Sunday, August 14, 2011

Woke up in London yesterday

London, Day 2

Our second day in London (which was technically our first full day there) was probably my favorite day of the entire trip. After sleeping for a ridiculous amount of hours, we woke up refreshed and so excited to get out and see the city.

That morning, like each other morning we were there, we started our day with breakfast in the hotel lounge, complete with all the stinky cheese we could have ever wanted. It was wonderful!

After breakfast, we hopped on our double decker tour bus and headed towards the heart of the city. We drove through Trafalgar Square, which is obviously a shrine to Phi Mu, complete with regal lion statues and a huge quatrefoil-shaped fountain. We decided to get off the bus on Downing Street and proceeded to walk around, passing the Prime Minister's residence and the Horse Guard Calvalry, and finally made our way to the Churchill War Rooms. Although the Churchill War Rooms aren't one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, I had heard many good things about it, and I enjoyed the tour very much. Remaining true to how it was during WWII, the war rooms give an informative and interesting look back to England's role during the war under Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

After we left the war rooms, we began to make our way towards Westminster Abbey. On the way, we passed the British Supreme Court and decided to go inside once we found out that tours were free. We were able to go into each of the three functioning court rooms and were even able to sit in the chairs of the chief justices.

Then, we finally made our way to Westminster Abbey. This was one of the things I was most looking forward to on our trip, and I was just in awe of the abbey's beauty and grandeur. I wish photos were allowed inside because it is so breathtakingly beautiful and ornate, and so much detail is given to everything. From the tombs of past royalty, to the vaulted ceilings, to the hand carved walls, and everything in between, no detail is too small, and nothing is insignificant. It's so apparent just how much thought was put into the tombs of these nobles. I literally had to catch my breath when we came across the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer and the monuments dedicated to William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and so many other literary figures.

As if it has to be said, just being in the place where William and Kate were married only a few months before was just incredible. I can't even describe it. I stood in the place where she walked down the aisle and became the future queen of England. There are no words. And, of course, I ate up the special exhibit of their wedding photographs located in a chamber of the abbey. The amount of history that has taken place there is so overwhelming. I loved everything about Westminster Abbey, and I know I will make it back there someday. It was my favorite part of our trip, hands down.

When we left the Abbey (although, I could have stayed there all day), we walked around near Parliament and Big Ben before walking down to the Thames to take a river cruise. The cruise was part of our bus tour (Big Bus, FYI), so we were able to jump on and off wherever we wanted to. We rode the boat all the way down the Thames and were able to get some fantastic views of the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge, which is tied with Benny Boy as my second favorite spot in London. Needless to say, it was incredible.

After the tour, we jumped back on the bus and made our way back to our hotel. We found a wonderful pub nearby and enjoyed a relaxing dinner before calling it a night. Our first full day in London was quite a success.

Stay tuned for Day 3, and check out my bucket list and Day 1.

1 comment:

shoshana said...

I love your photos. It seems like you're having a great time. I can't wait to hear more. I'll be in London over Christmas!

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