Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace
After a glorious Air Transat flight where I was fortunate enough to sit next to a puking passanger we arrived in Gatewick Airport. We made our way to St.Christopher's, my first hostel stay ever. After dropping our bags in our room my friend Zara and I decided to have our first look around London and familiarize ourselves with the tube. The tube definately looks more complicated on the maps then it actually is. As long as your not colourblind you should be fine! Its funny how one of the first things I saw on my trip was the Canadian Embassy in London. So I guess that was reassuring that our 3-month trip would turn out ok!
We went back to our hostel and heading to the pub.
Big Ben... Parliment
Zara and I had the brillent idea of not eating dinner and just went straight to drinking. Trust me, the next morning it got to us. It occured to us that we hadn't eaten since the plane yesterday afternoon which was like 20 hrs ago! I know where backpacking... but are we supposed to starve ourselves too? That first full day in London we went to go visit Buckingham Palace... wait, we had to find it first! We looked on our map and were seemingly going in the right direction but we couldn't seem to find it. Then we saw a group of little school kids following a teacher and we knew instantly we must follow them... if anyone knows the way.. its British school kids! And ah ha... we were right and there we found Buckingham Palace. No, I didn't see any glimpse of the Queen.
St. Paul's Cathedral
.. ok, I was looking more for Prince William! But I didn't see him either. We stayed for the Changing of the Guards and they played the Beatles! Afterwards I was starting to feel more mal-nourished and we FINALLY ate food!!!
Let's see.. we had 5 nights in London. Other things we did that day and on our trip was go inside Westminster Abbey. That was pretty neat. I was always watching where I was stepping though because their were gravestones everywhere on the walls and ground. It took us awhile to find Westminster Abbey since we decided to walk and not take the tube... either that or were not good with maps!... But hey, it was a nice brisk walk and we got to pass by Big Ben.
We also went on The London Eye, that enclosed ferris wheel thing. It gave great views of the city.
Inside St. Paul's
.. we went to St. Paul's Cathedral which was so pretty inside and climbed up the dome. One of my favourite places to go to was the Tower of London... it supposedly used to be where they brought a lot of the criminals in the olden days. We saw some of the rooms where the prisoners were writing on the walls to let time pass by quicker. Now one of the buildings there houses a vault which holds a lot of the royal jewels! They had a lot of royal crowns from princesses and queens in the past and present day. It was neat to see all of them (and to guess the combined worth!). Their was one girl we met at the hostel who wouldn't visit the Tower of London because supposedly its haunted and I guess it freaked her out!
One thing good about London is that most of their museams are FREE.
The London Eye
When your going to be travelling for 3 months... trust me, free is a good word! We visited the Tate Modern and British Museam. Can I say again that they were free? It was good to pick 2 different types of museams to enter. Finding the British Museam was another challenge. We got off at a further away tube stop and ended up walking longer to find the British Museam. The museam had so many different sections and was worth it to visit.
All in all.. it was nice to start out trip in London... as I felt it was easier to integrate ourselves since people spoke English... and nice place to get our feet wet on our travels. One problem though... everything in London is sooooo much more expensive then anywhere else in Europe! I think if we stayed longer than 5 nights there.. Zara and I wouldn't have enough money for the rest of our travels.