24.05.2010 - 31.05.2010 17 °C
Ok so I had no idea Christchurch or even NZ was as small as it is.
London is massive. So many people, so many languages, so many concerts, bars, restaurants, museums ... So much everything!
Mon 24/5 I arrived to Russell Sq. and left my bag for the day at the Contiki Office. Went on the London Eye and with the sun out in force and not a cloud in the sky I saw so much! All did all look kinda the same though but certainly the houses of parliament and the dome of St Pauls stood out. Spent the rest of the evening playing around on the tube trying really hard, and failing, not to get lost. Checked in to the Generator which is huge. 800+ beds and had a few drinks at the bar with some others from my dorm room.
Tue 25/5 With Ed and Becky arriving in London the day earlier we arranged to meet up and look around the London Dungeons and Madame Tussauds. I timed everything perfectly to meet them outside at 1pm, until that is I walked out the wrong exit at the London Bridge station and succeeded in getting wicked lost. Its crazy! I have absolutely no sense of direction here in the UK and suddenly I was walking past the Golden Hinde, Sir Francais Drakes ship (something I didn’t appreciate at the time) and finally, half an hour late I found a very patient Ed and Becky waiting for me J.London Dungeon was good fun and I do wish I had bought the photo of our three retarded faces as we free fell on one of the rides. A bit of history, a bit of a fright, its all good fun. Madame Tussauds was the same and I now have my picture with the captivating Miley Cyrus. I’ll make it my profile pic when I get the chance. Got lost again on the way home from Baker St so jumped on the tube and cruised London again.
Wed 26/5 Early start to get on board the double decker sightseeing buses. Looked around Trafalgar Sq. including the big new ship in a bottle thats meant to be art??? On board the bus past some of Londons most iconic sites. 10 Downing St, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Pauls etc etc. Got off at the Tower and jumped on the cruise down the river to Greenwich and looked around some of the museums up there. Up to the observatory at the top of the hill and straddled the Greenwich meridian. One foot in the east, one foot in the west. One in today, one in yesterday or tomorrow I’m not sure. Back up the river to Westminster past the Tate Modern and Shakespeares Globe Theatre. Back on board the bus and carried on past Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Regent St, before I walked back to Russell Sq from Trafalgar (about 30mins). I can’t even guess at how far I’ve walked in the last 10 days its unreal! Sightseeing is exhausting. Had a few drinks with some americans at the Generator bar and then got sick of them and found some australians instead. Kiwis seem a little thin on the ground at the moment but theres definitely still a few out there.
Thurs 27/5 I tried to wash and dry some clothes at the hostel. Waste of time that was. The dryer only succeeded in making the clothes warm as well as damp. C’est la vie. Saw the changing of the guard this morning with Ed and Becky. What a lot of pomp. I think todays ceremony was a little more elaborate for some reason, with music, marching, horses and the rest of it it did seem to drag on. The best bit was the crazy French women at the end who started screaming and cursing at the cop as he tried to stop her crossing the road. The three of us wandered around Hyde Park (massive!), Kensington Palace and the Natural History Museum. Endless displays and collections of all sorts so we soon grew tired and I headed back to the Generator. Karaoke night at the Generator with a Canadian and some English language teachers from Holland. Awesome!
Fri 28/5 The time at the Generator had come to an end and so I began the Hostel Hop across town but not before having a quick look thru the British Museum. Missed the hostel I was aiming for and ended up instead at some random little place above a pub with way too many people in the room. Lost my hat and sunglasses or they were stolen from the room? I'm not certain. Too bad. Went out to Richmond and had a few beers with Becky, Ed and Charlie. Slight dress code problem but it was well avoided in the end.
Sat 29/5 Free walking tour around Pimlico and Westminster. Saw the MI5 and 6 headquarters as well as a close up of Westminster Abbey. More hostel hopping and I got back to the one I was trying to find the day before and got settled. Down in the bar I got to see the old bald poms get shitfaced and make a fool of themselves. Nearly victim to a cougar attack but was saved at the last minute by one of the old bastards. Thank god.
Sun 30/5 Went down Oxford and Regent St to try find a hat and some sunglasses but everything was shut so ended up paying way to much at some little souvenir shop. Back out to Richmond and the Ham Polo Club to watch Charlie play and Ed and Becky be goal umpires. Good day for it but my god theres a lot of money around! Its a full on game and its was wicked to watch. Out to dinner to celebrate Ed and Becky's new job. One week in the country thats not bad going and I guess it bodes well for me.
Mon 31/5 Bank Holiday and everyone was out and about. The footpaths were so packed with families and prams that it almost became difficult to move anywhere. I knew about Londons gridlock on the roads but on the footpaths too?? Went to Harrods and paid way to much for a diary/journal book but it does have a certain novelty value thats hard to beat. Joined the Harrods club to so now I earn rewards points on all those purchases I will be making at the Knightsbridge store. Saw the Science Museum and a little bit of the Natural History Museum I had missed last time. Pretty much over museums and the only thing that really blew my mind was the Listening Post at the Science museum. Creepy and yet captivating
Back to the hostel and dinner and some more beers and chatter with Maree (Melbourne), Carolyn (Canada/Glasgow) and Dextor (English + he will give me a job in a bar if I ever need one). Tomorrow I leave London to head back to Maidenhead in order to get ready to leave for Athens! Pretty sure my flight is going ahead, fucking British Airways stop striking!