Monday, February 20, 2023

London, England

We decided to spend our first (and theoretically only) full day in England visiting London proper. Unfortunately, we also found out that our friends Tanner and Livi (who were supposed to be joining us Tuesday morning) were delayed in Iceland until the evening, due to a blizzard coming through (foreshadowing). Before we got started, our host came over to help us sort out a couple of things with the AirBnB. I nominated Sam as our ambassador to the English and he worked with the realtor to figure out the necessary details.

Old Spitafields Market

We parked our bus at the Uxbridge metro station and jumped on the Tube to ride into the city. Our day started in Old Spitafields Market to meet our friend Matt, a former Northstar staffer, in an area with lots of food trucks and stalls for lunch. Matt filled us in on what he had learned in his two months living in London and then walked with us down to the business district where Adam was interested in seeing several buildings with architectural significance (including Lloyds, Gherkin, Leadenhall, etc.). We almost lost him a couple of times as he stopped to take pictures.

Tower Bridge

Next, we visited the Tower of London (where the Crown Jewels are kept), saw Tower Bridge (often confused with London Bridge), and then headed toward the Tate Modern. Gabby, John, and Sam decided to run all the way around Tower of London, which turned into a detour over part of Tower Bridge, though the Borough Market, and past the reconstruction of the Globe Theater. We eventually all reconvened on the Millennium Bridge in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The Lion of Knidos

The main thing we had scheduled for Tuesday was seeing the British Museum. We could have spent all day here, but, in an hour, we managed to hit the highlights, including the Rosetta Stone, Easter Island statues, Egyptian mummies, etc.

The Great Court in the British Museum

Westminster Cathedral
Finally, we went down toward Buckingham palace, saw the royal guards, and had our picture taken in front of the palace. We wrapped up at Westminster Cathedral and Big Ben and then hopped on the Tube to head back to the AirBnB to meet Tanner and Livi as they were arriving. Since the place we were staying was a little hard to find, Sam, Joe, and I went to stand out by the road to wait for them. I made some comment about how sketchy three good for nothing guys standing beside the road probably looked and Sam replied, “I believe the proper term is ‘blokes’.”

Buckingham Palace

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