London, Baby!

London Travel Blog

 › entry 57 of 59 › view all entries
OK that quote is from Friends, end of season 4 if you're not familar.

Anyway, after canceling plans to Ireland earlier in the week, I had the whole weekend free for daytrips! Having not gone to London at all, it was time to finally check it out! We left in the morning and caught the high speed train to the city. On the way, we went through so many fields that seriously looked like lakes. We actually had to take a bus to the next city because the tracks were still washed out. But no worries.

When we got to London, I was with a big group so I was up to their suggestions. We decided to check out the British Library because it was close by and... free! For expensive as London and the UK is, we certainly deserve to have some things in London free. It was a really interesting building and the stuff they have there is pretty incredible- including the Guttenburg Bible, the Magna Carta, and original Beatles lyrics. Cool stuff. We were able to see that pretty quickly, so we set off across town for the Tate Britain, a modernish *free* art museum. It was pretty cool, and it just whet my appetite for the Tate Modern, the actual modern museum in town.

After the Tate Britain, we walked along the Thames to go up to Parliament and Big Ben. The walk was beautiful! And the weather certainly helped. There were wide walkways and parks- very nice. And the river level was insanely high.

Parliament was a very impressive building, as expected, and it was crazy to actually see Big Ben! But the whole scene was full of tourists, making it annoyingly hectic. We were only able to go inside one room (which was still pretty) that had an exhibit so bad, the security guards outside didn't even recommend it.

After that visit, we went to the grocery store across the street, bought food, and ate lunch out on the plush lawn. Very nice. It was actually the place for protestors to camp out and protest something, which just made it interesting to watch.

We then decided to head to the Imperial War Museum, which was also free! I didn't think it would be that interesting to me (just not my thing) but it actually was incredibly interesting and probably the best exhibits I've seen on the world wars. Very impressive and worth the time. Not only did they have great exhibits, but also plenty of equipment- tanks, missiles, etc- on display.

We left there to go meet the other half of the group (we split off after getting off the train) at Buckingham Palace. The palace was impressive, but not worth time more than a few seconds to snap pictures. We walked through the parks and past all the government buildings, past Parliament again, and across the Thames to get near the train station. Most of the group was ready to go- we just needed to get dinner first. Everywhere was packed full! A little surprising, especially since we were in a not-so-touristy neighborhood. But finally found a pub with a few tables in the back and ate there. Not bad food- nice to have fish and chips. Ugh, we are such tourists.

All of the group went back except for me and another Scott, because we really wanted to go to the Tate Modern art museum, another free museum. I loved it! Probably my favourite (that's right, British spelling) museum in Europe. Seriously. It was so extensive and impressive and informative. It was nice to have things explained instead of the museum being snobby and expecting you to know it all already. It was so extensive and I wanted to spend quality time there that we were only able to see half of it in order to catch the last train back to Oxford. No problem, I plan to go back to London next week.

We walked across the Millenium Bridge (very cool!) to the nearest tube station. We then went back to Paddington and headed back to Oxford! A great day in London- can't wait to see more!
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photo by: ulysses