Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dublin and London: The nicest people EVER! (part 2)

After arriving to London it was already 7pm by the time we got to our hostel. Within about 5 minutes of being there we were told that the bar crawl was staring in like a half an hour and we should join them. We forgot that everything in London closes around 2am which would be fine in the states but we were used to, like the rest of Europe, everything closing around 4 or 5am. We decided to call a guy that Catherine met in Barcelona. He was from the states and he was studying in London and he told her that when we came he would show us around. We met the guys(Dave and Pete)and we went to went to a few pubs.
It was great because in between each pub they were pointing things out in the city about where we should go and other little interesting facts. We walked over the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge, we saw the egg building in downtown owned by Swiss Re, the street where Harry Potter did all his shopping for his school supplies in the first book and so much more. The pubs that we went to in London were great! They were all really old buildings with great architecture on the inside. Dave and Pete showed us a great time around town and then they walked us back to our hostel.

The first full day we had in London (the 3rd of May)we went on a walking tour. Before we went on the walking tour we went to his great market by our hostel called the Borough Market. It is just south of the London Bridge and we bought these great sandwiches with Camembert and raspberry jelly. The market was filled with fresh olives, homemade olive oil, meats, sausages, fresh squeezed juices and much more.

On the walking tour our guide showed us around London and also how to get into places free such as the London Tower, how to eat cheap. Although he was useful he was kind of mean. He supposedly used to work for another company but then quit because they didn't pay their workers and then he was going to have one of the women in the old tour work for him but she just stole his script and went back to the other tour. He had no shame in telling us this and also yelling things loudly directed at her as he walked past. Also we had some French people on our tour and they left early and as he saw them walk by he yelled something at them but they were too far away to understand, it was a little awkward. We saw things such as Buckingham Palace, Changing of the guard, St. James' Palace and park, Pall Mall, Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Nelson's Column, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey (home of the Church of St. Peter). Overall the tour was informative and free you just tipped him at the end. We went back to Leicester Square and picked up some tickets to the Sound of Music musical for that night.

Before we went back to the hostel we stopped at Mr. Wu's and ate the 5 pound all you could eat buffet. 5 pounds is kind of a lot if you put it in terms of dollars (about $9.78) but in London it was the cheapest food you were going to find for miles around. We were both so tired from walking around all day a show was the best thing we could have done to end the night. We went back to our hostel and got ready and headed back to Leicester Square where our show stared at 7:30 pm.

The Sound of Music show was GREAT so say the least!! They had a revolving stage that alto tipped up and down so in the beginning where Maria was laying on and it slowly lowered to be even with the stage and laying flat. It was also hilly and played the cemetery when the whole Von Trapp family, including Maria (AUW, tear!!) was hiding from the Austrian Military. At the very end of the musical the stage was tilted so that the family was walking uphill towards the audience like on a mountain and all singing together holding hands! It was so good and I don't understand why the tickets were only around 25 pounds (the cheapest ones) because it was well worth it! After the musical it was already around midnight and we were exhausted so we decided to go to bed. Though it was not ok to go straight to bed to had to stop at Chicken Cottage for round 2. A fast food chicken place that was a 4 on a scale of 1-10 compared to KFC.

Our train from London to Paris left at 12:30 so we got up bright and early because we wanted to go to the Greenwich Royal Observatory which was the home of the Prime Meridian as well as the site where all time zones are based off of. For example, if you are in Central European time you are UTC+1 (Coordinated Universal Time) then you are 1 hour ahead of Greenwich, of course we had to go here before leaving. We walk through Greenwich Park to get to the observatory where we strictly, due to time, go to the Prime Meridian Line and leave. We took pictures jumping over the line and some of Catherine on one side of the Meridian and me on the other with our hands together. It was really cool to see! Also we got a picture in front of the clock which if Greenwich time.

We had to head back to catch our train and figure out even if we had reservations. Since we had to check in at least a half an hour before we could not go see the train stop where Harry Potter was but we did not have time. We ran to check in just in time to make it and got onto our train. It was a great ending to a trip. Everything worked out just fine and we had a lot of great memories that we would have forever. We both decided to definitely need to go back since we were there for such a short time.



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