This is going to be TL;DR, but this is my journal entry from my time in London. It's an excerpt from my month long backpacking trip through Europe.
Jan. 20 – Liverpool/London
We decided that there wasn’t much that Manchester could offer us, so we took the 12pm bus to London (about 24.50 pounds). This day is easy to record because we spent about 5 ½ hours on the bus. It was interesting seeing the scenery however (countryside is beautiful). The roundabouts in this country really bother me though. I’m glad they reduce the number of lights/stop-n-go action, but it is really annoying to be have to go through so many inertial shifts. Oh yeah, and we missed the Obama inauguration. Bummer.
Upon arrival into London (Victoria terminal), we took a subway (4 pounds) to our hostel location (The Generator – 20 pounds each for three beds). The subway was ridiculously busy (around rush hour), and I was admittedly flustered (rapid change in environment and having our large packs in a crowded area). Scott and Mike took it well, but they seemed a little taken aback by the scene as well. We navigated the subway pretty easily though (didn’t get lost or anything), and I felt like I handled the situation pretty well. We got to our ending station and I bought a London A to Z mini map guide. We found our hostel and got Tandoori for dinner. Delicious. From there we had a couple drinks at the hostel bar, then we went to The Jerusalem bar (a lot of cider/fruit beers here…vintage environment), and then came back to the hostel. I got pretty drunk that night and also ended up smoking like 5 or 6 cigarettes throughout the night.
Jan. 21 – London
I woke up hurting. Hurting bad. I got up before everyone (naturally) and recovered (breakfast, water, vitamins). We started out getting a cab to Traflagar Square, from there we walked up to Soho and looked at Chinatown. Walked to Picadilly Square and then down to Traflagar Sq again to begin the Whitehall walk. We took a detour (but it was a good one) through the Horse Guards area into St. James Park. Great scenery, and it’s amazing that it looked that great in the winter… better would it have looked in the spring? We walked down to Buckingham Palace then down Houses of Parliament (Big Ben) to Westminster Abbey. St. Margaret’s Westminster was equally impressive, and it’s amazing to me that no one mentioned it in a book. They had a bunch of important people from long ago buried there, and the building inside was beautiful. From there, we walked down to the Westminster Cathedral. This was easily one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen in my life. They had mini-chapels (about 8 of them ) on the side of the church (dedicated to various saints). We also went up the tower (2.45 pounds) and saw a great view of the city. From here, we walked up to Traflagar Sq to meet up with Lauren. We went to the National Portrait Gallery. We didn’t get to see everything, but they had some good photographs (award winning) and a gallery of England’s tudors (kings, queens, important people). The place was closing down and Lauren had to leave. We said our goodbyes and went to Chinatown for a bite to eat. From there, we went to the French House (famous for Charlie Chaplin and Salvador Dali) for a half pint of beer. We were all feeling a little under the weather and decided to take it easy tonight. We got back to the hostel and did some laundry, got some logistics out of the way, and we are looking forward to a big day tomorrow.
Jan. 22 – London
National Science Museum – saw some really cool stuff on mathematics. It was interesting to note the emphasis (partially funded by energy companies) on green energy, alternative energy, and energy education overall for the younger generation. Indian buffet. National History Museum – great exhibit on dinosaurs. This is all we had time for. We meet up with Lauren and her friend Jessie. French tea and coffee. The French coffee and tea came in a large ‘bowls’ with no handle. I think it was meant to be sipped by two hands.
Brixton market…?...karaoke night at the hostel. Scott sings Lola. Mike sang Rock and Roll by Led Zepplin. I sang Hey Jude with everyone. Fun times.
Jan. 23 – London
London Tower – had a great time here. It was just awesome to get the tour from the Yeoman (Beefeaters). They were very entertaining and informative. Some of the buildings were build in the 10th century (I believe) and it was exhilarating being able to see them like that. We also got to see the vault with many of the coronation crowns, staffs, orbs, etc., Tower bridge, Victoria walkway, lunch in pub (sausage), London Prison (clink) museum – this, in combination with the heard of torture at London Tower, made you really appreciate some of the steps in civility and the way we treat our fellow man. Those people were ruthless., stop at Tate Modern for some coffee, continued to st. paul’s cathedral, went to try and smoke some shisha, didn’t work out…we got some fish and chips at a pub, then went home looking for live music at the Water Rats…instead…went to bar. Argued about free market and talking about titties at a pub close to home.
Jan. 24 – London
Abbey Rd – I took a piss in a bush with a camera right in my face (noticed it at the last second), Pizza place with good pizza and chicken stew fried with rice, Portebello Market – great antiques, went home, guitar shops, Italian food place – great, filling meal, and then UK bluegrass (Papa Truck). Sleep. Or lack there of (Ashlee House…16 pounds). Subway sandwich and then scott bought a dirty dirty porno mag.
Jan.25 – London/Paris
Woke up, went to St. Pancras Station to leave at 7:50. Came into Paris, but Scott and Mike were really tired and unable to function (possibly getting sick). We dropped off our bags, went to grab an expensive bite to eat (Thai food), and came back and chilled for a while. One thing I really disliked about Paris so far is that I can’t figure out the damn phones. They suck. We got here on a Sunday as well, and the streets seem really desolate. Anyway, Scott and Mike passed out at the hostel (3 Ducks…roughly 21 Euro each)…I didn’t want to fall asleep due to sleep pattern/sun reasons. The hostel we were staying at is kind of sketchy and seems like it will be loud. I went ahead and reserved a room at the Montebello Hotel in anticipation of the crappiness. But I will report tomorrow.
Mike and me went out and bought some bread, brie cheese, and a bomb arse bottled of wine for 2.50 euro. We brought it back to our place and had a great feast for the price. Great way to save money overall. Scott isn’t in good shape at all.