Thursday, April 11, 2013

Landing in London

Our day in Finland unfortunately didn't prepare us for how chilly we'd be in London; people, when you hear about the record winter in Europe, that is serious stuff. We bought gloves and the London Pass for tourists and off we went, with many, many hot chocolate breaks on the way.

First stop was the O2 to see the British Music Experience. Unfortunately we happened to coincide with throngs of people there for the One Direction concert! After dodging the girls carrying signs and the parents spending ridiculous sums on posters, we managed to enjoy the really beautiful architecture around there.

After walking around Greenwich, a great little neighborhood with a lovely market, we took a ferry along the Thames to the Tower of London, where a Yeoman Warder showed us around. We saw the royal jewels and heard about the many executions that happened there -- it was really a gory time and place!

We also checked out the London Bridge which has a really interesting history. Disappointingly, now it looks like a bland concrete structure, but it does have a great view of the dramatic silhouette of the Tower Bridge. I have to say all those nursery rhymes had left me expecting something less stable.

We had the opportunity to see a museum and get a tour of the Wimbledon Tennis Club, where we were NOT allowed to touch the grass but we could see many of the places made famous during the annual grand slam. It was interesting to imagine the quiet town of Wimbledon being overtaken by tennis fever and thousands of press and fans every year. After we're back we'll have to save our money if we want to get any closer to the action.

Walking around London, we saw some of the famous landmarks like the London Eye and Big Ben, but really everywhere we looked was equally beautiful. The architecture, the parks, the wide sidewalks bustling with people seemed all planned out wonderfully, especially compared with many of the other places we've been on our trip, where chaos dominated the scenery.

We also got to enjoy the view from a bicycle tour. I was a bit nervous about dodging the traffic with my rusty riding skills, but in the end it worked out well to get to know more of the city. Diego even took video while riding, pro SF bike commuter that he is!

Outside the city, the town of Windsor and the castle there were lovely, and it was really interesting to see the actual rooms used throughout history for royal occasions. We were told the queen was in, but must have just missed seeing her passing through the hallways! After walking around the grounds, we warmed up with the traditional afternoon tea.

We also got to see friends from Argentina, Agustin and Carolina, which was great fun.

Finally, we have a question up for debate! Who's the bigger nerd?

1 comment:

  1. OMG don't breath on the grass!!