledon, but I didn’t stay there very long because my cold was terrible (I had NO voice) and I had to get up suuuper early the next morning to catch my taxi to the airport. That’s another story that I’ll briefly share here: Logan and I decided the cheapest way to get me to the airport Sunday morning was a taxi and then a bus, since it was so early that the tube was closed. The taxi took me to the wrong bus stop and I ended up calling Logan and asking random construction workers for directions. I had to run nearly a mile with my bag to the correct bus stop, but I made it, and my trip home was uneventful from that point on! But sprinting around London with my luggage in the dark at 5 AM was definitely an experience. Life lesson: don’t trust the cabbie when he says he knows what bus stop you need to go to!!
To finish out this huge post about London, a few cell phone pics I snapped throughout the trip:
A bird pooped on my leg while waiting for the train. Thanks, London.
One day Logan made a traditional English tea: English breakfast tea (WITH MILK!), scones (which are different from American scones; they’re more like biscuits), clotted cream (a thick cream spread that doesn’t have much flavor), and jam. It was delicious!
Since I was coming down with a cold, I had at least two of those fizzy vitamin C tablets that you drop in a glass of water a day. One evening we were drinking sparkling white wine and I decided putting a tablet in my glass was a good idea! It actually didn’t taste bad. Better than in water! Also, another evening they made mulled wine: red wine with sugar and spices. Delicious, Christmasy, and felt good on my sore throat!
So that was my London trip! I had a great time and owe a HUGE thank you to Logan for putting me up and showing me around! Check out his blog if you’re interested.