Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 3/4 (Let’s see how long I can remember the day count)

Letter from George VI to Churchill about their Presence on the Beaches at D-Day

London Eye--explaining how to use my camera

Reflection of Tower Bridge in Modern Building

Big Ben/London Eye

Cabinet Room

I’m really glad that I am traveling by myself because if I weren’t, any traveling companion would have surely killed me by now. Ill start by telling you where I am now. I am literally departing from Platform 9 at King’s Cross. Wait for it…yep, not quite 9¾, but pretty close. Where am I going you might ask? Cambridge is the answer to that. What’s in Cambridge? Other than a school, I have no idea. Why am I going to Cambridge then? That is a good question. Basically it boils down to me being an idiot and thinking that I was leaving for Dublin tomorrow, when in fact I don’t leave till Monday morning. I only had three nights booked in hostels though, and by the time I realized that fact this morning when I checked my flight time, there were no more hostel rooms available in all of London (thank you London marathon and apparently all of Europe that gets two weeks off for Easter and decides to go to London). So, I decided to think about other places in England I might want to see. Oxford came to mind--no hostels available. Stonehenge, too difficult to get to my ridiculously small airport tomorrow. So, I settled on Cambridge.

I’m going to backtrack now to talk about what I did today/yesterday. Yesterday, I woke up pretty early and Geva, my Israeli friend, and I decided to do a bit of a walkabout. We set out for The Tower of London. Then we saw the price of admission to the tower and quickly scrapped that idea. Everything in London costs an exorbitant amount except for the two most impressive things, the British Museum and the National Gallery which are naturally free. So, Geva and I just walked another two hours or so through London, got lunch at Dominoes, and went back to the hostel. The rest of the day was also pretty chill, more simply walking around, but this time with the Basque girls (they corrected me from Spanish). Turns out I didn’t need my sister’s surely excellent wingman skills (thanks for offering though, Court).

Today was a little more adventurous, even aside from my spontaneous trip to Cambridge. After checking out of my hostel, I decided to go to the cabinet war rooms. This is where Churchill held his cabinet meetings during WWII especially during the Battle for London and the subsequent V2 shelling. It’s faithfully restored with a lot of the original furniture and gizmos including a map with what must be millions if not tens of millions of holes from pins tracking the movement of allied ships and troops. Adjacent to the War Rooms is a Churchill museum which is really just as cool. Pretty much every event of Churchill’s life is chronicled in excruciating detail--from where he took tea on a given day during the war to letters between himself and King George VI, who apparently wrote better than he spoke.

After the War Rooms, I decided to do the London Eye, which unbeknownst to me, is an all-afternoon affair. From the time I bought my ticket to the time I got off of the Eye, three hours had passed, i.e. people who go in tomorrow morning will have gone about 60 yards through the “queue” in the same amount of time that it’ll take the winner of the London Marathon to go 46,112 yards. The view from the top is pretty cool though, and I’d say it’s worth the money if not the time.

Now, I’m traversing the English countryside as the sun is about to set. The scenery is pretty incredible. Also, for the football fans in the house, I just passed by Emirates Stadium. More to come.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, while you are having a great time in London and, I hope, Cambridge, I just got back from Valdosta. (Things are better there.) I am so glad you saw all the Churchhill stuff; that is the type of thing I never wanted to see earlier in my life, but now I wish I had seen. Did you think about going to the Tate Gallery? I really adored it, and I wish I had mentioned it to you. I know everything must be really expensive, but remember this is your Grand Tour! I really like the pictures. And I love coming home and finding out what you have been doing. Don't stop posting!!!