The real adventures begin

London Travel Blog

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Hey, I can see my house from here

Now is when the fun really begins. My time in Wales was mostly spent by myself living a hermit's lifestyle. But now Emma has joined me and we will be spending the next two months stomping around Europe together. She arrived in Swansea on June 1st and after spending a night in my beautiful countryside villa, we joined my friends Tom, Jen and Pierre on a magnificent hike through the Welsh countryside. Her stay was short though and we said goodbye to my shack and my friends in Wales and hopped on a train to London (Note: Emma insists on now being a part-editor of this blog; see if you can tell which parts are her contributions).

We arrived in London's Paddington station that afternoon.

Surprisingly, this amazing view of Parliament was devoid of tourists
Emma wanted to pay a visit to Paddington Bear, but we couldn't find him in the huge station. Depressed, we caught the underground (the subway) to the neighbourhood of Shepherd's Bush, which is apparently quite notorious. While in London we stayed with Emma's cousin Karen Rooney, who owns a great flat in this neighbourhood. After all the introductions, we were surprised to find out she had even prepared us dinner, a delicious Thai curry.

The next day, Sunday the 4th of June, Karen and her partner Ed took us cruising into London in a convertible. Needless to say, we were super cool riding in this beast. We stopped for lunch at a funky market where Ed got a t-shirt with a hamster on it. Emma thought this was absolutely hilarious. After lunch we had quite a surreal experience. Driving away from the market, we must have taken a wrong turn or something because suddenly the street was jammed with pedestrians and merchants hocking their wares.

More Banksy rats
Undaunted, we pushed forward, but the crowd only got thicker. Soon the crowd started to make comments about how nice a car we were in. With the top down, we were quite exposed and we could hear everything they said. We were afraid that we were going to be mobbed. The merchants were by now closing in on the sides and, to top it all off, we even ran over ... a box (which is scarier than it sounds). Luckily a very nice man finally gave us directions to get out and, despite a brief run-in with a "motorcycle gang" (translation: a guy with a scooter), we were soon on our way.

Karen and Ed dropped us off in the touristy parts of town and took off. We were quite happy to visit this part of town though because of the many famous sights to see. To begin, we took a ride in the London Eye (a big ferris wheel with views of the entire city), which was very fun.

The Queen lives here
We joined the tourists in the assembly line of activities: walked along the Parliament buildings, listened to Big Ben chime the hours, sat on the grass in front of Westminster Abbey, and mulled around the courtyard of Buckingham Palace. We tried to drop in at our friend Tony's house at #10 Downing St for tea, but unfortunately the guards wouldn't let us in. We also sighted two or three Banksy rats hanging out in the area.

While touring around, we also happened upon the Horse Guards Parade, similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, but less well-known. In fact, one lady had no idea it was taking place and the guards nearly marched right over her before she scurried out of the way. Emma thought that this too was hilarious.

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Hey, I can see my house from here
Hey, I can see my house from here
Surprisingly, this amazing view of…
Surprisingly, this amazing view o…
More Banksy rats
More Banksy rats
The Queen lives here
The Queen lives here
London Sights & Attractions review
This gigantic ferris wheel contraption provides panoramic views all over London, most prominantly the Parliament buildings and Big Ben. Sometimes it… read entire review
London
photo by: ulysses