Time for another blog! And I’m getting better…this one has much less gap between the last post than previous ones. Anyways, on my way back home from Amsterdam, I took a few days in London, because I had never been there, and it was on the way. By on the way, I mean my 10 hour bus from Amsterdam ended in London. It was quite a long bus ride, but thankfully there were only about 20 people on the bus, so it was relatively uncramped. We stopped in France for customs, which took quite a long time. The French mean business. They had a dog come onto the bus and everything. We got there right on time though, because the second our whole bus was inside, a group of 50 schoolchildren came barreling in. The strangest part of the trip was definitely going through the Chunnel, because you’re inside a bus inside a train in a tunnel underwater. Kind of threw me, because there were no windows in the train, so you couldn’t tell you were moving if you were just looking. We arrived in Dover, and drove right past some white cliffs, but it was almost too dark to see them, and certainly too dark to take a picture. =(
But eventually I got to London later that night, and followed the directions to the hostel which was thankfully quite close. It was confusing, because it was also a pub, so it was hard to find reception. It ended up being a very nicely kept hostel, and the shower was clean with strong pressure, which was exactly what I needed after 10 hours on a bus. That night I just went to bed, planning what I was going to do the next day.
As it happened, the next day was December 21st, the supposed ‘end of the world.’ Obviously we know now it wasn’t, but at the time, I was having fun calling it that. As my hostel was right on the River Thames, I just followed that into the city centre. That was my excitement, that I could say on the last day on the world, I walked in the sun along the Thames. It was a beautiful day, and I walked all the way into town, passing churches and monuments and Big Ben! Which, while still beautiful and a landmark, is not as tall as you’d expect it to be. I decided to go inside Westminster Abbey. wHich was a fantastic choice. There is so much history there, and they give you a free audio guide to learn some. There is no way you could see everything or learn it all in the time you were in there, because it’s astounding how much has happened there. Many kings and queens are buried there, included the 500-year-old tomb of Henry VIII. Unfortunately, I could only take pictures of the outside, as they don’t allow them inside. After that, I walked around some more, getting to Trafalagar Square once it got dark. After getting back to the hostel, I had dinner and made some hilarious friends, one of whom was a Londoner. He ended up taking us on a tour of the city by car, and driving in Central London at night was definitely an unforgettable experience, but we got to see much more that we would have by walking.
The next day I decided to go see a show! The closest theatre was playing Billy Elliot, which I had never seen and been meaning to. It was fantastic! I wholeheartedly recommend seeing it if you ever have the chance. After that, it was near Buckingham Palace, so I walked over. I was too late to see the changing of the guard, but I did see the outside and walked through the Palace Gardens. My bus for Newcastle left that night, so my time in London was over.
After visiting, I have decided that I absolutely love London as a city, and I cannot wait to get back so I can see more! It’s so vast, it’s crazy. I don’t think you could ever see all of it.
Until next time!
The Thames near my hostel
I think this is St. Margaret’s
Big Ben! (With additional London Eye in the background)
Courtyard inside Westminster
That’s all for now! I’ll try to post again soon! =)