Sunday, November 25, 2012

London's Given Us Some Rain

Hey Folks,

The day I have been waiting for a long time (and probably all of you who talk to me on a regular basis) has finally come - I made it to London and oh boy, it was some experience. I was never in love or totally obsessed with London but I still really, really wanted to do some sightseeing there and living so close to it here in Canterbury made it possible. For this trip, I was reunited with my designated travel buddy Jana. She had been to the city before, but did not do as much touristy sightseeing as she’d like to, so we had a well-defined goal – being a tourist for a day and just hunt down the major sights. Planning this day trip, we realised that visiting most of the sights (for example St. Paul’s Cathedral) was not affordable for a regular uni students so we picked out a few free museums and decided on mainly walking and seeing some sights without actually entering.
On the coach and ready to go.

Our day started early, the coach from Canterbury to London Victoria left 9.20 in the morning and took two hours, which we spent sleeping, it was a bliss! The great thing about taking the coach was saving some money (compared to the one-hour train ride) and going directly through the city and actually seeing London Eye and Houses of Parliament from the coach. Having arrived at Victoria Coach Station, we got me an Oyster Card so that we could easily get around the city and then took the tube to see Buckingham Palace and surprise, surprise – the flag was up, the old lady was in the house! The Union Jack was flying over the palace and since it was raining really hard, there were not even too many tourists there. Might have also been because there was no changing of the guard that day, boohoo… guess, I gotta come back for that.

Rockin' the wellis once again

Guess it was too cold for the red uniform.

Hey there, somebody home?

Flipping a coin into the well, making a wish.

Then, we walked through St. James's Park to the Thames. I think it’d be a really nice park – when it doesn’t rain but we made the best out of it, having girl’s talk and arguing about what the names of the buildings we passed were. One of my favourite moments that day was probably when all of a sudden, we saw Big Ben at the end of the street we had just turned into. Well, of course we went up to it, took some pictures, walked around Westminster Abbey, took some pictures and fought the rain crossing over the river looking for some warm coffee shop. Oh, and we saw a cute Christmas market right by London Eye, the smell of bratwurst and mulled wine brought me right back home.

St. James's Park
Almost petting a squirrel

Hello there, Big Ben.

The place where Will & Kate got married. I'm sorry, I just had to mention it.

Lovely Jana with her pink umbrella

Oh yeah, posing like a real tourist

Rainy London

Next on our route was visiting Temple Church, that church in London where part of the DaVinci Code took place. Unfortunately, it was closed that day – yet another reason for another visit. We then made our way to the British Museum but posting those pictures would make this post too big, so another time. We really enjoyed the museum (and it was free) and felt like we got at least some culture. Leaving at 5 pm, it had gotten dark outside, the Christmas lights were up in Covent Garden and when we arrived at our last stop for the night, we were amazed. But see for yourselves:
The Royal Court

Beautiful Tower Bridge

A bit blurry but still adorable - Jana

Please excuse the blurriness in some of the pictures – unfortunately, I do not own one of those amazing single lens reflex cameras so my pink Nikon Coolpix will have to do. Still, I’m pretty proud of my little cam as it did not bitch about the rain and took pictures all day long without getting tired, haha. After spending some time just gazing around and enjoying the scene, we made it back to the coach station and got on our ride back home. I can truly say, it was a great day, despite the rain and a welcome break from writing essays and sitting in front of my laptop all day long. Next week, I’m going back to London to see the Harry Potter studios, so, again, I’m really excited about it.
Our coach back home - the double-oh-seven, licensed to bring us back home.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Lots of love from Canterbury,

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