More London Liveliness!

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
Trip End May 15, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, March 23, 2009

Hey all, welcome to my second installment of my fun in London, UK!

On Friday, Megan took a day off work so we could enjoy the town together! I slept in (and enjoyed it thoroughly) after which we headed into Hyde Park to get tickets for a sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour thingo. There were two main routes, one with a live guide and one with a recorded guide - I recommend the live guide, it's far more entertaining!

Well we hopped on and rode to Buckingham Palace, which was on my must-see list. I missed the changing of the guards by a day, but that's okay - I still got to see some stomping around. I don't care how "lethal" they are, they're funny-looking! :P Otherwise Buckingham Palace was a slight letdown, but hey now I can say I've been there! At this point, we got my first taste of a lack of water at St James Park (I think?) - the lake was empty. Huh, weird!
Anyway, it was slightly more chilly than I thought it would be so we stopped at the souvenir shop where I bought me a pretty long-sleeved top with a very shiny crown! OK, a bit more pricey than my average shirt, but I don't think it was a bad deal at all for a souvenir shop (about $AU40).

We hopped back on the bus and decided it was time for lunch. So after whirling past the Parliament Houses, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey we hopped off at Trafalgar Square. Here, there was a fountain sadly lacking in water of course, some awesome lions, and a lot of people! Taking advantage of the Choice deal with our bus trip, we went to the Sherlock Holmes pub and got fish and chips for € 3. Not a bad deal at all, and of course when asked if we'd like dessert the woman chucked 'spotted dick' into the options just to get a giggle out of us. It worked (but we didn't have room for dessert) :P

From here we wandered over the Thames and towards the London Eye (there were some crazy and weird buskers out in force too, it was pretty funny). This was on the list of possibilities, but at the time we thought we might come back with Trent, and moved onto the London Aquarium which I was really looking forward to!

But it was shut for renovations. *sob sob*

Instead we grabbed some waffles with soft serve, which were tasty but not really that good. So we kept walking, heading back over the Thames towards the Houses of Parliament again, where we thought we could hop onto the bus again. We miscalculated where the bus was, and ended up walking right back up to Trafalgar Square again! Here was another miscalculation, where we got onto a bus going the wrong way and ended up back at Hyde Park XD Well it was a nice scenic route, and we got to hear a tale about the naming of Green Park and Piccadilly. Green Park is a fanciful story about a royal lady scorned over a flower, so all planted flowers had to be removed! Not sure how true it is, but it was amusing. Also apparently lavender grew naturally and plentifully in this area, and its' nickname was 'dilly', hence you would go there to pick a dilly... piccadilly... anyway, on with our adventures :P

So we got off the bus and walked around Marble Arch, trying to figure out the best way to get back to where we wanted to go. Eventually deciding on a bus, we began the epic journey across town to the Tower Bridge. I confess, I did nod off briefly in the bus - it was warm where we were, my belly was full, and we'd already walked a bit... Well I still saw some sights such as St Pauls, and caught some rest too! Pure talent :P

After grabbing some coffee we strolled across the Tower Bridge, inside which there was an exhibition that we opted out of as it looked expensive and like a bit of a waste of time. Actually I think I opted out of a fair few attractions for similar reasons... Hope Megan didn't mind too much :o

After the Tower Bridge we walked passed the Tower of London, inside which were the Crown Jewels and various other awesome displays. But it was getting late and we were tired, well I was, so we found our way back to the bus and hopped on until we got to an underground stop and made our way back home.

The next morning was Saturday, so I slept in again! :D Trent had to work, so no sleepin for him. So Megan and I figured we'd use the last of our 24-hour bus ticket on the Thames cruise, but I slept in too much and we missed out :( We headed off to the British Museum, which is free - great for finances, not so great for crowd control. I was excited about seeing the Rosetta Stone, but unfortunately I didn't get a good look because at least 20 other people wanted to see it! Never mind, I thoroughly enjoyed the ancient Egypt, Syria and Greek exhibits, although by lunch time I was getting a history-overdose. We ate a crude but expensive meal in the museum, then I spent large quantities of cash at the souvenir shop! All in good fun of course :)

After this, we wandered through the streets towards Chinatown. Along the way I stopped and bought a t-shirt, it was a pretty good price by my standards. Also, my poor sneakers were getting badly worn out, so I was in the market for new ones - at Piccadilly we were recommended a shop called Lilly Whites, and I did in fact find a pair of shoes that were just what I needed! Every other person who needed shoes / sports clothing / travel accessories was in there too, so it was an interesting crowd-fighting experience in which I very nearly gave up - good thing I didn't, in the end ;)

After leaving we were heading to Starbucks for a sitdown and some coffee when I did my ritual pocket-pat and found that my Oyster card (a prepaid travel card) was gone from my pocket! All the bending over for shoes must have worked it out of my pocket, because I knew I had it when we first entered Lilly Whites. Well we went back, and I searched around where I'd changed my shoes (I even asked a thoroughly disinterested security guard if he'd seen it) while Megan checked out the upstairs, but it was well and truly gone. I think that considering the good deal I got on the shoes, the trip was still worth it ;)

So we coffeed up, and then headed back outside. It was a nice afternoon, so we considered visiting the park or wandering Chinatown some more but my poor feet couldn't take much more so we went home. That night the three of us had some tasty Indian curry from a dubious little shop, in which asian ladies would come in and ask "DVDs?" every now and then. I really wanted a mango lassi to go with my curry, but apparently that's just not an Indian thing in London XD
In case you've noticed the lack of photos for Saturday, I'd forgotten my camera charger so I let Megan take charge of photos for the day :P

And so my second part of the London installment finishes with a good night's sleep. Until next time :)
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Megan's Floor XD
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