Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 4: Adieu, London

well. i hate blogger. let me just say that. i always have a horrible time posting pictures and stuff, so i'm just going to post all the pictures first today in some sort of chronological order. then you can read about the day below. i'll figure it out so it's cohesive from here on out.

cool pic from the Millenium Bridge

one of our 100 or so pics of St. Paul's cathedral

inside St. Paul's

Big Ben, and i just accidentally deleted the pic we have of
Westminster, but i hate blogger and i'm not going through all that again

me and jo at St. Pancras station (which is crooked)
waiting for the Eurostar

cool peace sign tile work done on the side of
some apartment between the metro and our couchsurfing flat

the apartment we couchsurfed at.
marie-jeanne's flat is the second balcony down on the left side
Another early morning. Said thank you and goodbye to Alvaro. We went to St. Paul's again to check out the interior, It was well worth the second trip; St. Paul's was incredible. We hiked the 400+ stairs to the top of the dome and got another incredible view of downtown London. The crypt at St. Paul's was quaint - especially when compared to the eerie WestMinster Abbey. That place is unnerving at best and nightmarish at worst. We spent some time at WestMinster Abbey: went to Poet's Corner, checked out some of the graves of kings and queens, etc. We were rushed all day, so we didn't see much of Parliament or Big ben, and we weren't even able to do the audio guide for Westminster or do the walk to 10 Downing Street, or even see the changing of the guard. So it sounds like a disappointing day but it really wasn't. We walked over to Buckingham Palace just to see the park and the surroundings. And . . . I fed a squirrel. With my hands. No one but Jo probably knows this, but I love squirrels. So that was awesome. We saw a ton of London and went to St. Pancras (rad) to catch the 186mph Eurostar to Paris. St. Pancras is gorgeous and huge, the UK countryside was beautiful, and the loudest child in the world - a 2 year old spoiled French baby that didn't stop screaming the entire time - sat one seat away from us. So it was still an eventful day. Jo managed to sleep on the train anyway, just like on our ridiculously turbulent plane rides (I thought I was going to die). Anyway, we got to Gare du Nord Station in paris and quickly discovered that Paris is the opposite of London. Gare du Nord was crazy. Paris is disgusting really. I don't know why everyone comes back from Paris saying "Oh I love Paris, it is so beautiful, etc." Those people must not go where we went. It smells like someone went to the bathroo mon your upper lip everywhere you go. The people are all pushy, sweaty, and serious. The metro is mad sketchy. Some drunk bum pushed Jo and yelled at her. She got a little shaken up, so me and one of the few nice Parisians stood boxed the guy into his seat so he couldnt really move. It was insane to be on the metro in rush hour with our packs in our first really foreign country (England isn't foreign). We are couchsurfing here in Paris, so we didn't know what to expect. It's our first time ever doing it, and neither of us know this city. So it ends up that we are staying in a bad part of town. We got off at our metro stop and walked down some streets in the dark to the flat we were staying at. We were obviously tourists (thank you backpacks), and obviously tourists don't come to this part of town. I tried to play tough so Jo wouldn't be frightened, but the combination of the metro ride and the walk to our couchsurfing flat was the most scared I have been in recent or distant memory. We made it to the flat and met our couchsurfing hostess, Marie-jeanne Peraldi and her very nice flatmate, Virginia. The flat is nice and there's pink everywhere and two little dogs that run the place. It smells like dogs and we have all these weird rules. Like we have to cover the couches we're sleeping on with plastic everyday when we leave and make sure that none of our possessions ever touch the ground because the dogs will pe on them. So right now we have shoes and packs and everything hanging from bookshelves, the TV, doorknobs, etc. Our first couchsurfing experience appears to be an adventure in the making.

feeding the squirrels in St. James Park


jo said...

man i hate blogger. it has to be the most user-unfriendly site in the world. i used to be a technical writer. my job was to go onto websites and figure out bugs and write in the most specific and elementary way how to use them so that that anyone could sit down and use them. and i can't figure this out. the video is sideways and all the pictures are messed up when they all looked fine and upright in the preview.

Tanya said...

I've been using blogger for four years at least? And they have made no improvements to the issues from way back when. Editing absolutely sucks. And what is up with all the phantom hard returns they throw in? Or when you delete a return and it won't go away? Omgosh I could go on and on. Anyway, love the pics and videos regardless of their alignment. :-)

Renae said...

So I just found your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through some of your new and old posts. I am so jealous of your trip to Europe! It has been SO long, (11 years), since I was there. I love the story you told about the 7 year olds in a primary class your hubby substituted for and the house renovations and decor are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Where are the two of you living? Last I heard you were out west, but did I read PA in your post? Anyways, hopefully between the two of you, you'll remember who I am and who my husband is. I have a blog as I write regularly. Some are funny, some are serious, and some are just diaries of events and vacations! I'd love to hear from you! Hope all is well!

Renae (Lashomb) Eddy