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Saturday, November 16, 2013

London Day 1

Well obviously I'm not sticking to my once a week goal of blogging. I was in London Oct 25th, 26th and 27th. It was quiet a whirlwind and I have so much to do the next time I go. And I have so many pictures I've only done the first day here. 

Actually I'll start with the journey. I left Oct the 24th a bit after noon. As I've said before the train went really fast! When I returned I traveled at night and faced backwards. I liked that much better. 1) I wasn't as excited/nervous having already seen my celebrity crush. 2) It was dark so I couldn't see all the scenery flying past the windows. For my next trip I will definitely be taking an evening train. 

I arrived in London about 5pm. Found my way to the ticket station and got my tube ticket. Thankfully I only had to get on one line and then walk about 3 blocks to the hostel. The hostel was an experience in and of it self. I was supposed to bring my passport. I keep forgetting that my drivers license does't work here! Thankfully I had a document on my computer that had my passport information so I wasn't kicked to the curb. I stayed in a room with 5 other people. It was a mixed dorm (with girls AND boys). Each room had a key and the bathroom and showers were up or down half a level. I was in a room with 5 people from a touring group. I guess that was nice because I knew if anything went missing I could ask their guide. It was not great because they were all on a totally different schedule than I was. I was in London to check out the sites and they were their for partying. I had to be really quiet in the mornings but thankfully they were quiet when then came back at night. 

Friday morning the first thing on my to do list was to get tickets to a book launch. I had seen Jack Whitehall on a TV show and then found out about this event. I trekked over to Cadogan Hall and arrived 20min before they opened. I had no idea what the scale on the map was and it was a lot bigger (? things were farther) than I expected. Well I did find it and got my ticket and then headed do the Palace. 

Ok I found this while waiting for Cadogan Hall to open. Not sure if this is the actual Telephone Exchange or just an older building but check out that unicorn!!! gorgeous!

I've been living in Scotland for about 2 months and am starting to get used to people driving on the wrong side of the road. London is obviously more touristy than Glasgow and there for needs these markings at the major intersections. 

I arrived at Buckingham Palace about 10:45. The changing of the guards starts at 11:30 and already people are crowding in. 

Not a single good spot by the fence. 

Pretty Gates!

Here's a guard! Sometimes they stood still

And sometimes they moved. 

The crowd is starting to form. And there's the London Eye too. 

First some horses left. 

OH NO WikiLeaks is trying to get to the Royal Family. (Oh man it was hard to take this photo casually, I took a ton of other crowd pictures to look less suspicious)

At some point this group came down the road but I couldn't see them until they were inside. They were the left side guys. 

Be Careful of Pick Pockets! This guy said that in like 4 different languages. 

Now it's time for the Right Side Guys! First a band came in 

Followed by infantry. 

And another horse.

Apparently the big show now started. Check out my view! I couldn't really see anything so I started walking down the Mall


Wouldn't you love to live there? 

After it's all done some people walk back down the mall. 

The "Mall" is this fancy bit of road that goes from those arches down there.

To the Palace.

The Admiralty Arch

Then I had lunch/breakfast at a cafe on Trafalgar Square. As you can see it was "Fan Rally" for the NFL. The square was closed off and there were tents and stuff and a stage. Oh and there's the national gallery in the back. 

I then went over to pick up my Mojo Tickets! No one came out but I did notice this handy notice. I had to leave the cardboard cutout of our wedding in my suitcase :) 

I then decided to try and check out Westminster Abbey. On my way I found this! Wowzy Neato!


And also on the way was Houses of Parliament! Well for a little bit I thought this was actually the Abbey but like I said London was a touristy town so there were helpful signs around the corner. 


Big Ben! Notice it's about 2:30. My pictures all look kind of dark but the sun was just behind the buildings. 

Which is how this picture was created. 


After following the signs I finally saw Westminster Abbey! So intricate and detailed and beautiful!


Look at this beautiful door with all the carvings. Do you notice something that would impede my touring? OH the doors are closed! The abbey was closed for something or other. I guess that was ok because it would've cost 18pounds! Maybe when my parents or aunts visit they can take me. 

Then I slowly meandered back, walking past the School of Art. I had an online assignment due so I had to look up and read an article. I read about the different influence on knowledge sharing on weblogs! It was pretty cool. Basically I'm more likely to share stuff on my blog if the online community is nice! So Thank you for all the kind words and thanks for reading. 

Then I went out to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. Not really Mexican but like ChiChis or Don Pedro's. The only Mexican place near my place is like Chitople but with only 5 ingredients so I was excited to get a delicious burrito. Then I went to the book reading! The book is by Jack Whitehall and his father Michael. They each write a chapter then the other writes commentary on it. It was pretty funny watching the father and son banter. Now they even have a TV show starting on BBC3: http://www.comedy.co.uk/guide/tv/jack_whitehall_backchat/ 
Well I obviously couldn't take a bunch of photos when they were on stage. Also I think the people in front of me actually knew them so I was worried they would yell at me. I did get this picture and a book! I read half the book on the return trip on the train. I just have to hole up for another day and finish it. 

I then walked back to the hostel to pass out! I'll work on Day 2 this week and should have it up by next weekend. Email me if I forget!

Lots of Love to All
Erica

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