Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 3: Getting Our Feet Wet

Alvaro had breakfast laid out for us this morning. And as we ate and gathered up our stuff, we realized we were in for another day of Rain and Cold. But it did not prevent a historic(al) day.

a royal breakfast

the view from our room in the Fusco's flat

cool thing of umbrellas. we came to love umbrellas on this trip.

Luckily our Tower of London tickets were good for a three-day time period, so though we missed it yesterday, we were still able to go. We hit it early. I was amazed at how chintzy and touristy it was. The only element of history about it, and the real star of the show, was the architecture itself. We took pictures by the Tower bridge and walked along the Thames. We got hot chocolate (of course) at a Starbucks afterwards.

Jo in what will become a familiar pose

a guy with a bow and arrow represents "Muscle Power"

funny what they now value

Tower Bridge

Tubed to St. Pancras and walked to the British Library to see the special collections room with Bibles and Qurans from over 1500 years ago and original pieces of work by Jane Austen, the Beatles, Keats, Shakespeare, etc.

Tubed close to the British Museum. Stopped to get food at a Pret a Manger shop on the way - gross. We ended up eating at some little cafe in Russel Square Park, though, which was green and nice. We did the Rick Steves audio guide in the British Museum. The Rosetta Stone and mummies were cool. The crowd was not.

Tubed to Picadilly Circus. Not as impressive or large as Time Square, but crazy nonetheless. Also, the Tower of London and British Museum were not as impressive as the Capitol in D.C. or the Smithsonian. Im' not complaining, both places were great. I just think it's interesting that we romanticize about going to Europe to see these old places when most Americans don't travel very much inside of America and we have some much more remarkable places to visit and things to see.

Tubed to St. Paul's. it was closed, but wow. By far the most amazing single sight we saw today. Inspiring. We walked across the Millenium Bridge (Harry Potter bridge) and went to see if we could see the inside of the Globe (still pissed about missing the show last night). We got in through some emergency exit in a cafe attached to it and poked around. We got chased out by a security guard who was American. Ironic. I mean come on, brother, we're supposed to look out for each other. We asked some guy to take a picture for us in front of the Globe but he couldn't figure out where the lens of the camera was I guess. Hence the following series of pictures with a finger in them:

the Millenium Bridge and the Tate Modern behind it

Walked down the south side of the Thames to do the London Eye - just awesome - and saw that London stretched out as far as we could see in every direction.

Josephine in the London Eye

view of Parliament and Big Ben from the eye,
right before it explodes to the 1812 Overture

We came back to base camp and had some late dinner (10pm) with Alvaro and his daughter, Vanessa, who just returned home. We have to remember to do something nice for this family. Tomorrow = lots more walking and Paris.


Tanya said...

You guys probably get tired of me commenting on everything. I tried clicking on your pictures to really see the details in enlarged form, but it won't let me. I used to have this same problem in Blogger when I would set my pictures to be center aligned. Just a thought. Anyway, love the pics. Y'all are awesome. That's what Texans say.

Adrian said...

The British Museum and The Imperial War Museum were two of our faves (we saw that scriptural exhibit as well)...and without Pret or Wagamama, we wouldn't have eaten one bit!