My first series of adventures in the city

London Travel Blog

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Sarah, me, Nathan, and Jen feeling too cool for school in the back of the bus
After a restless night (2 hours of sleep...), I woke up early this morning to take a bus to London with the rest of the people in my hall. The weather here has been cloudy, but much warmer than I expected, and continued to get sunnier as we drove south through the boroughs on the way to the city. We took a bus tour that the school provided us with, and this really funny (well, British funny) older woman telling us where everything was as we drove by it. She kept commenting on her opinions all the political goings-ons, and how unfortunate it was that the tribute to Princess Diana had turned into a drainage ditch, and warned us each time we were about to do something illegal with the bus.
The bus tour lady!!! She is my friend. She even had a nose ring.
We saw all the royal things, and all the important builings/structures/statues/bridges/churches that one would see on a very tourist-y tour... Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, various museums, Harrods, Westminster Abbey, the Thames River, Big Ben, Traflager Square, Picaldilly Circus (which, by the way, I was very disappointed to find out, is NOT a circus), St. James, Chinatown, various theaters, Bloomsbury, the Tower or London, St. Paul's Catherdral, etc. However, we only saw these things for, like, 5 seconds as we drove by it, while we all struggled to take pictures out of the windows, camera flashes and double-decker buses getting in our way, so they are all definitely places I'm going to have to go back to in order to get a better experience of them.
Big Ben, I guess...


Anyway, once we were done with this, she let us out at Covent Gardens for us all to explore on our own for a few hours. That was amazing. We came into the Gardens, which aren't really gardens at all, but are a bunch of intertwined stone builings with lots of little neat shops, and a whole bunch of really amazing street performers. There was a guy who escaped from being tangled in chains and being in a straightjacket in 3 minutes, a string quintet that was really really talented, and a man who balanced a set of dishes on a tray that was on a wand-type thing all balanced on his chin WHILE he juggled!

Then we walked around a bit, split up, and all wandered around for another hour. This guy from Chicago and I went to Tottenham because he needed to find a guitar, but we managed to get ourselves lost and found again multiple times during this excursion.
some buildings
Generally when I'm lost, or something equivalent to the anxiety of getting lost, I don't deal with it very well, and I get frustrated and upset... but there's something different about being lost in a place you're just discovering. Instead of stressing out about finding our way back, we just let ourselves be carried about from street to street by the flow of people walking. I don't even know where we were... somewhere around Bloomsbury, I think. It was so nice though, to be able to notice small things, like the way people in London walk slower than in US cities, and the strange combination of modern and super old builings right next to one another, and on this particular day, in this particular collection of streets, there seemed to be a sense of calmness rather than chaos of all the people moving around me.
The Thames. And the fog.
.. like it didn't matter what time they got to the place they were going... and maybe it's didn't matter where they ended up at all. It was hard to feel anxious in the middle of something like that. Eventually we did end up getting to a small street with a variety of guitar shops on it, and had to return back to the Gardens to catch the bus back to school, but I cannot wait to go back to London on my own some time to search for that same sense of contentment.

And I CANNOT wait to go to Portobello Road. I bet it is SO SWEET, and I am going to go there, and I am going to sing the song. 
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Sarah, me, Nathan, and Jen feeling…
Sarah, me, Nathan, and Jen feelin…
The bus tour lady!!! She is my fri…
The bus tour lady!!! She is my fr…
Big Ben, I guess...
Big Ben, I guess...
some buildings
some buildings
The Thames. And the fog.
The Thames. And the fog.
The Thames some more
The Thames some more
A HIPPIE PROTEST!!!!!
A HIPPIE PROTEST!!!!!
Something important looking... I n…
Something important looking... I …
OH! This was fun. This is at Fortu…
OH! This was fun. This is at Fort…
And these two dudes come out...
And these two dudes come out...
And bow to each other.
And bow to each other.
More buildings.
More buildings.
St Pauls Catherdral. I think. F-i…
St Paul's Catherdral. I think. F-…
Tower of London. NOT the London Br…
Tower of London. NOT the London B…
This is the London Bridge. Not tha…
This is the London Bridge. Not th…
Ok, now this is post bus. This is …
Ok, now this is post bus. This is…
Eating lunch.
Eating lunch.
Nathan and I being really excited …
Nathan and I being really excited…
Where we walked into Covent Garden…
Where we walked into Covent Garde…
This guy is in chains and a straig…
This guy is in chains and a strai…
And then he gets out. What a balle…
And then he gets out. What a ball…
These people were INCREDIBLE violi…
These people were INCREDIBLE viol…
This guy was pretty swell too. Cat…
This guy was pretty swell too. Ca…
This is for Mary. I saw this in a …
This is for Mary. I saw this in a…
My friend Stephanie took these nex…
My friend Stephanie took these ne…
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
London
photo by: ulysses