Live From McDonald's!

Friday, August 29, 2008

4:30 p.m. (London time)

Remember after our first night in Poland we all woke up at like 5 in the morning, wide awake and completely refreshed? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I woke up just as tired as I was before going to bed. After throwing some clothes on, eating some food and chugging coffee our group left for a bus tour of London. The tour guide was very nice and funny but after three hours I feel like we should have learned much more. She did point out the most expensive shopping areas and the best clubs, but I would rather learn about the history of the city. I guess not everyone is looking for that though. We stopped at St. Paul’s Cathedral and walked around it and inside the crypt. It’s not a very creepy crypt. There is a cafĂ© and gift shop that kind of takes away from the crypt effect.

After that we stopped at Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the guard. That is something I had missed when I came here a few years ago and I’m glad that I can finally say that I’ve now seen it. We drove by the Tower of London, the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and drove over the Tower Bridge. I was glad that I’ve seen/done all of those things because they all require money that I don’t want to spend. We ended the tour in Covent Garden (which is not a garden). It was very similar to Faneuil Hall with the long row of indoor shopping/eating places. There was much more outside to look at, however. There were some great street performers. We watched a magician who was hilarious and one of those statue men. We stopped to get some pasties… mostly because I remembered them from Harry Potter and always wondered what they were. They were actually very good.

 We walked around for quite a while and then decided to hop on the Tube to find King's Cross Station. We had to do it. I never got to see it last time I was here and I feel like it’s something every Harry Potter needs to do. I don’t know why I was thinking we would look insane trying to find it. Maybe I underestimate the vast popularity of the books. Platforms 1-8 were easily accessibly but 9 and on were blocked by a ticket counter. I can only assume that it is because of the hundreds of annoying fans that try to take their pictures there and block the people who actually have a reason for being there. Anyway, right next to the blocked off platform 9 they have a little sign that says Platform 9 ¾. Again, I don’t know why I was surprised to see this.

 After taking some pictures we walked around (a lot) more. We ended up back on the Tube to go to Knightsbridge, which is just a big shopping area. Some of us had walked through that area yesterday so we walked back in the direction of our hotel. We ended up in some residential district. It was oddly quiet compare to the London we had seen until that point. After another short ride on the tube we made it back (finally). I’m exhausted but I feel like I accomplished a lot. I just wish that I was able to walk around by myself. While I don’t mind other people’s company (and everyone here is really nice) I would just like the ability to wander around at my own pace. I feel like I give enough of a stand-offish vibe that people would leave me alone, but I also don’t want to risk it by putting it to the test.

Well I think it’s nap time. I don’t really know what I’m doing tonight but we’ll worry about that when I wake up!

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