like i said yesterday, we were in london for a total of 30 hours, so it went pretty fast… shamefully, i went to starbucks three times. three! in my defense, for two of those trips, the restroom was my primary reason, though i bought my dutiful cup of coffee. a tourist does what she must. actually, those coffees were a pretty good idea. we had a red eye flight, where we tried to sleep in the tiny-uncomfortable-you-call-that-reclining airline seats, which needless to say wasn’t ideal. and we hit the ground running in england, taking a train into paddington station (so so beautiful, pictures later), finding our hotel (one small step above a hostel), picking up a disposable cell phone (highly reccomend! we got one for £25 from vodafone in paddington station, and it was great for coordinating with people we were meeting, and just for feeling a little less adrift) getting oyster cards and navigating the tube, all within the first couple of hours.
we poked around picadilly circus*, walked down to st. james park, and mosied back to meet up with charlie and bryarly. several people had recommended that we take a bus tour of london as a good way to see the sights. at first i was adverse. i thought ‘why just tease myself by seeing all of the things i don’t really have time to explore’? but as the trip came closer, i began to see the logic in it, so we hopped on a bus tour. and you know what? it was delightful! no regrets here.
we got to see a lot of the major spots, and the tour guides were great. they were very informative, and really relished the macabre history of their city, which jake and i enjoyed. we popped by tower bridge, london bridge, big ben (technically elizabeth tower), westminster abbey, globe theatre, trafalgar square, tower of london, etc. many of these i would happily explore further, given time and resources. we hopped on and off as we pleased, which was also quite cool. we didn’t get to do the full round, and honestly, if we went back to london, i would absolutely buy tickets again to finish up the circuit, and maybe try one of the other routes.
we hopped off the bus at a couple of points, and i surmised we could walk a few stops, which ended up being a leetle bit longer than i had anticipated. but it resulted in a nice walk along the thames, and we eventually made it back onto the tour, which we took to the stop closest to our hotel.
at this point we were utterly knackered, and our hotels advertised internet was nowhere we could find, so we set out to find a place to eat dinner the old-fashioned way. we poked our heads into a couple of likely looking pubs, and the third one felt like our speed for the evening; small, family oriented, fairly quiet.
sunday morning we had a little meetup at the albert memorial, and walked through some of hyde park and kensington gardens to get there. we popped over to loop london, where i bought loads of yarn (more on that tomorrow!). we had fairly limited time there and then had to run back to retrieve our luggage and speed over to paddington station to catch our train to bristol.
most of these pictures are from the bus tour, and the whole two minutes of free time we had at paddington station, because other than that, we were too busy to remember to pull out the camera.
*did you know that in this case the word circus means ‘circle’ as derived from latin? i just found that out! before, i just thought london just really liked their circuses!