London Calling

Posted on September 19th, 2010 by

If you ever go to London and are looking for a nice hostel to stay in, I recommend looking up St. Christopher’s Inns. They are a hostel chain that stretches across Europe, has multiple locations within London, and caters specifically to kids my age. I was really surprised with how clean and secure it was. I stayed in the one located in Hammersmith, which was a short tube right from all the tourist sights.

I had one full day to sight see in London. I started my tour of the sights at Trafalgar square. I quickly realized that if I wanted any pictures of my self I was going to have to awkwardly ask a fellow tourist to take pictures for me. In Trafalgar Square, there are 4 giant statues of Lions surrounding the main monument. I really wanted a picture of me sitting on the back of one of the lions, so I found a nice lady to take the picture for me. However, I ran into a problem…haha. I couldn’t jump high enough to get on the lion and awkwardly spent 5 minutes trying to jump up but instead almost slipping off the platform to my death below.

Having a stranger take your picture always means some important part of the picture will be cut off, like the lion’s head. How do you not make sure all of the lion’s head is in the photo?

I was told that it rains in London 45% of the time. I got lucky and I had a beautiful day to sight see and only got sprinkled on right at the end. I also visited St. Paul’s Cathedral-very beautiful. I didn’t get to go very far inside because there was a charge to sight see and I wanted to save my money to go inside Westminster Abbey. I walked along the great Thames River as I wound my way towards London Bridge and London Tower. There was a fall festival going on so it took me a couple hours as there was so much to see. There was a guy playing a metal saw like a violin-pretty cool.

This was a really creepy human statue that only moved when you dropped money into his bucket.

Walking across London bridge was probably one of the coolest things ever. It is a very strange thing to have read about a place like London your whole life, to know it’s history for hundreds of years, it sort of seemed like it was a place of fiction-something from movies and books that didn’t really exist. Walking along streets that were so steeped in history was unreal. Walking along a bridge that has been such a huge icon for years was amazing. I wanted to sing the london bridges falling down song really loudly as I walked across but I refrained-figured I wouldn’t be looked on too kindly, haha.

Having fully exhausted all the sights around London Bridge [Globe theatre and lots of pretty churches] I hopped on the tube towards Parliament. I <3 the London tube and the handy dandy Oyster cards they now have. Anyways, nothing I had seen in movies had prepared me for the grandeur and awe that parliament had to offer. They sadly weren’t allowing visitors inside, but just looking at the building from the outside was enough. Though, funnily enough, I couldn’t stop thinking about the scene in the movie V for Vendetta where parliament is blown up. I was a little disappointed in Big Ben; I’d always imagined it was bigger. Buckingham was very regal and palace-like looking. I couldn’t go in because it was closed for the day.

My mom told me that if there was one thing I had to do in London it was to go into Westminster Abbey no matter what the cost. I didn’t even think the designated visitor hours would be over by 4:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday. I was really bummed that I couldn’t go in because from the magnificence of the outside of the building I knew the inside would be that much more grandiose. Luck was with me, they were allowing the public in at 5 for evening vespers. I got to go in for free! I was dumbstruck by the inside. I had no idea what to expect. There were so many tombs of famous, no, legendary people within that I could just feel gravity pressing down on me. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the inside of Westminster Abbey is the most beautiful of any building I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. This was a place filled with memories of burials, coronations, weddings, and history. Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Lord Tennyson were entombed within. Though I didn’t see their tombs because I was only allowed to walk where they were directing me to take my seat. My head tried falling off because I couldn’t stop twisting it around to look around at all the engravings and statues. I started bugging out when I finally recognized the tomb of Isaac Newton. I wish I could have seen the tomb of Charles Darwin or especially David Livingstone. It was an epic and flabbergasting experience. I definitely want to return one day so I can see the inside without being secluded to a specific place.

Westminster Abbey

Go see London–>I recommend!

Huge Tree I found.

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