London Undone

 London did not have the vast amount of historical sights that Paris possessed – well, it may have but it being the end of my trip and being quite relaxed with my daily agenda at this point, I didn’t head out each day with the travelers zest as I did in early September. I’ve met some traveling for 4, 6 and NINE months…so I feel a bit of a wimp when I say I am running out of steam. Regardless, I still had a fantastic time in London and met way too many great people. 

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I absolutely had no idea just how big London is. Holy Moly. Seattle, you are now a little town in comparison. There is much more of a modern-city-feel than in Paris or maybe even in Sweden. There are tall buildings, contemporary companies and by no means did I feel unable to normally function as you often do when abroad, aside from my lacking of hot tooled appliances. Spent 4 days/5 nights here and got most of the “must-do’s” checked and checked.

D1: I arrived and right off the bat a man offered a hand with my bag…I said thank you, but no thank you…but what a nice gesture after I about ripped my arm off & broke a blood vessel in my inner elbow (which made me look like i shoot up)carrying it up 5 flights of stairs in the Paris tube. Nice change. Anywho, got to my place of residence (Astor Inn Museum) and headed out. I didn’t know what I wanted to see or where I wanted to go – so I just started. Went to the British Museum. Wandered through a nice shopping district. Found myself in China Town (London has a Chinatown?) and ended up sitting with a Starbucks in my hand at the famous fountain on Picadilly – which is the most over-crowded tourist slash center traffic and of the city center. A tad overwhelming. Said goodbye and made my way back to the hostel.

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HIGHLIGHT: Just as I was packed up and walking to the stairs for bed at a typical 10:30…a lively group introduced themselves and after we quickly made friends they informed me that I actually wouldn’t be going to bed but going with them to a club. It’s my last week. I have gone out once. I said ok. The House Music reminded me of Australia, got to know some South African’s and Jamaicans and was reminded that – oh yes – 18 is the legal age. There was more than a couple fresh looking faces.  

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D2: I had such a lovely time on my walking tour of Paris – I thought I would hit up the same tour in London via Sandemans. In line with the rest of my luck…the first person I talked to was from Portland and lived in Seattle for a year. Sisters’ name is Andrea and she lives in Seattle. They just keep coming. Got to see the main part of London: Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guards, Big Ben (which is actually called “The Tower” officially…only named B.B. after the obese man who donated the big bucks), Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, and a bunch of old war spots where Winston Churchill was, etc. Rounded out the day with a group meal and then joined a few new friends to walk the remainder of central London once our tour was up. It was a groggy grey london day, so i dont really like the pics.

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HIGHLIGHT: Being the trickster-deal-finding travel gal I am, we got to skip the 20 pound entrance to Westminster Abbey by attending a service. I like church – so it was a win-win. Unfortunately, there was no choir service on Wednesday, so we just got to see the inside (with strict prohibition of cameras) and hear an evening prayer. A lot of kneeling, sitting, and standing. Never been to a Catholic Mass. The church was MASSIVE and all together beautiful. How they built it and re-built has me stumped.

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D3: What to do. What to do. Looked through a killer art gallery, “The Photographers Gallery” and saw some awesome shots. Inspiring. Went to St. Paul’s Cathedral after I heard it was the absolute best view of London. Special Service = Not open to the public. Change of plans headed across the bridge and went to The Tate Museum of Modern Art – now this is the BEST museum I have been to. All modern art, which of course including some odd, odd, odd stuff not suitable for kids under 13…or me.

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HIGHLIGHT: Signed myself up for the Jack the Ripper Tour starting at 6 p.m. Aside from the fact that a night time tour after a day of walking isn’t the smartest, it was cool to see and stand exactly where 5 of the most famous murders happened. Ahhh kinda creepy too. If I had only been there in the 1880’s who knows if that would have been me! Oh wait, I would hope I wouldn’t be a prostitute, so maybe I would escape the knife of Jack. Also go to see historic and the mass grave site of 800,000 people – which now happens to be under a hip and trendy office building.

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D4: Losing steam and the need to run every inch of the streets…I mozied on up to the Wellcome Collection which is a free collection on your body, science stuff, etc. All my medical school student pals would be in bliss. Had an absolutely perfect lunch in Regents Park. Sat, ate, read, journaled, watched. My kinda lunch.  Wandered the park a bit and then found myself right near…

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HIGHLIGHT: Sat at Barack Obama’s desk and got a shot with my feet up. Threw my arm around David Beckham. Struck a pose with none other than Michael Jackson. How did I do all this? Madame Toussant’s wax museum baby. Granted this would have been WAY better had I been accompanied by my 4 roommates (but then again, what wouldn’t?) – reason being, this is basically a HUGE tourist paparazzi attraction. There are like 57,384 people taking pictures with all these celebs and I admit it – I got a little bit on overload– and cursed myself for coming on such a busy day. Whatever, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to David…and the Pope.

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GOODBYE LONDON. I’m all done. 4 days. 5 nights. New friends. Tracked a murderer. Saw the Pope. All things said…Loved London and now even a BIGGER fan of the British Accent. Having NOT ridden on a double decker bus (oh well), I now back to Stockholm for 2 days and then I’m headed for U.S. soil.

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A certain Australian told me London does not have sunsets. I guess he is right.

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~ by Andria on October 3, 2009.

3 Responses to “London Undone”

  1. I know your mom will be happy to have you home, but I have to say, I wish you were still on the adventure because I have really enjoyed the trip! Travel safe!

  2. Love the Efron photo! I’M JEALOUS!! luckily my fiance is just as cute!!

  3. Being able to follow your trip with you with all the pics and what you wrote about them, it felt like the time just flew by. Have a safe trip home. Love Granny

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