Saturday, April 27, 2013

SPRING BREAK! Part 2(a): London

Becca and I woke up bright and early to make our way to Buchanan Bus Station to catch a 9 hour long bus ride. But we didn't really mind much since we were on our way to LONDON!!!! This was a trip both of us were greatly looking forward to. There is just so much to do in the beautiful city and because my dad is awesome we had a very nice hotel to stay in for the 6 nights we would be in the city. We arrived around 5pm on the 4th and proceeded to find our way to said hotel. It was located in one of the Burroughs towards the outer part of the city so we were going to be taking a lot of public transportation to get into the city, but the cost of the transportation pretty much balanced to what we would have paid if we'd stayed in a hostel. We found our way to the train station and bought ourselves Oyster Cards. These are a top-up sort of card where the prices are reduced on public transport as an incentive to reduce the amount of paper tickets that people use. Plus they're a lot easier than having to buy a ticket anytime you want to use the underground, overground, tram, or rail system. After a little bit of confusion we made it to our hotel, checked-in, and got all settled. We then went in search of food but it was already kind of late so most stuff was closed. We found a burger shop and the guy working there even gave us a bunch of extra chips since we were the last people before he closed up. It was awesome. We ate back in our hotel room while watching British reality TV. We finally went to sleep to prepare for our big day out the next day.

Our first real day in London consisted of going to the British Museum. I absolutely love museums and this one is world renowned. I had heard a lot about it from my parents and in my archaeology class this semester. The main reasons I wanted to go were for the Rosetta Stone and the Friezes from the Parthenon. I mean seriously, how much cooler can you get? Becca and I spent a good 3 or 4 hours wandering the museum looking at the loads of artefacts it contains and we didn't even make a dent. I could easily have spent several days looking at all of the exhibits they have on display. After all this we were starving. We had devised a plan where we eat the amazing breakfast at the hotel then take a box of cereal and an apple for a lunch-time snack then eat an early dinner so we only had to pay for one meal a day. Genius idea if I do say so myself. We stopped by a Starbucks to refuel because we wanted to go to another museum we had seen. Unfortunately the toy museum we had wanted to go to had already closed, which was saddening. Instead, Becca and I decided we would just wander around the city. This turned out to be an awesome idea because we found our way to Parliament Square, St. James' Park, and the Royal Guard. We also meandered into the giant Hamley's, a toy store with literally anything you could ever want. We found our way to the Build-a-Bear station and discovered they had special I heart Great Britain bears. Needless to say we decided to make them, a first time experience for Becca. Their names are Sherlock and Watson and we love them dearly. They came around London with us for the rest of the day and got to see a lot of the city. After all this wandering we headed back to our hotel to rest up for another big day.

Piccadilly Circus
Found a little bit of home
Day 3 was a rather long day. We started off by heading to Baker Street to see 221B and going to the Sherlock Holmes museum. The house is set up just like it would have been in the Victorian Times when John and Sherlock would have lived there. It was really cool to see all the things that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about. They also had some wax figures that depicted scenes in some of the books, we were not huge fans of those. In the shop there were these really cool shirts that Becca and I wanted, unfortunately they were only in XL and XXL. We settled for another one that was still pretty nice, but still a little too big. Its really soft though so I can manage. After this we headed over to St. Bartholemew's Hospital. This is a famous spot for any BBC Sherlockian as it was the location of Sherlock's famous jump. Next to the hospital there is a telephone booth where people have left notes in support of Sherlock. Becca and I wrote our own and left them in the booth. We stood there for a good half an hour reading all the notes. After this emotional stop we decided to walk to King's Cross and St. Pancras stations. This turned out to be a much longer walk than we had anticipated. A little over 3 miles actually. We finally made it and found Platform 9 3/4. They even have this really cute set up with a trolley half way into the wall and they take your picture with your house scarf on. Of course we waited in line with the other children, got our scarves, and took some of the best jumping pictures because we are pros. We wandered into the Platform 9 3/4 shop but refrained from buying anything since in a couple of days we were going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Being exhausted from our walk, we caught a train back to our hotel and got some dinner from a Mexican place we had seen the first day. It was like heaven. I had missed Mexican so much. We also finally got to watch Doctor Who for the first time on an actual TV. It was awesome.
He was so tall.....
Sherlock's phone booth
my note!

Since this post would be super long if I did all of London in it that's it for this one. Our adventures will continue on the next post.

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