London for the day!
London Travel Blog› entry 9 of 44 › view all entries
April 24th, 2008 – by: kat_mac27
On the Thursday I went, I was assuming that I wouldn't get another opportunity in the near future to look around, so I basically just tried to see everything I could think of! I think this tactic worked quite well, I saw all the iconic symbols of London and had a few nice surprises along the way. My method of tourism is this: forgot my guidebook at home, was too cheap to buy a tourist map, didn't remember to read up on London before I went. So I spun in a circle, picked a direction and started walking (it also helps to follow gift shops, they tend to make a trail of keyrings and Union Jacks between the touristy spots).
By pure luck, or maybe I was a local in a past life, I ended up in St James Park. This gave me the option of walking one direction to Buckingham Palace, or alternatively to Trafalgar Square. I chose Trafalgar purely because I happened to be closer to that end of the Mall. It was pretty cool, though I didn't have any Mary Poppins flashbacks (apart from humming feed the birds...) and was guiltily disappointed at the lack of pigeons. Still, pigeons are gross and probably would have shat on me so I'm not devastated.
From Trafalgar, after a proper amount of 'ohhing' and 'ahhing' at the big lions and the Museum (which I didn't enter due to a strong aversion borne of culture-freak parents), I walked down to Parliament House and Westminster Abbey. Big Ben is cool! Thankfully, most things that you have seen a million times before are still way better in real life. On the way down I passed the Guard Palace where they were doing the changing ceremony with the horses and the fluffy hats but I was on the wrong side of a road which is impossible to cross so that was a bit disappointing.
I decided to walk down along Parliament House to take more photos (and get a loser look at the hippies camped in the park across the road, protesting war I believe) and then would cross the road and look at the Abbey. I got about halfway down when the sky opened up and it began to POUR.
So I hurried back past Westminster, which was all fenced off so I didn't bother finding out if I could go inside, would have been packed anyway.
Getting on the tube in Westminster (still pouring) and then getting off at Leicester Square and stepping into blazing sunshine is a weird experience (Perth doesn't have an Underground ok!).
From there we walked to Covent Gardens, which I really enjoyed! I saw the massive tea shop, was tempted t buy some but I couldn't justify the expense expecially since my mum packed me off to France with a lifetime supply of tea (Not enough TimTams though!!). So we just browsed, watched some busking and browsed some more. Then we had to get back on the tourist trail to Buckingham and Hyde Park. There were no Beefeaters on guard at Buckingham but it was still quite cool, very crowded though, so it was decided Hyde Park might be nicer.
By this time I think it was after 5pm and we were running out of time. So it was on the Tube to St Pauls. Best tip for London: if you wait until the yuppie coffee shops are about to close, they sometimes discount food! We got half price sandwiches, 2 pounds for 2! Probably having the cheapest meal anyone ever had in London.
From St Pauls we crossed the now stable, Millenium Bridge to Tate Modern. I was very annoyed that we got there right on closing! I have heard great things about the TM Collection so that sucked.
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