Wednesday, March 2, 2011

London

So Monday morning we woke up and hopped on another flight to our next destination, London.  Our first stop upon arrival in the UK was Chipotle.  The Londoners have Chipotle and they might even do it better than we do.  They had the option of brown rice.  Yum.

After getting our Chipotle fix we explored the area and wondered around trying to find tickets to see Wicked!  We navigated our way to the Apollo Victoria Theatre circa 7:00 and watched a great performance.  I had no idea what the musical was about going into it, so I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  The cast was amazing, the songs were perfect, the lighting and scenery really came alive.  Everything was so green, magical, and wicked.

That night was Tyler's 21st so everyone met up at O'Neills in the Covent Garden area.  There was a live band who played some great tunes and we all sung and danced in the VIP band groupie section until it was  time to head home.

Tuesday Ash and took the tube to the Wellington Arch to explore and take a walking tour of the city.  We went to Buckingham Palace where the changing of the guard takes place, took some pictures with them, saw the the House of Parliament, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster Abbey (where Prince William and Kate Middleton will be wed April 29), Trafalgar Square (my favorite), the one-eyed, one-armed, one-testicled, Nelson's Column, and finally, Big Ben!

We stayed out all day and went back to Trafalgar Square at night.  It is a huge square with fountains, where Nelson's Column is found surrounded by four huge lion statues.  I tried to climb up on one of them (saw people doing it earlier in the day) but was not completely successful.  We walked over a bridge that overlooked some river and it was beautiful.  There were turquoise lights coming from a building in the distance reflecting down onto the water.

We walked past Buckingham Palace all lit up, did some cartwheels to the tube, and headed back to our hostel.  We went back out shortly after with our German roomie, Nico, and after struggling to find a place to grab a drink, finally found Shakespeare's Head near Westminster in Soho.

Wednesday we went to see the Tower of London; Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress.  The Tower has served variously as an armory, treasury, menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and currently the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.  Executions were more commonly held in the notorious Tower Hill; 112 occurring there over a 400 year period.  It was really neat to see where all these crazy royal things went down back in the day.  When we walked out from inside the Tower, which was more of a castle, we saw the gorgeous Tower Bridge.  Much more artsy and aesthetically pleasing to look at than any bridges that I have seen in the U.S.  Across from that was the very anti climatic London Bridge.  I guess it's history represents more than it's looks, because it was not all the songs make it up to be.

Ashley and I stopped by the British Museum that was right around the corner from where we were staying on our way back.  It was HUGE, containing more than 7,000,000 objects.  We checked out exhibits on Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Rome.  Next we went to a delish Indian restaurant and ordered samosas, naan, raita, and chicken masala (Natalie - I smelt great after).  We club crawled with Lugano friends after din.  Went to Oxygen and then a club that we could not afford where Keira Knightley made an appearance right before our arrival.

Thursday morning, another city here and gone.  Next stop, Paris...

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