Jewel Of The North Atlantic

Trip Start Jun 28, 2006
Trip End Dec 22, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Monday, August 14, 2006

Ok, heres goes the update thing. After a crazy time in Heathrow airport and very little sleep, I made my way to London town. My first impression was like "hey, this is Europe". It's true, they drive on the wrong side of the road here. The people were cool right from the start, when I was trying to find my hostel. The place I'm staying is filled with young travelers. The staff is really nice and I've been eating Honey Nut Cherrios and PB&J's. I was dead tired when I got here but I did manage to muster the energy to go to Big Ben? No. Tower of London? No. Westminster Abbey? Closer. How about Abbey Road. Probably the most awesome crosswalk I'll ever cross. The security guard and I started talking and he let me come in a walk down a hallway. Wow. Hit the sack hard that night in my flatmateless room.
The next morning I awoke to my new roomies, get this, two kids from SLC. Mormans no less! Michelle and Austin in all honesty couldn't have been cooler. Just exactly who I would have chosen for hostel flatmates. I played the super tourist role that day and got tickets for a double decker sightseeing bus. Lame but it stopped and drove next to EVERYTHING. Drove past a lot of old stuff, which I won't recount but just know I was in respect and awe. Drove past a road that called itself home to Sir Elton John, Sir Paul Mcartney, and none other than Sir Sean Connery. Got off at Buckingham Palace and it was like the White House on steroids. Huge square with a monstrous fountain in front of it. I walked through St. James park and stopped at Westminster Abbey. What an unbelievable experience that was! All sorts of Kings and Queens buried there and It's also the place where Kings and Queens get corrinated (on a sadder note, it was where Princess Di's funeral was). The history in this one place was exactly why I wanted to come here. From there I went to Parliament and oddly enough met up with Austin and Michelle. We took in the sights and moved on over the great river Thames. I hopped back on the bus and went to St. Pauls. If ever there was a house of God, this is it. When I entered the choir was singing and a service was already underway. Spellbinding. Later that night I ended up at the hostel and ended up in a political debate with an Aussie, two Frenchmen, and another American. Such good dialogue. I love being around all these people and aren't they PASSIONATE.
Saturday Michelle, Austin, and I awoke early, early and went to Notting Hill for the Portabello St. Market. We arrived and people were setting up. We asked for a breakfast place a man reccomended walking into one of the antique stores, going all the way to the back and up the stairs. Sure enough, there it was, full of locals and a traditional English breakfast (including baked beans). By the time we went back outside there were throngs of people coming in. The market was full of everything you could ask for. I got a present for my baby (you're gonna love this Beth) and just sort of wandered aimlessly. I broke off from the gang and went to The Victoria&Albert museum. Probably the biggest museum I've ever been in. We'll say the coolest thing I saw was a gigantic Rapheal paintings in this room. There was also a Che Guvera exhibit, unexpected, but the more I learn about this man, the more i respect him. The National Museum was incredible with their painting by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Di Vinci, and Rembrandt to name just a few. I was really captured by Rembrandt for some reason. I identified with it and thats not something that happens all that often with me and art. I went to the National Portrait museum as well, but at that point I was getting tired. I hung out a Trafalger Square and decided to call it a day. I went back to the hostel and hung out with my hommies. I also went down the hostel bar to have a shot at "Shot Night". I ended up hanging out with a guy from Maine named John. What a guy, he's traveling up to Scotland to perform in a Shakespeare fringe festival. I bought a shot for a Scottish guys 25th B-Day and played wing man for John while I chit chatted with this Aussie girls friends. I told them all the story of myself going back to Seattle to propose to Bethany and they got all like "AWWWWWWWW". I miss you Bethany, more than I can describe in a travel journal or in words for that matter.
I went to bed and today woke up a little groggy aka hung over. I went to The Tower of London today and marveled at the history of that place. I ended up getting a guided tour from an old Yomen or Beefeater (yes like the gin). It was funny and yet informative hmm. Traveled upriver to Shakespeares Globe theatre and couldn't stop thinking about Lamar. Dude, thats where it was...REALLY. I made it into the Tate Modern just long enough to see some Pollack, Dali, and Picasso. Wanted to see more but they ended up closing. I came back here to the hostel and ended up talking more politics and worldly shit with some absoloutly cool characters.
I guess I should've known I'd be a good traveler, I truly do love people and it's like this whole world has opened up to me in a way I couldn't have anticipated. The hostel life is full of youth and the partying and crap is a little past my time, they're cute and I'm a little older. It's all good though. I leave for Africa tomorrow. Can't speak about that yet, I'm still in London and London deserves my full attention at all times. This journey is amazing.



p.s. - I still haven't found the Happiness Hotel.
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